It always takes the POP team a few days to fully assess each Pedal on Parliament. There is such a huge build up to it, and the demonstration itself is hectic, so a few days rest and reflection is always welcome. Mind you, we’ve already been discussing POP 2016 (and we’d appreciate your feedback to help us plan it better).
One of the things we’ve reflected on is the fantastic amount of help we’ve received in making this year’s POP happen. Yes we have a POP team scurring away in the background, but we are just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Please charge your glasses and let’s toast those who helped us make POP happen….
On the day, it’s important to keep you all informed, all heading the right way, all in the right place and flowing smoothly. This would not be possible without our volunteer marshals. Those ladies and gents in blue hi-vis did a splendid job in making it all happen. We’ve received many comments on how smoothly everything went, and that is down to them. Thank you!
We are fortunate to have closed roads and this only happens with the help of Edinburgh’s finest. The police were on motorbikes, bikes and foot and they kept everybody right with a smile on their faces. We know many of them support the cause as well, so we thank them for their help and continued support.
Of course the closed roads wouldn’t happen without the help of Edinburgh council. The council have been excellent in helping us organise the event and in getting all the permissions in place. It’s not always politically easy to close roads for a demonstration, but they have helped us in every way they can. Thanks!
Money makes the world go round, and unfortunately we also need some to help make POP go round! We have flyers, posters and banners to print, sound systems to hire and numerous other expenses to deal with. However, we are very fortunate to have generous supporters who have supported us by donating funds. Many thanks for your generosity!
Another special thank you goes to Andy Arthur for another set of fabulous poster and t-shirt designs. We’ve heard nothing but compliments about them. It really does give POP a well-recognisable identity. We look forward to seeing how he will get five people on a bike next year!
This year, POP didn’t just take to the streets of Edinburgh, it took to the streets of Aberdeen too! We didn’t actually organise that— we just don’t have the time to organise a demonstration elsewhere! It was the concerned cyclists of Aberdeen that decided that enough was enough and, with only a little bit of help from us, took the campaign to the North. Well done Jyll Skinner, Henri de Ruiter and the Aberdeen Cycle Forum for organising the first satellite POP!
There are many places online where the word is spread about POP, but there is one place in particular where we receive a huge amount of help. The members (and organiser Chris Hill) of CityCyclingEdinburgh have been fantastic in helping us, advising us, and generally rallying troops right from POP 1. POP would be nothing without you guys!
Thank you also to those who helped spread the word in the ‘real world’! Flyering, handlebar flyering, chatting and shouting….it all helped! We’d also like to than the shops, cafes, universities, and businesses that helped either by leadleting themselves or taking our leaflets and displaying our posters. Thanks also to Spokes, Go-Bike and other campaigns for their help and support.
Thank you to all our feeder ride organisers who make sure that cyclists can reach the Meadows from near and far – especially this year, when some of the longer rides were the only ones that got caught in the rain. This year we had rides from Glasgow, Peebles and Fife as well as all points of the compass within Edinburgh. Special mention must go to our furthest cyclist Melanie Newbould from Elgin. Yes, she did cycle to POP from Elgin! No, she didn’t do it in one day! Where will our furthest feeder ride come from next year?
No campaign group would be complete without a secret HQ. We’d like to thank our not-so-secret-anymore HQ, Laid Back Bikes, for letting us get in the way of legitimate business. Definitely a bike shop worth visiting if you like your bikes a little unusual.
A special thank you also to the Bike Station Edinburgh. When one of the POP organisers managed to snap his key in his d-lock, Alan came to the rescue! (It only took 2 minutes 30 seconds to cut through the D-lock…)
POP is a positive campaign and are forward-looking in our approach. However, it is incredibly important to remember why we do it. Unfortunately, cyclists have lost their lives on the roads. We feel humbled by the fact that many of the families of those who have lost their lives support our cause and come along on the day to support us. Audrey Fyffe’s family came along and her daughter, Aileen, was busy helping distribute flags on Middle Meadow walk. George Fairley’s son Stewart came along to POP and, for the first time since his father’s death, cycled a bike. Andrew McNicoll‘s family, Ian and Lynne, have supported us for many years. Unfortunately, they could not make it this year as Lynne is currently being treated for cancer, but they donated Andrew’s bike to one of our team who rode the bike at this year’s POP in his memory.
To all of the families, we thank you for supporting us and we will do everything we can to make sure that other families do not need to experience your loss.
Finally, we would like to thank you. Yes you. You came in your thousands, despite the apocalyptic weather forecasts and you sent a strong message to our politicians. You behaved impeccably, you left the Meadows and the grounds of the parliament exactly as you found it. You smiled, you waved, you cheered, you cycled, you walked and rung your bells. We couldn’t ask for more.
But wait…..This is not the end. POP doesn’t finish with POP4, far from it. In fact next year being the year of the Scottish election is likely to be our most important. To keep informed please follow us either by joining our Facebook Group, on Twitter or join our mailing list. That way you can be sure to never miss a thing!