Archive for the ‘ERC’ Category

New On-line Forum for Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on November 19, 2009 and CityCycling (the Edinburgh based monthly on-line cycling magazine) have teamed up to create – a new forum “for people who cycle in and around Edinburgh” (though a wider view is welcome).

The idea is to create a site where any aspect of cycling (and particularly encouraging more of it) can be ‘discussed’, questions asked – and answered.

Various forum headings have been created but they are not definitive. The forum is designed to develop as more people register and post (including you? – please tell your friends). Anyone can view but registration needed before posting – just a username and e-mail (not publicly revealed).

Rules are simple “No personal insults. No swearing”. That’s working so far.

Posted in Active Travel, citycycling, Climate Change, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training,, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, HEALTH, Maps, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans, TryCycling | 3 Comments »

Cycle Speedway Action Retry

Posted by chdot on November 5, 2009

Last Sunday’s planned cycle speedway open session was severely rained off. The track was only suitable for seagulls.

Edinburgh Falcons will be hoping for better weather this Sunday (8th) – currently (Friday morning) the forecast is quite promising.

If it’s not raining too much why not ride along to Redbraes and take part (bikes and equipment provided) or watch the fun.

“Start time is 1pm with a registration period open from 12:30pm”

Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Core Path Network, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, openstreetmap, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety | 4 Comments »

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 »

citycycling .issue 48 – Now Online

Posted by chdot on June 5, 2009

Includes participant’s report on last Saturday’s folding bike race.

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ERC, Exhibition, Physical Activity and Health | Leave a Comment »

Another 20 miles

Posted by chdot on March 12, 2009


Edinburgh is fortunate to have a wide range of places to explore in the city, its suburbs and surrounding countryside. It’s possible to devise routes using mostly off-road paths and quiet roads.

There are various groups organising rides to suit most sorts of cyclists including TryCycling (usually 5 to 10 miles) and CTC Lothians (up to 70 miles). Edinburgh RC organises fast rides.

The 20 Milers is an informal group that meets once a month at the top of Middle Meadow Walk (just off Lauriston Place) – anyone can go along. This Saturday (March 14th) the destination will be the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena near Ratho. does a good job of listing all ‘known’ rides.

Posted in ChangingPace, citycycling, cycle racing, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ERC, Midlothian, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety, Spokes, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, CTC, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, European Moblity Week, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, HEALTH, Maps, paths, ride, Safety, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, TryCycling, walking | 1 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 »

Cycle Bar Planned

Posted by chdot on June 13, 2007

‘Sports Bars’ are quite common. The idea originating in America, where the sports tend to be baseball or (American) football. They are generally an excuse (as if one were needed) to watch Satellite TV and drink beer. In Britain the sports may remain American or perhaps be soccer.

Edinburgh is set to see “the first cycling-themed entertainment bar in the UK”. As a result of its sponsorship of ERC’s Women’s Race Squad, the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor is about to turn an underused bar into a meeting place for cyclists.

At present it’s in gloomy contrast to the rest of the swish West End establishment. General Manager Guy Hilton, (a keen Mountain Biker), is promising a spring clean and a coat of paint and an official opening to coincide with the London start of the Tour de France on the 6th of July.

However the hope is that it won’t just attract people only interested in racing. There’ll be a notice board to highlight the wide range of cycling related activities around Edinburgh. The bar can also be booked for meetings and social events.

This Saturday (16th) ERC members are meeting at the Flamme Rouge (as it will be known) for coffee and croissant at 8.30 before heading off along Princes Street at 9.30 to get Bike Week off to a colourful start.

Guy is looking for a range of cycling material. Some of the photos currently on display at the Filmhouse will be used to brighten up the walls.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ERC, Exhibition, ride | 2 Comments »