Little did I expect when I picked up a graphic novel about the invention of the computer to find a strong parallel to my experience riding Land’s End to John o’ Groats. But there it is, in the source material included at the end of the book:
Are you at Ashley? And is it still convenient with all your other arrangements that I should join you there?—and will next Wednesday or next Thursday or any other day suit you: and shall I leave the iron-shod road at Thornton or at Bridgewater …
Charles Babbage, letter to Ada Lovelace dated September 9, 1843 (as quoted in The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua)
Ashley was Lord Lovelace’s manor at Porlock, and so Bridgewater (now Bridgwater) is the city where Fearless Leader Joe and I got mired shin-deep in mud and then ended up riding in circles in the rain in our attempt to get back on track.
Here’s hoping that when Babbage left the iron-shod road he was not similarly mired and turned about!