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STAYERLAND STORIES

Zero Plastic Ultra Distance

Last year Taylor aka @tay.velo did a cool thing and you can read her detailed story on The Radavist

After getting super disheartened with the amount of single-use waste she was generating during her first ultra race last year, she decided that she wanted to come back the following year and do something about it.

Taylor did the Pan Celtic Race single-use-plastic-free last year, in a bid to see if it was possible and also as a remedy for the rapid trash creation she noticed she was participating in during ultra races. If riding bikes is an act that makes us feel more connected to our surroundings, each other, and nature, then why should racing bikes make us temporarily unconscious consumers? she asks.

Heck, it’s hard! And no one can be perfect. Of course the blame cannot lie with the individual, either, when we live in a world where the vast majority of eco-harm is caused by a very small few and it’s easy to feel powerless. Taylor found a small corner of clarity, where she set parameters for herself, took note of what came up, learned lessons, and committed to an exercise in mindful bicycle racing. 

“Racing a bicycle – a super special object that could truly and viably save the world – in what could be described as a potentially unconscious and at times positively delirious way i.e. as quickly as possible, at all costs – got me thinking about the ultra community, and care; ultimately for each other and by extension our environments and the spaces that we love to roll our wheels through.”

Further ruminations on zero-plastic ultra distance: Won’t it slow you down? Isn’t it a faff? Will you be able to find and eat what you need? Surely it’s a massive compromise and not feasible if you’re a serious ultra racer?? Taylor was prepared to have a different kind of race when she pushed off the start line of the Pan Celtic last summer. With 17 meals worth of homemade dehydrated food and over 60 Outdoor Provisions bars and butters (no light load! P.s. the wrappers are compostable), she ended up sharing a joint women’s SECOND PLACE, and even found some benefits to the technique. 

She has been thus far so convinced of the zero plastic way that she has committed to racing all major ultras in this manner for the foreseeable future.

So we look forward to following and checking in with this endeavor as it continues to unfold! 

Play Video

Also! You can watch the Pan Celtic Race film, The Clan, on YouTube and it’s a good ‘un! Loads of women’s coverage and diverse storytelling, including some of Taylor’s journey.

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