Are you ready? As our countdown widget shows, the hours are ticking ever closer to the moment when we all gather at the Meadows to Pedal on Parliament. We hope you’re planning to join us (and that you’ve already signed our petition). In order to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, please follow these simple guidelines:-

Before you go:

  • Check your bike. People will probably have pumps, inner tubes and repair kits on the day but there won’t be a Dr. Bike so do check your tyres, brakes and chain before you set off. If you have a flat or other mechanical problem during the ride the chances are nobody will have time to help you so you will have to do the WALK OF SHAME with your broken bike, and nobody wants that.
  • Coming by train? Check our guide to taking your bike on the train – and do be prepared to be flexible about when you go because space is limited. Now is the time to get that Brompton you’ve always wanted (or possibly a little too late) – or check out renting or borrowing a bike in Edinburgh.
  • Coming from further afield? There’s still time to organise a feeder ride – or join one of the ones already advertised. Contact us on Hello {at} Pedalonparliament {dot} org if you need more information.
  • Plan your outfit – and your bike’s outfit. In particular, a good placard explaining why you’d like to see safer cycling in Scotland can make the difference between us being perceived as a bunch of cyclists and people with a message to get across. Get the right wording and you might even make it onto the telly. Balloons, pennants, flags and banners will make for a cheery day. If all else fails, download one of our posters and attach it to your bike, or your person.
  • Check the route – we’ve got a wee video and explanation here along with some guidelines of what to look out for. We’ll be posting marshals at the trickiest points to warn people of any hazards but it helps if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going.
  • Check the forecast – we’ve arranged for it to be sunny, but all the same, this is Scotland in April, so there may be a last minute onslaught of snow, hail, hurricanes or plagues of frogs.

What to bring:

  • Your bike, if you can, but no worries if you can’t. There will be plenty of folk on foot and the pace will be slow enough for everyone to keep up,
  • bell,
  • A camera (and join our flickr group),
  • Emergency rain wear, if only to make absolutely sure it doesn’t rain.
  • A picnic. Either eat at the Meadows before we set off, or at Holyrood after we arrive. There won’t be time to pop into a shop on the way, and any cafe in the vicinity is likely to be rammed with hungry cyclists.
  • A placard.
  • Several hundred of your closest friends and family members. Even if they don’t cycle themselves, they want to see you safe, don’t they?

What to do:

  • Gather at the Meadows from 2pm onwards. Meet up with friends, or make some new ones; complimenting someone on their bike is the best way to start up a conversation. We’re expecting at least one POP romance (if not a POP baby) out of this, you know.
  • Chat to the good folks at the Spokes and other stalls and join up if you haven’t already.
  • Pick up any litter you see (and obviously don’t drop your own … well, you wouldn’t would you?) – we want to leave the Meadows more or less as we found them.
  • Follow the instructions of the marshals (in sky-blue hi vis vests) or the police at all times
  • If you have a problem, or see someone needing help, contact your nearest marshal. Or if you can help out yourself, then do so.
  • Keep it slow. Most of the route is downhill on and on cobbles. There will be a lot of bikes, some ridden by kids, some by novices. There is no prize for coming first.
  • Enjoy yourself! It’s going to be a blast.

Afterwards:

  • POP volunteers will be circulating with clipboards asking for your name and email address. We promise we won’t bombard you with spam or switch your electricity provider on you – we just want to be able to contact you if needed. For instance, when budget time comes around again, we’ll see just how much those political promises of ‘support’ for cycling are worth…
  • If you’re going home by train, spread your journey out to avoid a mad rush and people – and bikes – getting left behind.
  • If you came on a feeder ride, contact your feeder buddies to see when they’ll be heading home. You may not go back in a big bunch, but even a little group of 4 or 5 can feel safer than tackling the streets alone.
  • Took photos? Add them to our flickr group.
  • Post any video footage online and let us know via twitter (@POPScotland) or email – use the #pop28 hashtag
  • If you’ve got a blog, why not write up your day and let us know? We’d love to hear how it went from every perspective, & we’ll be linking to any we find.
  • Remember, the petition will still be online, so keep spreading the word. We’re going to officially lodge it with the Parliament a few weeks after the event and the more people who have signed the better it will be.

Together, we can make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation!

On the Day