It’s perhaps not all that startling that Dumfries’s cyclists (a notoriously hungry bunch) should be willing to turn out for a free breakfast – but we’re always pleasantly surprised by the number of new-to-us faces that show up at our big bike breakfast, and the quality of the conversations and interactions that follow.
We had MSPs from all parties representing the region, as well as senior council officials and councillors, including Council Leader Ronnie Nicholson who came by at the end. As always, they were impressed by the number and variety of people on bikes who showed up (including several school kids) – it all helps remind them that when we’re moaning about a bridge being closed or a link not being built, we’re reflecting the needs of a wide range of people.
This year we asked experienced commuters to ‘bring a buddy’ and there were a fair few novices who showed up – so chapeau to them and those who encouraged them. We hope that they will continue riding as and when they can – and we’ll continue to press for improved conditions for cycling so that they can enjoy the freedom and joy that cycling brings, rather than feeling embattled as can happen.
To that end, we encourage everyone to sign up to Cyclescape, where we will be gathering suggestions for improvements to the bike network around Dumfries. It’s very easy to use and hopefully will feed into the council’s cycling strategy long term.
BJ’s catering van made a huge difference to the organisation of the event – so thanks to Bill and Janet for their help and delicious breakfast rolls, and to the Co-Op for providing some of the supplies. Thanks also to Ross Anderson (formerly of Kirkpatrick Cycles) for being our Dr. Bike (and getting one impressively punctured bike back on the road) and Derek Hughes of Police Scotland for running the bike marking. As always we’re grateful to the council for the chance to set up our tanks (or catering van) on their front lawn – and at the cost of the council leader’s parking space too!
Thanks too to everyone who turned up to help out on the day – we can’t run it without you – to everyone who donated (or joined us) to support the cost of the event, and of course to Dumfries’s army of cyclists who showed up, and who do their bit every day to keep the town moving.