Archive for the ‘BikeStation’ Category

Government Relies on Spokes Statistics

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

and explains:

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 »

Mountain Biking ‘Boosts Scottish Economy’

Posted by chdot on February 24, 2008

supplied by Forestry Commission Scotland

“The 7stanes mountain bike project has helped to boost the economy in southern Scotland by increasing the annual visitor spend to over £9m in 2007, according to an independent survey published today (Sunday 24 February).”

The report – 7stanes Phase 2 Evaluation – shows that “visitor numbers to the trail centres area have more than doubled since 2004, rising to some 400,000 per year.” One significant bonus is that the project has helped create 205 ‘full time equivalent’ jobs in southern Scotland.

The favourite destination for many Edinburgh mountain bikes is Glentress. Partly because it is relatively close but also the quality and variety of trails, the impressive bike shop ‘in the middle of nowhere’ and also (not least) The Hub Cafe.

Glentress is also an ‘aspiration destination’ for young people who might not normally get the chance to go. Recent funding from the Scottish Government and the Lottery will pay for 200 youngsters to experience the trails at the end of  Bike Building Courses run by The Bike Station.

Posted in bike shops, BikeStation, Craigmillar Cycles, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, ride | Leave a Comment »

Have You Had YOUR Bike Stolen?

Posted by chdot on February 18, 2008

If so, Napier University journalism student Charlotte Morgenthal would like to hear from you.

She’s writing a piece for Student about “bike security and theft prevention” and looking for (presumably sad) personal experiences.

If you have a story email her (CharliAbendberg At before Wednesday.

CyclingEdinburgh set up a Flickr group last year where people can put a photo of their bike and add a full description (NOT including frame number) on-line so that it’s instantly available if the bike gets stolen.

Not many people have used it. Perhaps bikes have become disposable items to many people. Certainly a lot of students seem to leave them locked in tenement stairs and around university buildings when they finish their studies!

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

Happy New Year

Posted by chdot on January 1, 2008


Cycle more

Drive less

Sell the car

Join the City Car Club

Lend ‘spare’ bike to a friend

Go on a short ride: TryCycling in Edinburgh rides

Go on a long ride: Edinburgh to St Andrews Cycle Ride, Pedal for Scotland

Go on a very long ride: North Sea Cycle Route

Visit somewhere new – (e.g.) Transgression Park

Check out Edinburgh’s Core Paths Network

Join a club you didn’t know existed: (e.g.) Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club, The British Human Power Club

Try a magazine that’s not just about racing or mountain biking: (free samples) A to B, Velovision

Put some photos in the Cycling Edinburgh Group on Flickr (it’ll show up on the side of this page)

Put some in the citycycling Group on Flickr and it may appear in the gallery section of the Edinburgh based on-line  magazine citycycling

Add details of your bike(s) to the Bicycles in Edinburgh Group (in case of theft)

Add some photos of streets, cycle paths, facilities to the CamCycle database and wait for news of an Edinburgh version of the Journey Planner….

Learn how to fix your bike

Fix your own bike – (tools provided)

Take part in a Bike Week event (e.g. Edinburgh’s Bike Week Film Festival) – or consider organising one

Collect a full set of Spokes maps

Watch out for Transition City developments

(Think) About Road to Copenhagen 2009

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, BikeStation, bikeweek, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, TryCycling, walking | Leave a Comment »

New Spokes Map Available

Posted by chdot on November 26, 2007

After weeks of waiting it’s now available in all good bike shops and on-line.

This is the 8th edition of the Edinburgh map produced by Spokes and published in the 30th anniversary year of the “Lothian Cycle Campaign”.

A lot of volunteer effort has gone into the maps over the years. They have undoubtedly helped to encourage more people to cycle in the City. They show off-road paths, cobbles, hills, one-way streets, bike shops etc.

Spokes also publishes maps for each of the adjoining Lothian council areas. Earlier this year it helped Go Bike! publish a cycle map for Glasgow. (Buy any four of the five maps for the price of three.)

Profit from the maps has part funded a range of initiatives including Castlecliff Bicycle Workshop – which developed into The Bike Station – and TryCycling in Edinburgh.

Posted in BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Glasgow, HEALTH, Maps, Midlothian, paths, ride, Spokes, Spokes maps, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Deal Done over Peartree Pint

Posted by chdot on June 28, 2007

Award winning filmmaker Chas Nairn (right) has agreed to make a film with the Bike Station. After last week’s World Premiere of his new film Extended Family he was approached with the idea of documenting The Bike Station‘s next Build a Bike Course which is being run with a group of young people from Granton in North Edinburgh.

The aim is to produce both a guide to what the course actually teaches and also record how those taking it develop from being fairly inexperienced bike fixers to more competent mechanics. In addition it is hoped that some of the footage will be used in conjunction with film of other Edinburgh projects such as those like Craigmillar Cycles, to highlight some of what is happening in Edinburgh.

Chas met the Bike Station’s Training Manager Steve Hynd (left), who will run the course, in the Peartree’s Beer Garden to discuss the plan. Filming starts tomorrow, Chas will show extracts from his new film, including scenes from Glentress. A day there is part of the Build a Bike course.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, Safety, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Fix Your Own Bike – Daily

Posted by chdot on June 15, 2007

For six days in Bike Week The Bike Station is offering the chance to Fix Your Own Bike. Monday 18th June – Saturday 23rd 1pm to 5pm (7pm on Wednesday). “For £3/hour, (plus costs of parts – second hand and new), you hire a fully-equipped workstand, with all the tools you need, which allows you to work on your bike, under the expert supervision of a qualified mechanic.” For the rest of the year this service is available Wednesday 4pm to 8pm and Saturday 12 to 4pm.

Additionally in Bike Week (same hours as above) you can have a FREE cycle safety check.

Posted in Bike Week, BikeStation, bikeweek, citycycling, commuting, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Safety, technology | Leave a Comment »

Full List of Bike Week Events

Posted by chdot on June 13, 2007

Bike Week in Edinburgh begins on Friday with a film about Robert Millar.

After that there are nine days with more films, Bike Breakfasts, Rides and much much more.

Full details at

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, BikeStation, bikeweek, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ERC, Exhibition, paths, ride, Spokes, Sustrans, TryCycling, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Bicycle Film Festival Programme Announced

Posted by chdot on May 16, 2007

Programme design – Jenny Leask at Filmhouse. (PDF 1.7Mb)

Details of next month’s Edinburgh Bike Week Film Festival have just been released. It’s bookended by a couple of films about Scottish racing cyclists. The Festival opens with Robert Millar – The High Life a fascinating TV documentary about one of the country’s most enigmatic and mysterious sportsmen. It coincides with the launch of a biography by sports journalist Richard Moore who has just been in Bolivia reporting on Chris Hoy’s adventures.

The final film is The Flying Scotsman, the exciting tale of troubled time trial and track star Graeme Obree. The film premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last year and will finally get its UK release in July. This special preview screening is being sponsored by Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative to mark its 30th birthday.

In between there are films about bicycle gangs in New York, the latest from local filmmaker Chas Nairn, the drama Beijing Bicycle, a Canadian Critical Mass movie, a Jacques Tati comedy, and also the winners of the Wheel to Reel 2007 competition.

Tickets go on sale at the Filmhouse on Friday.

Posted in Bike Week, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, holidays, Spokes, tandem, TryCycling, walking | Leave a Comment »

Bike Station Seeks Mechanic

Posted by chdot on May 1, 2007

Edinburgh’s biggest bike project, The Bike Station, is looking for another mechanic.

The main part of the job would be fixing donated bikes for sale to the public or distribution to other projects or individuals. The Bike Station carries out a range of other activities that the new staff member would help with.

The deadline for applications is Friday the 4th of May. Full details.

Posted in BikeStation, citycycling, commuting, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Spokes | Leave a Comment »