Cyclists pedal 285 miles on turbo trainer at Ipswich’s La Tour Cycle Cafe in support of climate talks

Tom Haslam on the turbo trainer at La Tour Cycle Cafe.

Tom Haslam on the turbo trainer at La Tour Cycle Cafe.

Scores of cyclists joined forces this weekend to virtually pedal the distance from Ipswich to Paris in support of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Cliff and Anna Matthews, Tom Haslam, Eden and Bev Rogers.

Cliff and Anna Matthews, Tom Haslam, Eden and Bev Rogers.

The 285 miles were clocked up on a turbo trainer at La Tour Cycle Cafe in Tower Street, Ipswich, from Friday to Sunday, taking a total of 20 hours and 13 minutes.

The event was kicked off by Ipswich councillor, Sandy Martin, on Friday morning.

Organiser Anna Matthews, who owns the cafe along with husband, Cliff, said: “We decided as a way of showing support and also raising awareness and starting the conversation in the community that we would virtually cycle to Paris over the weekend.”

Getting involved on Saturday was Tom Haslam from the Suffolk Coastal Green Party, who cycled an impressive 22.8 miles.

Mr Haslam travelled to France on Sunday to take part in the climate change march ahead of yesterday’s conference launch.

He said: “I love promoting cycling and fitness so I wanted to support this campaign and highlight the cause.

Most Read

“The climate talks are so important. In fact it’s probably the most important climate talks we have had as this year is going to be the warmest on record globally.”

The cafe has also had a climate change banner on display for the last month for customer to write messages of support.

A number of youngsters took part in the three-day challenge, they were: Cameron Grant,14, nine-year-old Seren Matthews, Imogen Oldmanm, eight, Lewis Oldman, 11, 12-year-old Eden Rogers, Samuel Noller, 15, 11-year-old Amelia Mayhew and eight-year-old Elouise Mayhew.

All the young people were faced with an arduous climb at some point and each rose to the challenge, Mrs Matthews said.

The cafe opened in August with the aim of encouraging more people to get on their bikes.

Mr and Mrs Matthews, who live in Norwich Road, gave up their car four years ago and travel everywhere on their bicycles.

Prime Minister David Cameron joined leaders, including US president Barack Obama in Le Bourget, Paris, for the first day of negotiations yesterday. The conference will run until December 11 and aims to secure a global deal to stop climate change.

More than half a million people are estimated to have marched in cities around the world on Sunday calling for ambitious action to boost renewable energy and protect vulnerable people.

In London, tens of thousands of people braved the rain and the wind to march through the streets to Westminster, in the biggest demonstration on climate change seen in the UK.

The conference is the latest step on a long road to securing international agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to prevent global temperatures going more than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter