No Football – 2008 Opportunity for Cycling

Posted by chdot on November 26, 2007

Image from Cycling in Edinburgh 2007 leaflet.

So – no ‘Home Countries’ playing in Europe next June (UEFA EURO 2008™). Great opportunity for more to be made of Bike Week (14-22 June). Which will again include the Bike Week Film Festival.

Bike Week began in 1923 “as a grass-roots organisation”. It is now an annual PR/marketing initiative to promote cycling on behalf of the bike industry and the big cycling organisations, including Cycling Scotland.

For the next three years the Bike Week contract is with Forster and Limelight, probably best known (in cycling) for the recent Hovis London Freewheel where 138,000 cyclists had 14km of central London to themselves on Sunday 23rd of September. Imagine (a fraction of) that happening in Edinburgh in Bike Week in June or European Mobility Week in September next year…

To encourage the running of Bike Week events in Scotland Cycling Scotland is organising a Bike Week Seminar on 12th of February (2008) at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh –  “giving expert advice on all aspects of Bike Week from deciding what type of event to put on, best practise in event organisation, PR and promotion and information on the various benefits that Bike Week can offer.”  

In July next year there is (as usual) the Tour de France (5th – 27th). Though as it starts in Brittany not Britain next year (London this year), UK coverage is likely to be less inspirational. In August there is the Beijing Olympics (8th -24th) including, for the first time, BMX racing.

Of course whether top level sport is a good way of encouraging people to have-a-go is always an open question. During the Wimbledon fortnight a few more racquets are sold and balls hit against walls.

Cycling is much than just a sport. It’s transport, convenient exercise, fun and even (for a few) a way of life! What’s needed to encourage (more) cycling are better facilities – largely the responsibility of local and national government – greatly helped by Sustrans and the availability of good quality Cycle Training – especially in primary schools.

Another good way is just having more people cycling. It makes it normal and visible. Edinburgh is doing quite well, though it’s years away from Copenhagen – compare Edinburgh with THIS!

Daily cycle use is increasing significantly in London where there is a political will and appropriate cash.

Things might be different in 2008 with some will, planning and (individual and collective) action.

One Response to “No Football – 2008 Opportunity for Cycling”

  1. […] No Football – 2008 Opportunity for Cycling […]

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