Archive for the ‘bike shops’ Category
Posted by chdot on March 26, 2010
The Scottish Parliament Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee has just reported on its “Inquiry into Active Travel”. (Call for submissions)
A wide range of organisations and individuals contributed evidence. The report calls on the Scottish Government to act in many areas and explicitly says that without significant action (and money) there is no change of the SG’s target of 10% of journeys by bike by 2020 being remotely possible.
“Benefits of investment in active travel
191. Alex Macaulay of SEStran expressed the view that “the capital cost of providing for good-quality active travel is relatively modest compared to other major transport investment.” He went on to say that “…it seems to me to be a no-brainer that in times when money is tight we should put it where we will get a bigger bang for our buck.”
The concluding sentence in the report is – “Stronger, more effective and sustained leadership is required from the Scottish Government in order to implement improvements to walking and cycling policies in Scotland.”
Will Scottish Ministers – for Finance, Transport, Health, Education etc. actually sit down together to discuss this document?
Will Alex Salmond ever ride a bike?
Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, Curriculum for Excellence, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans, walking | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on December 3, 2009
It’s only been open a few months (Eastside Bikes in Abbeyhill) but already owner Nik Antestenis is planning his exit strategy. It’s not that he’s made a fortune and is cashing in – bike shop owners seldom become ‘well off’. He’s returning to the States for sound family reasons.
So (in the middle of next year) there’s an opportunity for someone to take over a business that already provides a modest living, and has lots of potential.
Of course you’ll need a bit of cash and a fair amount of knowledge of bike fixing – the main business is repairs and custom builds of ‘classic’ bikes. You’d also need to be good at dealing with ‘the public’. Some still think that keeping bikes safely on the road is a low grade skill, that they can’t do themselves, but should be available for a fraction of the price of a plumber…
Nik has established a customer base of local people and others who want their ‘dream’ machine (often a fashionable single speed) built from one of the interesting frames hanging in the shop.
Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, Physical Activity and Health | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on October 12, 2009
Still from video of video
A few days in London confirm that cycling is ‘hot’. Cycle commuting is rampant – multi-colours of Bromptons, monotones of yellow jackets, obsessions of speed.
Many examples of fashion on wheels – one gear wonders (a lot of London is fairly flat), and plenty of retro/traditional styling – from ‘Europe’ or England. In truth, some of this is concentrated in trendy/studenty parts of the city.
Transport for London has an overview of Public Transport, the Congestion Charge and also cycling. With millions of people travelling daily it’s a big job and comes with a relatively big budget. The Cycling section of the tfl site is useful. You can order any (or all) of the 14 free cycle maps.
The ‘next big things’ are Cycle Hire – a variation on the Paris Vélib’ – and the Superhighway. Both due to arrive next summer.
Edinburgh is thinking about its own Vélib’ variation and also plans to spend £150k on a “corridor”.
The London Superhighway plan is reasonably ambitious, though not without its critics (LCC demands Cycle Super-highways, not superficial highways). It’s not going to turn London into Copenhagen any time soon.
The most obvious feature is that the lanes will be BLUE. and there is a ‘promise’ for a minimum width of 1 1/2 metres. In addition the blue won’t stop at junctions and the surface is planned to be “smooth” with some remedial actions before the new tarmac is laid.
tfl regards this as revolutionary and has good reason to encourage cycling – basically it’s cheap. It keeps people out of their cars, reducing congestion and making bus services more reliable. It also reduces pressure on the tube.
In Edinburgh ‘transport’ is mostly the responsibility of the Council. At present much thought and money is being spent on trying to get the Tram on track. Unfortunately too many councillors and officials seem agree with the the new RAC Boss that cycling is a ‘niche mode of travel’ (which should therefore be ignored). Hard to imagine an Edinburgh councillor replacing Boris on a banner like this.
Perhaps when the tram is finished things will be different – but the planning needs to be started sooner. Perhaps Superhighway Blue could be used on Marchmont Road to replace Fading Red.
Edinburgh has a wide network of on and off-street cycle facilities. Throughout the Tram works cycling remains an effective way of getting around the city, offering easy parking irrespective of roadworks.” (From EdinburghTrams.com)
Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Lothian Buses, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, technology, Trams, walking | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on October 2, 2009
Edinburgh’s largest cycle shop, (and one of the UK’s biggest bike businesses), has released a list of dates right up to next March for its highly popular maintenance classes.
Classes include “Foundation Course in Cycle Maintenance” (£27.47 for a half day) with an all day “intensive” version (£47.96 including lunch!). There is a women only version too.
The largest number of courses are available in Edinburgh, but they are also offered in Aberdeen, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds. In addition EBC could “turn up at your club, school, workplace, corporate entertainment centre, or wherever with tools and workstands and teach you cycle maintenance there” – all for a reasonable £35 an hour.
Posted in bike shops, citycycling, commuting, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Physical Activity and Health | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on August 5, 2009
UPDATE: A civil servant has suggested that the headline should say “Holyrood Relies on Spokes Statistics”. “Cycling in Scotland” is produced by the Scottish Parliament not the Scottish Government. It’s assumed that the report’s author looked for statistics from the SG first. It’s also assumed that the SG relies on the best available statistics. If there are better statistics than those compiled by Spokes, Spokes would be keen to have them.
SPICe, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, has published a concise briefing document titled “Cycling in Scotland”. Many of the statistics quoted have come from Spokes (The Lothian Cycle Campaign).
Not only does it indicate that Spokes’ surveys of spending on cycling in Scotland are regarded as comprehensive/accurate, it also suggests that no-one in Government is keeping their own tally!
The figures have been compiled for many years by Dave du Feu who has doggedly dealt with Local Authorities – collecting survey answers and compiling the results (and interpreting where necessary). Most Scottish LAs supply information. Getting details from the Government is more difficult.
As “Cycling in Scotland” indicates
“Transport Scotland told SPOKES that it was impossible to disentangle the cycle element of trunk road expenditure, but later told Mike Pringle MSP that it amounted to £2m for financial year 2007-2008, so it is assumed that this amount is spent each year on cycle related projects”
This is a footnote from the detailed table produced by Spokes, but its inclusion in this briefing document is significant. As Spokes reports on its own web site “The Spice Research Briefings are intended as impartial documents to inform MSPs and others involved in the work of the Scottish Parliament. They are independent research publications for the entire Parliament, not decided by or controlled by the party which is in government.”
Overall “Cycling in Scotland” is useful background information for MSPs, campaigners and anyone interested in encouraging more people to cycle. Usefully it distinguishes between the two key areas of cycling as they relate to Government policies -
Cycling takes two main forms:
• a form of transport
• a sport, including track and road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, cycle speedway and cyclo-cross
“This short briefing focuses on cycling as a form of transport. It outlines the legislative and policy framework governing cycling, identifies key organisations and provides cycling related statistics. It goes on to look at sources of funding for cycling projects and the national cycle network.”
This is a useful division and highlights the convention that cycling is either ‘transport’ or ‘sport’. However it is likely that in future a third division will be necessary/desirable.
It is increasingly being recognised that exercise is necessary for good health – physical and mental. There’s a lot of discussion about diet and obesity. Chris Hoy is “Scotland’s first ambassador for mental health“. But money for ‘cycling’ largely comes from ‘transport’ or ‘sport’.
It is quite reasonable to encourage people to cycle to school, shops, work etc. and (as much as possible) record statistics for this, but it probably largely misses the people who cycle for a bit of exercise or to take their kids along a cycle path to the swing park – or just for the fun of cycling!
More importantly the emphasis on ‘transport’ and ‘sport’ perhaps makes it harder to get to people (statistically the majority) who hardly ever cycle – and get the funding to try to encourage them to cycle.
“Cycling in Scotland“ highlights the CAPS (Cycle Action Plan Scotland) process. This is a comprehensive look at ways to increase cycling in Scotland. (YOU can contribute until the 20th of August.) This paragraph outlines some of the intentions
3. For people to have the confidence and the right information to make cycling a realistic choice for some journeys: Provide access to adult and child cycle training and cycle maintenance courses with well trained instructors. Promote the bike-to-work scheme and encourage employers and education providers to become cycle friendly. Produce cycle network maps and an online cycle journey planner.
“Cycling in Scotland” also manages to highlight Spokes’ concerns about funding and future commitment to funding.
Unusually, the CAPS consultation draft was launched without a Scottish Government press release or ministerial statement. Perhaps as a consequence of this, there has been almost no media interest or public comment by stakeholders. However, from what comment there has been it seems that the policy intentions of the consultation draft of CAPS have been welcomed, although concerns have been raised about whether they are backed by sufficient funding. For example Dave du Feu, lead organiser for SPOKES, has stated that “There’s good stuff in the action plan but if they’re not going to spend anything until 2011 – and even then there’s no guarantee that they will – I can’t see it making any difference” (The Herald 2009)
Perhaps the time has come to look beyond ‘transport’ or ‘sport’ for funding. Aren’t ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’ the main responsibilities of the NHS?
Posted in Active Travel, Airdrie to Bathgate, Art, Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, bikeweek, ChangingPace, Chris Hoy, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, CTC, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, Cycling on TV, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, European Moblity Week, Food, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Glasgow, HEALTH, holidays, Maps, Meadowbank Velodrome, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »
Posted by chdot on July 30, 2009
The Lothian Cycle Campaign, Spokes, has just published its latest map – a brand new one for Midlothian.
This is first update for seven years. One addition is the recently opened Dalkeith Bypass which slices through Dalkeith Park.
Unfortunately Spokes has also had to add a short section of “proposed cycle link” – from Millerhill to the new road (because Midlothian Council didn’t think about cyclists enough when they were planning the new road).
The map covers all of Midlothian (apart from the extreme southern tip around Soutra). In addition the southern and eastern extremes of Edinburgh are included – plus East Lothian as far as Prestonpans, Pencaitland and Humbie.
The other side of the map has enlarged, detailed, maps of Bilston, Dalkeith, Danderhall, Gorebridge, Lasswade, Loanhead, Mayfield, Newtongrange, Penicuik, Rosewell and Roslin.
PLUS photos and descriptions of some of the many “Places of Interest” in the ‘county of Midlothian’ – which historically included Edinburgh.
In short the map is a must for residents of Midlothian (including Edinburgh) to help you plan commuter or leisure journeys.
Available now in most bike shops and good book shops and on-line (£5.95 post free – or any 4 Spokes maps for the price of 3).
Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, holidays, Maps, Midlothian, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Shawfair, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, walking | 1 Comment »
Posted by chdot on May 30, 2009
Photo Ben Ingham (from a series available as prints)
As a prelude to this evening’s Nocturne racing in central Edinburgh part sponsor/organiser Rapha is organising a ride around the city.
Rapha is a successful upmarket cycle clothing brand which is trading on a mixture of style (with a distinctly retro/nostalgic feel) and quality.
“Rapha will be hosting a ride in conjunction with our retail partner, Edinburgh’s Tri Centre. The ride will leave the Tri Centre (57-59 South Clerk Street) at 13:00 for a scenic tour in and around the city, visiting various monuments and places of interest along the way. Refreshments will be served before the ride and the ride itself will last between 90mins and two hours.”
Posted in Active Travel, Art, bike shops, citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Physical Activity and Health, technology | 2 Comments »
Posted by chdot on May 26, 2009
City of Edinburgh Council is often criticised for the gap between its (sometimes lukewarm) pro-cycling rhetoric and the realities in the streets. Manifesto pledges for a ‘model cycling city’ are, so far, little more than words.
Things may be about to change. Fairly new Head of Transport Marshall Poulton travelled to Brussels (probably not by bike) to sign the new Charter of Brussels. Surprisingly Edinburgh is the UK’s first city to adopt its principles. (Even accident avoiding London Mayor Boris Johnson missed out on this photo opportunity.)
Marshall and CEC Cycling Officer Chris Brace were in Belgium for Velo-city 2009 – the latest version of the assembly of cycle planners and campaigners that was hosted by Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2001.
The key passage that Edinburgh has agreed to says: “To set a target of at least 15% for the share of cycling in the modal split of trips for the year 2020 and of further growth if this target already is achieved.”
The truth is this is hugely ambitious – but not impossible. The current share is closer to 5%. The target doesn’t necessarily mean a tripling of cycling (though that would be nice). Less car use will need to be a significant factor. More passenger journeys on public transport will be beneficial to all road users, but will do little to shift the balance between 5% and 15%.
Politicians (local and national) have to grasp the reality that having accepted that it is a ‘good thing’ to encourage cycling it will require a significant change in attitudes – AND money. More people need to feel that cycling on normal roads is ‘safe’. There is little scope in Edinburgh for many segregated cycle lanes on existing roads. Maintaining the current on-road cycle lanes properly would be a good start.
Cycle Training for all pupils (in school time) should be implemented as part of the new Curriculum for Excellence. Widespread availability of practical training/encouragement for adults (especially parents of school age children) would be a good idea.
Politicians have to stop believing that voters=motorists. Even where that is true they are also pedestrians, cyclists, shoppers, parents of children too young to drive, children of people too old to drive, etc.
The Charter ends:
“Furthermore, the signers of this charter call upon all authorities worldwide, at all levels to strongly promote cycling and to incorporate cycling into all areas of policy (health, spatial planning, city management, economy, mobility and traffic, leisure, sports, tourism).”
Earlier this year Copenhagen brought an exhibition (Dreams on Wheels) about its cycling vision to the Botanics. Perhaps in a few years Edinburgh will be able to justifiably boast about its own achievements.
Posted in Active Travel, Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, Chris Hoy, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Exhibition, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Glasgow, HEALTH, holidays, Lothian Buses, Maps, Meadowbank Velodrome, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, technology, Trams, TryCycling, walking | 2 Comments »
Posted by chdot on March 23, 2009
Cambridge cycle campaigners Martin (front) and Simon have every reason to look pleased with themselves!
They have just pressed the button to remove the password protection on CycleStreets.net. The pair were also responsible for the seminal Cycle Journey Planner in Cambridge produced because of their computer programming skills and active involvement in the Cambridge Cycle Campaign.
Over a year ago the idea of a similar CJP for Edinburgh was raised with the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Transport section. A fairly small sum of money (not the mega-millions spent on some UK Government computer projects!) was found to make this happen.
Originally a public website was planned for September, but computer projects usually overrun… This time it was for a good reason. It was realised that, with a bit of extra time and effort, A Cycle Journey Planner to cover the whole of the UK would be possible.
You can’t plan a route from Land’s End to John o’Groats - the main purpose of CycleStreets is to encourage more local journeys by bike (or on foot). At present the maximum distance is 30 km (as the crow flies).
The Planner gives a choice of route – shortest, fastest, (which are often the same – though as the software was developed in Cambridge, which is essentially flat, hills are not accounted for – yet…), and “quietest”.
The accuracy of this depends on the quality of Open Street Map data. As soon as you start using CycleStreets you will notice familiar urban streets are sometimes marked as “quiet country road”! The good news is that anyone can improve the OSM info.
Why not plan a route using edinburgh.cyclestreets.net and consider adding improvements to the Open Street Map.
If you are not sure where your planned route goes you can even “fly through” in Google Earth!
NOTE CycleStreets is currently “beta” – still some bugs to be found and squeezed. Simon and Martin are wanting cyclists to send them feedback about any problems using the button at the top of all pages.
Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, CTC, cycle parking, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Maps, paths, Peak Oil, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, TryCycling, walking | 4 Comments »
Posted by chdot on July 11, 2008
Richard Dowsett has been running his cycle shop for just over a year. He has just produced a short video (just over a minute) which promotes his shop – and cycling in Edinburgh generally.
Previously known as Great Bikes No Bull, the Leith Walk shop has been rebranded as Leith Cycle Co. He explains on the video:
“What I love about cycling is the freedom, the exercise, the countryside you get to see and the speed you can see it. What I wanted to do when I got into this industry was just get out to people and show them what bikes they can ride and how easy it is and how accessible it is, from really cheap to really expensive.”
The You Tube video is the latest move to promote a new business which is benefiting from more people cycling and suffering from the effects of the preparatory work for the tram which is causing people – especially cyclists – to avoid Leith Walk.
Posted in bike shops, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, Trams, walking | 1 Comment »