Once more, first and foremost – we want to thank every one of you who came. Without the crowds of people on bikes (and on foot) of all shapes and sizes, Pedal on Parliament wouldn’t be anything. The more people who come, the stronger our voice, and last weekend you made sure our voice was audible from Holyrood.
We also want to thank our child speakers: Kyle Thomas, Daniel Brennan, Katharine Dorman and also the valiant Florence (surname unknown – if you are Florence or her parents we’d love you to get in touch via hello AT pedalonparliament DOT org) who led the chanting beforehand. All the feedback we have had has been that it was the kids who said it best on the day. We know it’s daunting to stand up to speak to a big crowd like that, but all of them were loud and clear and made their points far better than we could have done. So thank you all. Thanks also to David Brennan for his compering on the day and his valiant attempts to shun the limelight even as we were all sheltering behind him and shoving him back into the spotlight.
That doesn’t diminish the contributions of our adult speakers either – we are, as always, beyond grateful to Lynne McNicoll of Andrew Cyclist for her continuing support for Pedal on Parliament. We’d also like to thank Alison Johnstone of the Greens, Labour’s Claudia Beamish, Lib Dem Willie Rennie, Conservative Cameron Rose and last but not least, the Minister Keith Brown for coming along to put across the the political point of view. The last minute acceptance of our invitation by the minister also put us firmly on the news agenda, amplifying our voices beyond the cycling world. We’d also like to especially thank all of those MSPs, MPs and councillors who turned up not to speak but to listen – and to any of you who took the time to meet your MSP and lobby in person.
We’d like to thank Spokes Edinburgh not just for lending us Dave Du Feu but for providing the background information and facts and figures about cycling in Scotland that went into our manifesto. Although they’re the campaign for Lothian, their research and knowledge is Scotland wide and they’re a vital resource for anyone campaigning on cycling. We’d also like to thank all the local campaigns who organised groups to come from their area, and the various organisations who helped spread the word – from Cycling Scotland to the Stop Climate Chaos coalition.
For the organisation on the ground our thanks go to Alex Robertson and his team of blue-vested marshals who did such a huge amount to make sure that everything went off smoothly and safely on the day. We also have to thank the Edinburgh police for their good-natured assistance not just on the main ride but on some of the feeder rides and even on one of the unfeeder rides back to the Meadows afterwards. Until we do bring about safer cycling on Scotland’s roads, there’s nothing like a couple of conspicuously marked policemen cycling alongside you to give you a feeling of security on two wheels. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Alex and Sara Dorman for negotiating the road closure on the day with Edinburgh council – and to council leader Andrew Burns for providing the political will to make it happen. Thanks too to Dave Gardner of Laid Back Bikes for providing a pre-PoP HQ on the day.
We’d like to thank our feeder ride organisers who did a sterling job of ushering folk safely across Scotland to Edinburgh on the day, in defiance of hills, distance, oh-god-hundred starts and an omni-directional headwind. Not only did they help swell numbers, they gave a real sense of momentum and enthusiasm in the run up to Pedal on Parliament and made us realise we were not doing this all ourselves. And we’d also like to thank those who joined them on their rides. Thanks particularly to those who volunteered to help out on orphan feeder rides that had no leaders, sometimes at the last minute.
We’d also like to thank our funders: apart from the generous support from Andrew Cyclist for our sound system and our lovely pop-up PoP banner, that means every one of you who helped provide the funding for the day – from buying t-shirts to chipping in on PayPal to shelling out for Kyle’s delicious home baking, it all keeps the show on the road (and means we’re not dependent on anyone but you lot for our funding). Particular thanks go to Henry Whaley who thought he was volunteering to help distribute a few flyers and in short order found himself ‘POP t-shirt supremo’ – the one single biggest headache organising POP every year but also the financial means for keeping us afloat. Special mention goes to Hugh Thomas for setting up our PayPal account and handling the money side of things, possibly the most thankless and yet most important job in any campaign.
Once more we’d like to thank our army of posterers and flyerers for spreading the word on the ground. Never has so much printer ink been spilled, nor so many zip ties and laminators deployed in so good a cause (we’d also like to thank their employers for unknowingly donating the contents of their stationery cupboards). Thanks of course to Andy Arthur for our classic 2014 poster and t-shirt design – he’s done a huge amount from the start to set the tone of our campaign with his images and also dealt with our last-minute changes in good time. We’d also like to thank all of the bike shops, cafes, schools and other places that have displayed posters and flyers and done a huge amount to spread the word. Please support them! Thanks too to Sally Hinchcliffe for doing most of the writing on the site and drafting all the press releases and generally being the ‘voice’ of POP.
We’d also like to thank our virtual army of bloggers and tweeters and facebookers who have written, shared, liked and tweeted using words, videos, photographs and even songs. We’d also like to thank people on forums such as City Cycling Edinburgh – and the brand new City Cycling Glasgow – which have been such a vital resource for organising, recruiting volunteers and also letting us know when something we were planning was a bad idea. Alan Munro has done a sterling job keeping a steady hand on the website and managing our mailouts while Alex Robertson and others have kept our twitter tweeting away. Kim Harding has kept us on the straight and narrow on policy matters and used his network of contacts to great effect. We’d also like to thank the countless others who have sumbitted pictures to our Flickr pool and the press pool – invaluable for media releases on the day – particularly Chris Hill for setting up the latter. And to all of you blogging and posting videos after the event (which we will round up in the fullness of time)
We couldn’t have done it without you: so thank you all.