March Meeting

A quick note for those who missed it!

Pedal on Parliament

Pedal on Parliament will be held on Sunday 19th May, 3pm (note the new date). As it’s a Sunday, getting people and bikes up to Edinburgh will be complicated – unless you’ve got a folder or are going on foot, then the train will be a non-starter. The plan is to try and arrange transport for both bikes and people – maybe carpooling or (ideally) a van or trailer. If we park at one of the park and rides, we can then ride in as a group, which should be safer for families or those not familiar with Edinburgh or comfortable cycling in city traffic. We might also be able to tag along on one of the feeder rides.

Please spread the word about this as widely as you can – it’s for everyone from hardened road cyclists to people who would like to cycle but don’t feel they can because of the conditions now. Families are especially welcome and the ride itself is not long (1.5 miles) and will be very slow. And in response to those who have asked – there is no requirement about wearing a helmet or even bringing a bike. The important thing is to turn up. We’ll aim to do a photo call beforehand, and one at Parliament for the whole Dumfries and Galloway contingent, so that our local politicians know this is not just an issue for Edinburgh. We’ll also be inviting all of our MSPs along for the ride – and delivering letters to those who can’t make it.

If you would like to help with organising transport please let us know (Cyclingdumfries AT gmail DOT com) and if you can help spread the word through your school, workplace, cycling club or just around friends and family there are posters and resources here (and some flyers will be available for distribution as well). We have already had word that one person will by cycling through from Moffat on the day; if anyone else wants to do the whole thing by bike let us know!

Campaigning priorities

Our chief priority for the next year will be to continue to press for safe cycle routes to all schools in the town. We’ve already identified the ways that the four secondary schools could be connected to the traffic-free network (here and here). The next step will be to try and step up the pressure – ideally with the schools. We will also continue to identify missing links in the network and lobby for those to be filled. Finally, we will keep the pressure up on winter gritting and clearing of cycle paths. The weather this year has shown that some routes can be almost unusable for significant periods of time and there seems to be no political will to do anything about this.

Future events

We’ll be running our summer rides again as usual – so any volunteers to help out with these, please get in touch. We’re also doing two Easter rides in conjunction with the council Easter activity programme and Rhian – unfortunately the vagaries of the council mean we have to charge for these! Hopefully next year this won’t be a requirement.

That’s it! The next meeting will be Thursday 11th April (note, not the first Thursday again) – hope to see you all there

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