Momentum is building for Sunday’s Pedal on Parliament ride with support coming from Olympic champions Sir Chris Hoy and Chris Boardman. This year the ride will be led out by former world champion cyclist Graeme Obree, joining the families of Andrew McNicoll and Audrey Fyfe, radio presenter and pantomime star Grant Stott, and thousands of other cyclists from around Scotland. Organisers are hoping for a turnout to rival last year’s record 3000 numbers, despite the coldest spring in recent memory, with groups coming from across the country, from Inverness to Dumfries. The ride, which is calling for safer cycling in Scotland, will be supported by MSPs Jim Eadie, Alison Johnstone, Sarah Boyack, and Kezia Dugdale who will be riding a tandem along with MP Ian Murray.
Sir Chris Hoy, Britain’s most decorated Olympian, said
“As someone who has enjoyed competitive sport for many years I obviously have an interest in supporting and nurturing the cycling stars of the future. However, cycling isn’t just about winning medals, it’s an activity for everyone, be they cycling for sport, transport or just for fun. Thus I believe it is incredibly important that Scotland invests in safe cycling for all. Unfortunately I can’t attend Pedal on Parliament 2, however, I thoroughly support the aims and objectives of Pedal on Parliament and I urge as many cyclists and non-cyclists alike to attend.”
Chris Boardman, former yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France, and who has been calling for the adoption of the Get Britain Cycling report, said
“The benefits of getting more people to cycle in terms of health and improving the places in which we live are clear. We need to be ambitious and set ourselves quantifiable targets to increase the number of people on bikes. Only then will we have a yardstick against which we can measure our every action and policy. This is how we go about winning gold medals at British Cycling because we know it is the only way to be successful. The Pedal on Parliament event is a great way for people to make sure their voices are heard on safer cycling in Scotland and I hope it is a great success.”
The event itself will be a light-hearted ride, but with a serious purpose. The most recent road safety figures for Scotland show that the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians killed and seriously injured has actually risen. Just recently, the sentencing of a driver who killed Audrey Fyfe triggered huge anger when it was revealed that he had already killed another cyclist 25 years earlier, yet would be allowed to drive again in just five years. Her family, who have pressed for an appeal, attended PoP last year and will be doing so again on Sunday.
After we sent out the press release saying that “So far, however, no government ministers have confirmed they will be attending”, we received the news that Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, is planning to join us and an unexpected message of support
— Keith Brown MSP (@KeithBrownMSP) May 16, 2013