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Archive for January, 2007

Cycle to the Gardens

Posted by chdot on January 31, 2007

EPGOD.jpg
In addition to the excellent Doors Open Day, the Cockburn Association (Edinburgh’s ‘Civic Trust’) organises the Edinburgh Parks and Gardens Open Day (EPGOD)

The aim is “to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of Edinburgh’s urban green spaces through increasing intellectual and physical access to public and private parks and gardens within the city. Edinburgh Parks and Gardens Open Day also aims to put the importance of green space for biodiversity, health and recreation on the city agenda.”

So why not plan a route to see a selection of this year’s Open PaGs (Saturday May 5th). Check last year’s programme (PDF – 3MB) for an idea of likely participants.

If you would like to open your Edinburgh garden or greenspace for the event or know of anyone else who may like to, contact Caroline Lambie at the Cockburn Association: 0131 557 8686.

The great thing about cycling between the venues is that you won’t have to worry (too much) about parking and you can appreciate bits of the city that you might not be familiar with. Perhaps TryCycling in Edinburgh will organise a special ride!

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Maps, paths, ride, TryCycling, walking | 1 Comment »

Road Works Encourage Cycling

Posted by chdot on January 31, 2007

“A GLUT of roadworks across the city is causing misery and frustration for thousands of motorists and bus passengers.” That’s the story in today’s Evening News.

“Drivers today said the level of disruption is as bad as they can remember, adding up to 30 minutes to journeys between home and work.”

“The city council admit there are more major road projects going on at the moment than there have been for many months.”

“And the problems for motorists are likely to worsen in the coming months when the Capital’s huge tram project gets under way.”

Anyone who cycles through the centre of Edinburgh – especially in the evening ‘rush’ hour – knows that bikes are a better option. Unfortunately many people who “would like to cycle to work” are still too nervous. TryCycling in Edinburgh has helped people to feel more confident by taking part in its monthly rides.

Some parts of Edinburgh (particularly the north side) have good traffic free routes. In others it’s possible to find ways along side streets with less traffic (some detailed here).

For cyclists, one problem with ‘road works’ is that the basics aren’t always dealt with. The CTC recently launched its FillThatHole site where you can report potholes etc.

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, HEALTH, TryCycling, What the papers say | 1 Comment »

Glasgow Wins EMW Challenge

Posted by chdot on January 29, 2007

Commuter Challenge Results 22.9.06
Commuter Challenge Results, Edinburgh 2006

Glasgow City Council’s European Mobility Week programme has been declared “Best in the United Kingdom” (details). The Council organised a week of events with cycling and walking figuring in many of them. The aim was to raise the general awareness of the links between transport and climate change. This “helped individuals to make an informed decision about their personal transport choices”.

A ‘Commuter Challenge’ for Councillors and Council staff was organised in the morning peak hours, “in order to illustrate and compare the implications of different transport modes for climate change”. Edinburgh held a similar event, but this has almost the only EMW activity in the city last year.

European Mobility Week is held in over 1300 towns and cities (56 in the UK). Edinburgh’s involvement in EMW has been variable over the years. One element of EMW is “In town, without my car!” – often called Car Free Day – this is always on 22nd of September. In 2002 this was a Sunday and the Council organised a successful event in George Street. This was repeated in 2003 – though on Sunday again not the 22nd.

In 2004 money was given to Lothian Buses to run free buses on the September Holiday Monday and interesting stalls were set up in the City Chambers Quadrangle, though the weather wasn’t kind! The 2005 theme was Clever Commuting and Edinburgh produced a range of events and promotional activities good enough for it be awarded the “Best in the United Kingdom” title.

Councillors and officials in Edinburgh have always been wary of being branded “anti-car”, so the idea of a Car Free Day road closure has always been ‘difficult’. This year’s EMW theme is “Streets for People” so there is a lot of scope for concentrating on how people use ‘public space’. It’s not just about walking, cycling and Public Transport use. Streets are more than just conduits for travellers. Edinburgh with its many festivals knows that.

One problem with the idea of European Mobility Week, is the word mobility, which in the UK seems to be associated with the word “problem”! Planning has already begun for this year’s EMW (it’s always 16-22 September), but it won’t just be a single week of activities. Work with schools (for instance) will highlight the issues throughout the year.

If you are thinking of running an event that could fit the “Streets for People” theme – or just want more information – contact the organisers.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Maps, paths, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Single Speed World Championship Date Announced

Posted by chdot on January 26, 2007

sswc2007.jpg

After months of quiet negotiations with a number of landowners, the confirming call to the organisers (the self-styled “The Telly Savalas Players Club”) came today.

SSWC 2007 will be on September 1st & 2nd (Race Day) in Aviemore.

So book your holidays – whether you are planning to race, drink or watch. Unless you have been before, any Single Speed World Championship will be a (fun filled) surprise. The Scottish version even more so!

Keep an eye on the official web site sswc2007.com for details.

Aviemore is 3 hours north of Edinburgh by train. Will ScotRail put on extra trains or extra cycle capacity (booking free but essential to Aviemore)?? In keeping with the party spirit, visitors from London (or overseas) might like to start their Highland weekend at London Euston on the Sleeper.

AND THEN – on the 3rd (until the 9th) – there’s the Fort William UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships – only 60 miles away!

Cycling, Scotland, September!

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bikes on trains, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, holidays, ride, sswc07 | 2 Comments »

Critical Mass Starts New Year

Posted by chdot on January 26, 2007

CM1.07 5
Almost 50 people turned up for Edinburgh’s first Critical Mass of the year, which is a significant improvement on December’s bunch of five!

Perhaps this year it can be the first event of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay with hundreds of riders, from Edinburgh and around the world, bringing bicycle lights instead of fiery torches.

Critical Mass is a celebration of cycling, but occasionally regarded as ‘giving cyclists a bad name’ for briefly delaying motorists. Whether you agree or disagree, have your say after the screening of (We aren’t blocking traffic) We Are Traffic! on Monday 5th of February at 6.30pm – part of the Winter Bicycle Film Festival.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh | 2 Comments »

CTC Solves Pothole Problem

Posted by chdot on January 26, 2007

http://fillthathole.org.uk
OK that’s an exaggeration, but it has made reporting problems a (w)hole lot easier!

Once again the internet has produced a useful tool to (quickly) record problems, and make them available to the people who should fix them AND to other people who might have thought about reporting the same thing.

Edinburgh has had the Clarence service for years where potholes, broken lights etc. can be reported by ‘phone or e-mail. The new CTC site (fillthathole.org.uk) has the benefit of Google Earth which has a skimpy road map (not many cyclepaths) backed up by a satellite image. The whole of Edinburgh has been covered by a high resolution image since just before Christmas. This has given a big boost to mapping Edinburgh routes on-line.

As CTC Director Kevin Mayne says “Potholes and other road defects are more than just a nuisance; they’re a danger to cyclists. They’re responsible for 12% of compensation claims by CTC members, and local Councils have a duty to fix them. Reporting problems like this can be a chore, but our online facility has made it quick and easy.”

The CTC has also created clearthattrail.org.uk for off-road routes, though whether having two separate sites is a good idea remains to be seen!

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Maps, paths, ride, TryCycling, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Journalist Gets Bike Back

Posted by chdot on January 26, 2007

christian wolmar
Photo Mike Pead

“Britain’s leading transport commentator” Christian Wolmar recently had his bike stolen. A few hours later he got it back. This is one of the stories on his website.

He also writes about a trip to see the cycle facilities in Huddersfield. He found some well designed routes but says that “the problem is that there are insufficient links to the Greenways”. Overall verdict – “It was an instructive trip showing that it takes more than goodwill and some good infrastructure to attract people back onto their bikes.”

This won’t be news to anyone involved in cycling in Edinburgh – campaigners and Council officials alike. One problem is due to the arcane financial rules constraining local government. There are clear distinctions between ‘capital’ and ‘revenue’. It can be relatively easily to get money to build things – even cycle routes – but smaller sums for maintenance or promotion…

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, paths, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Film Deadline Extended

Posted by chdot on January 25, 2007

If you’re struggling to edit that cycling masterpiece before the last post today – RELAX. The deadline has been extended until Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th). So you’re still in with a chance of the £300 top prize.

The Bike Film and Animation Award was launched last year “to showcase bike culture at Bike Film Festivals across the UK”. ‘Best Action’ & ‘Documentary’ submissions should be a maximum of 12 minutes. ‘Animation’ submissions should be a maximum of 4 minutes. All must be made within the last 4 years.

As well as the prize winners, a selection of films will be sent on the ‘Ten-city Tour of Britain’ organised by Independent Bike Film Festivals across the UK.

Andy Salkeld of Leicester Bike Film Festival said; “We’ve had films submitted from Canada, USA, Brazil and across the UK so far. Which is so sweet for our first year. Engaging, irreverent and passionate films are preferred”.

“The aim of the Awards is to encourage people to make their own films, start festivals and have fun creating the new bike culture.”

More details

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Oscar for Bicycle Film Festival Director?

Posted by chdot on January 23, 2007

Edinburgh’s second Bicycle Film Festival in February is showing an early work by Stephen Frears. Today he has been Oscar nominated for his latest film The Queen.

A Day Out , directed by Frears, ” is a beautiful, simple picture of a Halifax cycling club’s outing to Bolton Abbey in the summer of 1911.” It was also the first work for television by Yorkshire born writer Alan Bennett.

It’s showing at Filmhouse on Sunday 4th of February at 6.00pm (preceded by Jon Snow Cycles Italy “A delightful documentary featuring Channel 4 newsreader, Jon Snow”).

Details of all films.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, TryCycling, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

BBC Comes to Town

Posted by chdot on January 19, 2007

Bingham Bicycle Club
Eight young people from the newly formed Bingham Bicycle Club went to the Bike Station today.

They are taking part in an eight session Build a Bike course run by Steve, Training Manager at the Bike Station. The BBC has been organised by local policeman Mark Thomson. He has also managed to get use of premises in Bingham where the Club will have a base and be able to maintain their own bikes.

Next week eight more people from the Craigmillar area will also learn about bike building.

More information about cycling in the Craigmillar area at CraigmillarCycles.info

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Craigmillar Cycles, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »