LAST year, 3000 people pedalled to the Scottish Parliament to ask for safer conditions for cycling and more investment in proper cycling infrastructure.
At the time, the Scottish Government told us we were pushing on an open door when asking for safer cycling. But that's not what the country's actual spending priorities seem to reflect, with £3bn announced recently to dual the A96 while cyclists get a £400,000 programme to ask drivers not to knock us off if they can help it. The Government seem to believe that cyclists and cycling are not proper forms of transport at all, but something done by only a tiny minority of cranks.
On Sunday, at the second Pedal on Parliament, we will show the Scottish Government that that's not the case: we're everyone. We're the roadies on £3000 bikes doing 100k at the weekend and the families with the mountain bikes on the back of the car driving to 7 Stanes, the seven mountain biking centres spanning the south of Scotland. We're the hardened commuters armoured up with helmet cameras fore and aft and the pensioners ambling down to the shops for the paper.
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We're the mums with child seats on the back of their bikes dropping the kids off at nursery, and the dads pulling the kiddy trailers down the canal path on a Sunday afternoon. We're the people driving to the gym to ride on stationary bicycles because the roads on the way are just too scary to contemplate, and the children looking wistfully from the backs of cars on the school run because their parents can't let them take the risk of cycling to school.
We're the people who go out on a sunny weekend once in a while and the year-round committed cyclists with ice tyres and snow in their beards. We're the partners who worry while their loved one is late coming back from their ride – and the families whose loved ones never came home.
We're not just cyclists, we're people. And more importantly, we're voters.
Alex Robertson, Dave Brennan, Hugh Thomas, Keridwen Jones, Kim Harding, Sally Hinchcliffe, Sara Dorman,
Organisers, Pedal on Parliament, c/o 2 Drumclyer Cottages,
and Ian and Lynne McNicoll, family of Andrew McNicoll;
John Fyfe, Aileen Brown, Linda Hamilton, family of Audrey Fife.