We’re a grass roots campaign of cyclists forming a cross-section of Scottish cycling: commuters, road racers and club members, mountain bikers, long-distance tourers, Dutch-bike riding city cyclists, urban single speeders, tweed-wearing rural cyclists, plus those who just like getting from A to B quickly – and the way to do that is on two wheels. But whatever our differences we are united by our desire to make it safer and easier for everyone to ride a bike – whatever bike they ride.

Andy Arthur (age 29 ¼) After owning various bikes over my life that spent most of their time quietly gathering dust in a corner, a bursting-the-seam-of-my-suit-trousers moment while trying to lift a large plant pot was my epiphany. I resolved there and then to “do something” about the state of my waistline. I dug the bike out, blew off the dust, pumped up the tyres and took the bold step of starting to cycle to work. Three years later and five stones lighter, cycling has completely changed my life. I am now fitter, more active, more mobile, more confident and healthier than ever. Cycling has opened up new friendships and relationships with people, introduced me to a sport and gotten me actively involved in my own community as a good citizen. My personal experiences have so convinced me of the merits of cycling – for the individual, our cities, our country – that I am enthused to do my bit to make cycling better and safer for all. Evangelism isn’t a requisite for cycling, but it is highly contagious!

Dave Brennan: I’m a helmet camera using cycle commuter in Glasgow (Torrance). I love it! It’s fun, it keeps me fit, it’s quicker than driving the car, and it benefits the environment. The VAST majority of my commutes are fun and incident free. Sometimes though things happen that endanger me and others. So I film my commute and post it on YouTube.

(http://www.magnatom.net/)

 

Sara Dorman: I love the ease and simplicity of travelling by bike, getting some exercise, and fresh air. With two small children and a full-time job, I don’t have the time for a gym membership or classes, but cycling to nursery and work has kept me active and saves me time on my commute. So why do people keep telling me that I’m ‘brave’ to cycle? Find out more at DeadDogBlog and on Twitter.

Dave du FeuDave du Feu is a long-standing member of Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign, who only learned to cycle in his 20s, but since then has used a bike almost every day for work, shopping and most other local travel. Possibly mildly eccentric, a mathematician and an avid veg gardener, he has a driving license but has never owned a motor vehicle or a TV. This, he says, is the key to health – forget diets and deliberate exercise! And, yes, his 2 now-adult sons survived the experience. His particular interests in Spokes have been lobbying government and councils for increased funding; and encouraging ordinary members to take individual action rather than believing that an organisation can do everything by itself. Details – DaveduFeu on twitter and flickr.

Kim Harding is an Edinburgh based (with an international outlook) Ecologist, bicycle rider, accidental cycle campaigner and sometimes cycle trainer, blogger, former fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor. Can be outspoken, but well meaning and just wants to make the world a better place. Find out more at  the Ubiquitous Blog or on twitter.

Sally Hinchcliffe is a writer and editor who escaped London in 2008 for the empty roads and rolling hills of Dumfries & Galloway. She is a board member of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain and writes their weekly ‘blog round-up’ of what’s going on in the world of bike blogging. She also recently started Cycling Dumfries to campaign for better cycling infrastructure and conditions in the town. She blogs at Town Mouse but mostly about the weather and only occasionally about cycling

Keridwen Jones: I’ve always loved bicycles but it was only recently that I began using my bike for commuting rather than just leisure. Last year I moved up to Edinburgh to study for my MSc and quickly discovered that for navigating this city, nothing beats a bike for saving time and money. I lost weight and gained fitness without consciously setting out to do so. I joined Pedal on Parliament because I am keen to introduce others to the wonder of actually enjoying my morning commute but recognise that many people are put off by the dangers that they perceive come with cycling on the capital’s roads.

Bruce MacDonald: I work in both childcare and medical admin, and credit my relatively new uptake of cycle commuting to the fact there’s a completely car-free route from my home to my office. Last year it was a great feeling to let kids ride through their own country’s capital without worry, so I’ve signed up as chief marshal this year, but the ultimate aim is to get Scotland’s cycling safe enough that no-one’ll need me.

denise_on_a_bikeDenise Marshall started cycling in rural USA as a young teenager to get across town without needing to wait to get a lift from her parents. Over 15 years later, she still cycled as her main form of transportation here in Scotland. Now with a baby in tow, she’s anxious about cycling and wants to see the roads made safe enough for her wee one to have the same chance at freedom and to enjoy the fresh air from A to B. She’s has lived in Cambridge, Edinburgh and Falkirk and has seen first-hand what different levels of cycling provision can do for her safety and enjoyment as a cyclist.

Alan Munro is a part-academic, independent researcher who works between social science and computer science. He was until recently Convener of Go Bike (Strathclyde Cycle Campaign). His experiences in cities in Europe such as Amsterdam, Berlin, and Copenhagen showed him what cycling could be and his travels in the wider world, seeing the pace of development in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, showed him what happens when cycling gets sidelined, and cities gradually succumb to gridlock and petrol fumes. It taught him that cycling is not only a pressing issue for Europe, but also for the developing world.

www.munrobius.com

Alex Robertson is a local businessman who works with SMEs and communities all over the UK. He’s been in Edinburgh for 7 years and rides his bike everywhere. He has joined POP because he believes Edinburgh can be a better, greener, cleaner place to live.

@alexdrobertson

Anthony Robson is a solicitor. Working for a bank. And originally from  England . And commutes by bike. It’s as if he actively trying to be hated. He also set-up citycycling.co.uk around 6 years ago, a monthly online magazine that’s completely free to access and which, as the name suggests, has issues affecting urban cycling at its heart. He still likes to think he’s a mountain biker, despite opportunities for death-defying gnarly action being far less frequent than the daily assault course that is  Edinburgh ’s roads.

Hugh Thomas  is a daily cycling commuter in Edinburgh, in awe of the cycling facilities in Netherlands from inflicting cycling touring holidays on his family.. Thinks – why can’t Scotland be like that.. Answer – no reason! So joined Pedal on Parliament to see if he can help it happen.

 

Henry Whaley at POPHenry Whaley works in financial services, and has cycle commuted in Edinburgh for 9 years. Since becoming a Dad, racing bikes have given way to kid-carrying utility bikes. Now a tandem-plus-bike-seat-combo allows him to do the nursery drop-off before heading to the office past queues of unmoving, congested traffic, and frustrated drivers unable to get to work.

Like the rest of us, Henry wants his kids to grow up active and healthy, and with school runs beginning in August and his oldest child keen to cycle independently he would like the school drop-off to be a safe, family cycle. It’s cheaper, quicker, and better for us and our children than taking the car.
If Pedal on Parliament achieves its aims, this could become a reality for many more of us in Scotland, not just the determined few.