Get on your bike on Thursday …

… and take it down to your local polling station for the council elections, if you take it nowhere else that day. And while your bike doesn’t get a vote, maybe you could still vote with your bike. The council have responsibility for most of the roads in our area – and the winter maintenance budget – so having councillors who understand what cyclists need and are sympathetic is hugely important.

Obviously, your vote will be influenced by more than just cycling matters, but you can now put the candidates in order of preference. You make your vote count most strongly by ranking all of the candidates. If nothing else, what they have said or done about cycling could act as a tie-breaker further down the order. You still have a couple of days to find out what your candidates think about cycling so get in touch if you haven’t already.

After the ride: relieved smiles all round for Russell Brown, Roger Grant, Elly Hurren, Yen Hongmei Jin, Jeff Leaver, Gail McGregor, Elaine Murray, Ronnie Nicholson, Alsastair Witts and Bill Wright. Ian Blake (not shown) attended on foot

As well as those candidates who turned up at last week’s Council Candidates cycle challenge, who you may have had a chance to talk to in person, a few of them have also sent us statements of their policies below.

Tom McAughtrie – Labour, Abbey Ward

I am fully supportive of your aims. I used to cycle from home to school ,and from home to work. Living near the town centre I tend to walk everywhere, nowadays. But there are occasions when I have seen vehicle drivers totally disregarding cyclists, particularly at traffic lights and road junctions.

Charles Milroy – Conservative, Abbey Ward

My family are all keen cyclists and at this very moment I’m planning a trip to the Unit 23 indoor Skate Park in Dumbarton for my eldest son, navigating the minefield of bikes on public transport. We are keen users of Mabie Forest with the kids enjoying the Mountain biking facilities, however I will confess to preferring to run when out as I have to pass annual running fitness tests in the TA and would find carrying a 25kg bergan on a bike a bit of a challenge!!!.

With respect to integrating cycling into transport strategy I have viewed the Dutch and German models over the years with envy, my wife being German. I am of the opinion that we should seek, wherever possible, to try and extend and improve our cycleways throughout the region and increase public awareness of progress that has been made in this direction over the years.

Yen Hongmei Jin – SNP, Lochar Ward

Yen is calling for more cycle tracks in her campaign literature (as well as bravely getting on her bike for the first time since childhood for the challenge)

We can update this over the next couple of days if we hear anything more from any of the other candidates – and if you hear anything yourself, let us know

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