Let’s not just Beat the Streets – let’s improve them

With the Beat the Street game well underway, we were pleased this morning to note that our team were second on the average points leaderboard  – showing just how handy a bike is for getting about Dumfries.

Beat the Streets leaderboard
Go team Cycling Dumfries! We’ve got off to a great start

It’s even better to see so many primary school kids taking part, with Heathhall School topping the leaderboard overall. Given Scotland’s woefully low figures for physical activity among children, this can only be a good thing. We hope that for many people, this game will be the nudge they need to get walking and cycling around town even once the game is over. As our summer rides show, there are plenty of good routes to cycle around the town, if you know where to look!

curly wurly bridge
Using the new dropped curb at the ‘curly wurly bridge’ in Lincluden. For years there wasn’t one, until it got listed on CycleScape.

However we also know that there are plenty of places where Dumfries could be improved for cycling and walking, especially the routes kids take to primary school and beyond. A few years back we listed many of the bigger missing links – and there are plenty of small barriers too (some of them literally barriers like at the new Aldi). As we reported last year, we’re using CycleScape to collate these barriers, and we know that the council are listening, even if they don’t always respond immediately.

Beat the Street map
Beat the Street – where will it take you?

So as you walk, cycle, run or scoot around Dumfries collecting points for Beat the Street – especially if you’re going places where you might not normally walk or cycle – then please do keep note of the things that you would like to see to make it easier not just for ‘hardened’ cyclists but for those who can’t necessarily ride in among the traffic on the road.

You can report things direct onto CycleScape (you’ll need to create an account) or you can email us (cyclingdumfries@gmail.com) and we’ll add them (and take up the issue) on your behalf. Sometimes things can be quite quickly fixed, others take longer – but the better we make walking and cycling in the town, the more likely it is people will keep being active on their own initiative, without any games to do so. And that will benefit us all.

And speaking of games – we still want to make sure we win! Do please join us if you haven’t already, and join us on Tuesday afternoon for a group ‘beat box hunt’ around town before our monthly meeting. Meet on the Whitesands opposite the Coach and Horses at 5:30, followed by the pub at 6:30 having worked up a bit of a thirst …

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