Archive for January, 2008
Posted by chdot on January 28, 2008
Fresh from her entertaining radio show on Friday, Lesley Riddoch continues the theme of encouraging more notice to be taken of cyclists in an article in today’s Scotsman.
She highlights some ‘best practice’ in Groningen, (the sixth largest city in the Netherlands – slightly smaller than Aberdeen). “Sixteen years ago, traffic congestion led city planners to dig up city-centre motorways. Now it has the highest level of bicycle usage in the West”.
Riddoch has a key quote from senior city planner Gerrit van Werven: “This is not an environmental programme, it is an economic programme. We are boosting jobs and business. It has been proved that planning for the bicycle is cheaper than planning for the car.”
The Scottish Government’s budget will be finalised on the 6th of February. At present only 1% of the Transport budget is spent on cycling. Campaign group Spokes fears this will be reduced further and is asking people to contact their MSPs.
City of Edinburgh Council’s budget will be fixed on the 21st, Spokes wants people to contact their councillors. The Council also has a short on-line questionnaire asking for people to rank their spending priorities.
Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 25, 2008
You can ‘phone in comments to today’s edition of Riddoch Questions on Radio Scotland (on air 1.15 – 2 pm).
The programme has citycycling editor Anthony Robson arguing that “we need more cyclists on our roads”. (More info)
Why not “have your say” – call (free) from 1 pm on 0500 92 95 00 or email Lesley@bbc.co.uk or text 80295.
Anthony did a good job of being reasonable/responsible cyclist. Lesley admitted cycling through pedestrian lights sometimes – worried about cars behind. General agreement about need to share road space more considerately – and feeling that people in UK don’t know how!
mp3 of programme
Posted in bike security theft, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, paths, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, TryCycling, walking | 1 Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 24, 2008
And free breakfast too if you cycle to Victoria Quay early enough on the 12th of February. The seminar is for four hours from 11.00 – free lunch as well!
It’s for anyone thinking of running an event in June (14th – 22nd), whether it’s something ambitious like the Two Capitals Cycle Ride or a small local or workplace event.
This year the UK wide Week is being organised by a different company from the one responsible for recent Bike Weeks, so some aspects will be done differently. The new firm organised the London Freewheel where “more than 38,000 bikes descended on the city’s streets”. Imagine a good fraction of that in Edinburgh! Of course it helped that 14km of London’s streets were closed to motor vehicles. (Bogota manages 70 miles EVERY Sunday)
In Scotland, Bike Week is promoted by CyclingScotland which is organising the seminar – details.
Check the events that were organised in Edinburgh last year on the bikeweekedinburgh site.
Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ride, TryCycling | 1 Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 24, 2008
January is the only month when TryCycling in Edinburgh organises two rides. Not always the best time of year for the ‘nervous and novice’ to try cycling but it catches a few who have made some sort of New Year resolution.
TryCycling has a good record of converting ‘new’ cyclists to regular ones – and often into cycle commuters.
Sunday’s ride will leave The Meadows (junction of North and Middle Meadow Walks) at 10.00 and visit Portobello via the Innocent Path. (East Edinburgh leaflet on edinburghpaths.info)
Posted in ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 23, 2008
There have been plastic bicycles - with steel gears and chains.
There have been bamboo bicycles, (this one has normal wheels), and even steel with bamboo cosmetics.
Wood is the main material for the range of LikeaBikes, which have transformed the way children learn to ride – start without pedals.
But THIS is ALL wood! Even the chain and the impressive ratchet system.
It’s a school project rather than the ‘next big thing’ but it just shows that bicycles continue to inspire people to be creative.
Posted in Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, EducatedTravel, technology | 1 Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 23, 2008
High profile events, especially tragic ones, raise the media temperature of issues from youth crime to cycle safety.
Last week’s death of racing cyclist Jason MacIntyre is the spur for a discussion about how to make conditions safer for cycling.
Friday’s Radio Scotland edition of Riddoch Questions (1.15 – 2 pm) has citycycling editor Anthony Robson arguing that “we need more cyclists on our roads”. Lesley Riddoch is notoriously argumentative and combative, but at least she cycles – and writes books about her experiences.
Anthony “believes more bikes on the roads will make conditions safer and lead to fewer accidents’. He thinks “more mutual respect is needed between motorists and cyclists and wants to see Scotland becoming more like other European countries where bicycles and cars sharing road space is the norm”.
Spoiling for a fight the pre-programme publicity asks: “Are you a driver who thinks cyclists cause accidents? Are you a cyclist who thinks motorists drive like they own the road? Has Jason’s tragic death stopped you or your kids cycling? Is it time to consider the solution of putting cyclepaths on pavements? Will it ever be safe to take to two wheels in Scotland?”
If you are reading that on this site you perhaps know some of the answers – so why not “have your say” on Friday – call (free) from 1 pm on 0500 92 95 00 or email Lesley@bbc.co.uk or text 80295.
Posted in bike security theft, Bikes on trains, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, HEALTH, holidays, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, TryCycling, walking | 4 Comments »
Posted by chdot on January 23, 2008
Partly as a reaction to the recent death of top racing cyclist Jason MacIntyre, a petition to the Scottish Parliament is being prepared. The exact wording is still being finalised but is likely to include things like a call to “improve cyclist awareness amongst drivers and pedestrians”.
See the proposed petition (comments welcome) on the Braveheart Cycling Fund Chat Rooms.
Posted in citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 21, 2008
It’s over three years, and Cycling England asked for £250m. However its current budget is only £10m p.a., so it’s a significant increase.
The money will go on another 10 Cycling Demonstration Towns AND “the first large Demonstration City”. It will also be used to “allow an extra 500,000 10 year-olds across England to take part in Bikeability cycle training by 2012″, and add “another 250 Safe Links to Schools”.
The Scottish Government is still exploring “with key partners sustainable travel demonstration towns across Scotland to reduce car use and promote cycling and walking”. This was first outlined in Scotland’s National Transport Strategy published in December 2006. Scotland’s Demonstration Towns will therefore be about travel choices, not just cycling. It’s expected that there will be between four and eight.
It appears unlikely that Edinburgh will be one of them – not because it is too big, but because the Council is unable to demonstrate the commitment or enthusiasm that some other authorities have.
The Scottish Government is going through the final stages of proposals for it’s 2008 budget. Local cycle campaign Spokes has been lobbying hard. Today, because of the Department for Transport’s announcement, it has e-mailed MSPs pointing out that “only some 1% of Scottish Transport spending goes on cycle projects, and the proposed Scottish budget is likely to bring a further fall. It would be shocking if Scotland sees a decline in cycle spending at the same time as a major increase south of the Border!”
Spokes submission (PDF)
Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, paths, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Spokes maps, TryCycling, walking | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 19, 2008
Edinburgh’s newest adventure playground officially opened this morning.
Transgression Park is billed as an “Urban Freesports Destination”. So that’s space and expertly shaped plywood to do adventurous tricks with skateboards and BMX bikes.
The Park’s designer, professional BMXer Dave Sowerby wasn’t there to see the first day’s play. Ken Smith (standing in photo), of the venue’s organiser EHX, said that Dave finished a “twenty two hour shift” at 10 a.m. this morning just in time for the first public session – so he had to go home.
Members (£25 p.a. – non members pay £2 per day) had enjoyed a few free practice sessions earlier this week.Sessions costs £5.50 for between 2 and 6 hours – depending when they are.
Background story in citycycling. | Dave Sowerby’s photos of the building of TP.
Posted in bike shops, citycycling, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on January 15, 2008
That’s the Evening News headline today! (Graphic Evening News)
More work on the tram line means that “the 19-week closure for Shandwick Place gets under way in the second week of February”.
The good news is that even more people will choose to cycle as a sensible way of getting around.
The bad news is that it’s far from clear if any thought has been given to cyclists. Lothian Road and Haymarket are not too ‘cycle friendly’ at the best of times and bikes are banned on the Western Approach Road – part of the diversion route.
Added to that there will be lots of frustrated motorists driving in unfamiliar semi-circles. Perhaps that’s why there’s no sign of the Council (or its arms-length company TIE) actually promoting the idea of ‘cycling to beat the jam’.
Assuming Shandwick Place isn’t shut to pedestrians, expect more illegal pavement cycling…
March update – pretty much as expected.
Posted in ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Safety, Spokes, Trams, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | 3 Comments »