Archive for the ‘Bike Week’ Category

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 »

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 »

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 »

    Very Cheap Summer Travel

    Posted by chdot on May 1, 2009



    National Express East Coast has just e-mailed its customers (or is that potential passengers?) with details of its latest cheap ticket offer.

    NXEC (it’s still so much easier to say GNER) is letting people travel up and down the East Coast Main Line for a mere £9. The image shows seats available at 9am today, all the way to London, on a randomly chosen date.

    Booking must be done by Tuesday for travel between June 1st and July 26th. There is also a requirement to download a voucher which must be taken on the train with the ticket.

    Of course bikes (and indeed tandems) still travel free. (Booking required).

    Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, bikeweek, citycycling, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, holidays | 1 Comment »

    Big Fun on Saturday

    Posted by chdot on April 23, 2009



    Edinburgh Falcon‘s cycle speedway base at Redbraes Park is hosting a Big Bike Family Fun Day on Saturday (25th) between 11.30 and 3.00.

    As well as the opportunity to try cycle speedway there will be a range of activities to watch and do. (More details)

    In addition there will be a free, basic, Dr. Bike checkup.

    The event has been organised by the Citadel Youth Centre in Leith. 

    Plan a route using the edinburgh.cyclestreets journey planner or meet at the Citadel at 11.15 for an organised ‘walk to the park’

    UPDATE: Watch the video of the fun

    Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, citycycling, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ride, walking | Leave a Comment »

    Government Cycle Policy Published

    Posted by chdot on April 23, 2009


    The new “National Cycle Policy Framework” has been published.

    Our vision is that all cities, towns, villages and rural areas will be bicycle friendly. Cycling will be a normal way to get about, especially for short trips. Next to walking, cycling will be the most popular means of getting to school, both for primary and secondary school. Our universities and colleges will be bustling with bicycles. Business men and women will see the bicycle as the best way to travel for part or all of their daily commute. Shopping by bike will be as normal as it is in many of the Northern European cycling friendly countries. The bicycle will be the transport mode of choice for all ages. We will have a healthier and happier population with consequent benefits on the health service. We will all gain economically as cycling helps in easing congestion and providing us with a fitter and more alert work force.

    A culture of cycling will have developed in Ireland to the extent that by 2020, 10% of all trips will be by bike.

    Yes that’s right it’s “Ireland’s First National Cycle Policy Framework” (PDF) and most impressive it is too with lots of joined-up-thinking evident. Whoever wrote it clearly did their homework. The Bibliography contains a long list of publications from countries and cities across northern Europe (including the DfT, Cycling England and the Mayor of London’s office). Surprisingly there are no references to North America where there are significant pockets of ‘good practice’ in places like Portland.

    It’s not merely aspirational or a wish list. Of course it remains to be seen how much will be achieved in the current economic climate which is (perhaps) affecting this (former) ‘Celtic Tiger’ even more than the UK. However, crucially, the Executive Summary contains the following statement-

    Cost benefit analyses (CBA) attest to the fact that investments in cycling outweigh the costs to a far greater extent than investment in other modes.

    The next sentence is “For example, Benefit / Cost ratios of 7.4 have been shown for cycling training programmes in the UK (SQW, May 2007).” (This was a report to Cycling England).

    Not surprising the new policy document contains ambitious plans for cycle training “There needs to be a mandatory national cycling proficiency programme for all school children in Irish schools starting at primary level and continuing in a graduated manner through to secondary level. This programme should prioritise practical on-road skills. A similar approved national curriculum for adult cyclists could also be developed, based for example, on the UK “Bikeability” programme.”

    Of course Ireland is a long way behind the UK when it comes to cycling policies and provisions – just as the UK is mostly years behind much of Europe.

    In Scotland the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) process is underway. (You may have had your say last year). The Consultative Draft Action Plan was due to be published in February 2009 with the Final Cycling Action Plan for Scotland intended to be published in May 2009. The first date has slipped, so presumably has the second.

    Clearly it will be an important document, there was a lot of genuine consultation with helpful input from a lot of individuals and organisations. Whether it becomes (or even influences) Scottish Government policies only time will tell.

    Cycling issues in the Scottish Government are dealt with under Transport but politicians still generally see cycling as a minor/minority issue often regarded as ‘leisure’ or perhaps ‘tourism’. In spite of the SNP Government’s intentions to see better cross-departmental working it seems that those concerned with (for instance) education and health are happy that cycling is in Transport and Transport is more interested in major infrastructure projects which tend to marginalise cycling (in both policy and financial terms).

    The real responsibility for action is largely devolved to local authorities. Cycling Scotland publishes a review every three years. Edinburgh did reasonable well in the 2008 National Assessment report.

    Posted in Active Travel, Bike Week, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, HEALTH, Maps, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Sustrans, walking | 2 Comments »

    “A Georgian Razzmatazz at Redhall Walled Garden”

    Posted by chdot on June 19, 2008

    If you’ve been to Redhall Walled Garden (normal opening 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday) before, you’ll know what a delightful, tranquil place it is – especially at mid summer.

    When it has one of it’s Open Days there’s even more fun to be had. This year it’s billed as a “Georgian Razzmatazz“.

    “There will be a variety of Georgian crafts on offer such as spinning, pottery, flower orienteering and lantern portraits. There will also be pony trap rides, face painting and an organic café, with the option to purchase plants from the garden.”

    It’s fairly easy to find even though it’s hidden away in the Water of Leith valley in Craiglockhart Dell. It’s at the end of a long driveway off Lanark Road (map) – pass the delightful house created by extending the original cottage designed by Sir James Gowans.

    Alternatively travel along the Union Canal and a short way up the section of the Water of Leith Walkway that used to be the railway line to Balerno.

    Posted in Bike Week, citycycling, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh | 3 Comments »

    Film Fest Final Day

    Posted by chdot on June 15, 2008

    BWFF organiser Maggie Wynn listens to Jacquie Phelan

    Another successful Bike Week Film Festival finishes today with two showings.

    At 1 o’clock there’s 24-Solo about World Champion Chris Eatough – a “rare glimpse into the personal life of the sport’s most successful 24 Hour racer is a rollercoaster of energy and emotion”.

    After a break that will give you time for a ride round Edinburgh and a chance to sample the Filmhouse’s beers and natchos there’s Hardihood at 6.00.

    And afterwards one of the film’s stars, Jacquie Phelan, will talk about Mountain Biking and her involvement in the pioneering racing years. If you were at Klunkerz on Friday you know it will be entertaining!

    Posted in Art, Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, citycycling, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride | 2 Comments »

    Let the Festival Begin

    Posted by chdot on June 12, 2008

    Pioneering Mountain Biker Jacquie Phelan waits for the first film in the Bike Week Film Festival and practices her banjo.

    She appears in Klunkerz (Friday) and Hardihood (Sunday) and will be answering questions afterwards.

    Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, Cycling News, Edinburgh | 1 Comment »

    Tag a Photo, Win a Prize

    Posted by chdot on June 12, 2008

    Photo taken at the Shore by blackpuddinonnabike

    The internet is a dangerous, wonderful place – full of weird ideas and images. Like almost anything, it can be used in good and bad ways! This site wouldn’t exist without free (and easy) WordPress software. The ever changing strip of images on the right wouldn’t be visible without Flickr. You can now share your dodgy Mountain Bike crash video clips through You Tube (or higher quality versions with Vimeo).

    It’s easy to show that cycling is ‘normal’ and ‘fun’ (usually at the same time!) or how it could be made better if facilities were improved. If you are a Flickr user you’ll already know, if not why not give it a try?

    A couple of small prizes are on offer for interesting, arty, unusual or thought provoking images ‘to do with cycling’ taken and uploaded to Flickr between today (the start of Edinburgh’s Bike Week Film Festival) and the end of June.

    The prizes are on offer from Edinburgh and Leith’s largest bike shops – Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op and the Leith Cycle Co. EBC has 5 branches in Scotland and England. LCC just its Leith Walk shop.

    Photos need to be tagged EdinburghBicycle or LeithCycles. EdinburghBicycle tagged photos can be taken anywhere in the UK. LeithCycles ones should be taken in Leith (or close by) – or in some way related to Leith.

    Why not brave the tram works on Leith Walk, count the pubs with outside seating (especially around the Shore) and sample the North Edinburgh Path Network and take some photos, upload to Flickr and tag. Even if you don’t win a prize it will have been worth it!

    The Cycling in Edinburgh Flickr group has 99 members – the hundredth could be YOU.

    Posted in Active Travel, Art, Bicycle Film Festival, bike shops, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, citycycling, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, European Moblity Week, Exhibition, ride | 1 Comment »