Exactly a week today, masses of cyclists will be gathering in the Meadows in Edinburgh to pedal on Parliament. If the discussion in the pub on Thursday was anything to go by, a fair few of them will be from Dumfries and Galloway! If you’re thinking of going, it’s highly recommended – as well as being a protest and a way of improving conditions for cycling right across Scotland, last year was also an amazing day out – a chance to be part of something big and see Edinburgh as you have never seen it before.
Most people seem to be making their own way there, but if you’d like help arranging a lift, then let us know. If you’re planning on taking the train, then do check beforehand – there are very few bike spaces on the Lockerbie to Edinburgh train, so if you’ve got a folding bike then bring one. There are also engineering works affecting some services between Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you’re planning on riding all or part of the way there, then let us know – especially if you’d like to organise a lift back. If you want to drive in and then park on the outskirts of Edinburgh and ride on from there, there are a couple of feeder rides that might be a good option – there’s one from Braidburn Valley Park in South Edinburgh, and Harrison Park in South West Edinburgh. Even if you don’t make the rendezvous, the route they’re using could help you navigate if you’re not familiar with cycling in the city. Also do bear in mind that it will be fine to turn up on foot – you don’t actually need a bike.
On the day
As well as affecting national policy, a good turnout of people from Dumfries and Galloway might just help persuade our politicians that cycling is something their constituents care about. So we’re going to try and gather everyone for a group photo at the Parliament building when we arrive. The tricky part will be meeting up! So please look out for someone holding a sign (or possibly even a Belted Galloway) as this will be the rendezvous. Whether or not you make it for the photo, it’s important that you also contact your MSPs and councillors to let them know that you support the cause. If you bring letters on the day, they will be delivered directly to your MSPs, otherwise you can just email them via Write to Them. Please also take lots of photos and videos and share them as widely as you can – and if you use a GPS or GPS-enabled phone then take a trace of your entire journey to help the organisers make a visualisation of the day. There’s more information about what to bring and what will happen here.
Thank you for your support for Pedal on Parliament – it’s really important that it’s not seen as just an Edinburgh thing, or something for the Central Belt. And we’ll be back to normal (and thinking about our summer rides!) as soon as it’s all over next week.