Our Big Bike Breakfast is becoming something of a fixture in Dumfries’s cycling calendar, and we were pleased to welcome record numbers of commuters on Friday for a hot bacon roll (we do offer a vegetarian equivalent, but there were no takers …), tea or coffee, and most importantly lots of bike related chat.
Despite a slight hiccup with the roll delivery, we fed around 70 cyclists, councillors and council officials. Police Scotland provided an officer to do bike marking and give advice on keeping your bike secure from thieves. I wasn’t able to talk to everyone who came, but there were many intense conversations going on, and much admiring of each others’ bikes …
Ronnie Nicholson, leader of the council, showed up, as did a number of other councillors including Jeff Leaver, Colin Smyth and Archie Dryborough, and local MSP Elaine Murray (looking extremely ‘cycle chic’ on her bike). On the officers’ side we had Alastair Speedie, Director of Planning and Environmental Services, Peter McCormack, Douglas Kirkpatrick (who gained bonus points for coming in on his day off!), and Eddie Whitefield, who was there to greet us well before 7am to make sure the parking area was clear and we could get into the building. We often complain about things the council do – after all, that’s part of what we’re here for – but it is encouraging to know that they are willing to provide us with space for the breakfast, and also show up and talk to people about what they’d like to see changed. If we don’t tell them, after all, how else will they know?
Now we need to turn some of those conversations into real action. The bigger we are, as a campaign, the more people we can speak for, and the louder our voice will be. Everything we do in Cycling Dumfries is down to the volunteer efforts of our members. If you want to see things continue to improve for cyclists in Dumfries, then please do join us – it’s just £5 a year – and help to make our voice louder.
Thank you to everyone who made it happen – the council for providing a splendid and prominent venue (and clearing out precious car-parking spaces!), our volunteer cooks and organisers, JB Houston, Greystone Rovers and Morrisons for providing the food and the means to cook it – and to the cyclists of Dumfries who came, and who also help keep the town moving, day after day!