Archive for May, 2009

Bike Week Looms

Posted by chdot on May 31, 2009

Less than a couple of weeks away it’s that annual celebration of cycling that adds a few extra organised rides to the streets of the Capital – and elsewhere throughout the UK.

Find your nearest ride (and a range of other events) on the official Bike Week web site’s Google map.

Some events seem to be offshore – no doubt a technology failure/operator error!

Once again Edinburgh has two fine fixtures – Spokes Bike Breakfast on the 17th and the Bike Week Film Festival (11th to 13th). The breakfast is free, films are at normal Filmhouse prices.

Posted in Active Travel, Art, Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Physical Activity and Health, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans | 1 Comment »

citycyclingedinburgh ‘team’ ready to race

Posted by chdot on May 30, 2009

.citycycling editor .ant robson waits in the Grassmarket pits for this evening’s folding bike race. (Full programme)

Unless the heat cools a lot he’ll wish he hadn’t worn those trousers! Racers are supposed to ride in ‘businesswear’ but judging by previous races (in London) many will be wearing shorts.

He is in with a chance of the best dressed rider prize. He also has a moderate chance of winning the race on his CyclingEdinburgh sourced Birdy – which has 21 gears. Most bikes in the race will be Bromptons, with many fewer gears.

CyclingEdinburgh is also providing ‘race support’ and ‘tactical advice’…

Shouts of ‘come in No. 9 your time’s up’ may not be appreciated.

Updates on Twitter – in right hand column.

Posted in Active Travel, citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, HEALTH, Physical Activity and Health, ride | Leave a Comment »

Rapha Ride Today

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 »

Copenhagen Comes to Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on May 28, 2009

Sustrans womens

Anyone familiar with the web site (a celebration of cycling in a city that has taken bikes seriously for years) will probably have come across Copenhagen Cycle Chic “Streetstyle and Bike Advocacy in High Heels”.

Originally a photo record of well dressed, normal, people (mostly female) going around the Danish capital in all temperatures. It now is increasingly recording people in other cities.

So it seems certain that some photos from Sunday’s Sustrans event will feature there soon! (Pictured here are two of Sustrans‘ Edinburgh staff.)

“Dozens of fashion-conscious cyclists are expected to join the colourful ride along the city’s cycle routes dressed in their favourite outfits.”

“Men are also invited to join the ride, which starts at Haymarket Yards, next to Haymarket Rail Station, on May 31st at 12pm. It will last about one and a half hours along National Cycle Network routes to the north of the city centre. There will be prizes for the most glamorous riders and also a ‘Bling Your Bike’ competition to find the most dressed up bike.”

It seems certain that the riders will cross those on the regular monthly TryCycling In Edinburgh ride which starts at Ainslie Park Leisure Centre at 10.00 taking a leisurely three hours to ride to Cramond and back.

Posted in Art, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, paths, ride, Sustrans, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Edinburgh Council Signs Cycle Treaty!

Posted by chdot on May 26, 2009

brussels treaty

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 »

Places Left for the Folding Nocturne

Posted by chdot on May 26, 2009

Grassmarket Nocturnes

Fancy racing around the centre of Edinburgh – legally and without traffic? The Nocturne Series is coming to Edinburgh on Saturday.

Unless you’ve already signed up, you’ll only be able to watch the ‘proper’ racing on the course which starts and finishes in the Grassmarket and takes in the climb (and cobbles) of Victoria Street.

There are still a few places in The Folding Bike Race. Half the people so far registered will be riding Bromptons. Others have a variety of folders including a “Raleigh (IKEA special!)”.

You’ll need £12.50 entry fee, (plus £5 for 3rd party insurance – unless you have a British Cycling license), plus a folding bike (and the ability to fold and unfold it fast), PLUS something that will pass as ‘businesswear‘ – it’s sort of a commuter race. (Racers will go up Victoria Street three times – so perhaps not too many layers…)

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel | 1 Comment »

This is Progress?

Posted by chdot on May 18, 2009

The contraflow has been removed from George IV Bridge to reveal a brand new pavement, a drop-off bay for the hotel and a short section of hard to reach cycle lane.

Posted in Cycling News | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

You Might Be Surprised By The Answer…

Posted by chdot on May 11, 2009

greatest threat

“Winner of The Congress for New Urbanism CNU 17 video contest. This short film explores the connection between New Urbanism and environmental issues.” –

The solution doesn’t seem to involve bicycles!

Posted in Active Travel, bike security theft, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, EducatedTravel, Peak Oil, Safe Routes to School, Safety, walking | Leave a Comment »

More needs to be done for “Vulnerable Road Users” – Official

Posted by chdot on May 8, 2009

Photo blackpuddinonnabike

Improving Road Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists in Great Britain is a new report from the National Audit Office. It reports that “the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured fell from 2000 to 2004, but rose again by 11 per cent from 2004 to 2007, despite the amount of cycling staying broadly constant.”

“Nearly one quarter of all trips are one mile or less, and over 40 per cent are within two miles and so potentially suitable distances for either activity. Improving the actual and perceived safety of walking and cycling will help to increase the uptake of these activities. Improving child safety on the roads is also a key strand of the Government’s Public Service Agreement to improve the safety of children and young people, who are more dependent than adults on walking and cycling.”

The report concentrates on the Department of Transport and so some of it is not directly applicable to Scotland, but issues are largely the same with many responsibilities in the hands of local authorities.

  • Executive summary (PDF – 250KB)
  • Full report (PDF – 1268KB)
  • Press notice (HTML)

    This report comes just after the CTC released “Safety in Numbers” which conclusively proves that increasing the number of people cycling (and the amount they cycle) has a very positive effect on safety.

    ctc diagrams

    Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, CTC, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, Safety, TryCycling, walking | 1 Comment »

    citycycling .issue 47 – Now Online

    Posted by chdot on May 8, 2009


    citycycling .issue 47 – may 2009.

    Posted in Active Travel | Leave a Comment »