It’s almost time: the countdown clock is almost run down, the last handlebars have been flyered, the last posters have been put up, the last few tweets are going out, the last feeder rides added to the list. We hope that you will be joining us, Graeme Obree and several thousand of our closest friends as we gather in the Meadows at 3pm on Sunday to Pedal on Parliament.
For those attending, we hope everything will be straightforward, but here are a few reminders of what you can bring and do to make POP as successful as possible:
– unlike last year, once at the Parliament, we will be asking people to park their bikes in the cycle parking provided (there will be marshals keeping an eye on it). Please co-operate with the police and marshals on this. We know your bike is precious and we’ll do everything we can to keep it safe – but the police are worried about over-crowding and they don’t want to have to factor in thousands of bikes as well. If people don’t park their bikes, then the police may start turning people away. Make sure you bring a lock, and a bike that you’re happy to leave unattended.
– if you can, please bring a bicycle bell, so we can make a joyful noise to break our minute’s silence. For those with GPS or smart phones, take a GPX trace of your journey to PoP. If you can make a great placard or poster to bring with you then please do. Many people are bringing (or dressing as) pandas, which will make for great pictures. But above all don’t forget to WRITE TO YOUR MSPs telling them you support our manifesto. If you bring actual letters on the day we’ll deliver them on your behalf – give them to one of the PoP organisers, who will be wearing pale blue vests and worried expressions.
– if you’re coming on a feeder ride, be aware that many of them will deliver you to the Meadows – but it may not be practical for them to muster everyone to take them back again from Parliament. If you’re worried about getting home, talk to your feeder ride organiser about the best route to take, or make arrangements to meet up with some of your fellow ride participants to buddy up on the way home. Or, if you can get your hands on the excellent Spokes cycle maps of Edinburgh, bring them along so you can plot your own route home – or help someone else.
– if you’re coming by train, be prepared for there to be more bikes than places on the trains. Don’t panic. It’s more important that you come along than that your bike does. Please don’t try and cram your bike on the train, and please cooperate with others if you can, and don’t take up wheelchair spaces unless specifically directed to. If you have a folding bike, then bring it. And consider using coaches as well as trains – most will accept a bike if it’s in a bag and reasonably flat. There’s guidance on our Getting There page on taking your bike on a coach.
– like it or not, on the day you will be seen as an ambassador for cycling. We’re sure you’re all incredibly polite and thoughtful anyway, but now is the time to turn your thoughtfulness up to 11. On the way in please obey all traffic laws, and if you’re using shared use paths please ride slowly past any pedestrians (especially any of the Kiltwalkers – give them a cheer as you pass!) and gently ting your bell to let them know you’re coming. Don’t drop any litter and if possible pick up any stray bits that you see. Smile, be cheerful, be friendly and be considerate and do everything you can to spread our message.
We hope to see you all on Sunday. Together we can make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation