Make your politics bikeable

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Have I mentioned how much I’ve enjoyed writing Bikeable Jo?  Needless to say, it has been great to hear about your cycling adventures but even more so,  about the great opportunities out there to make our cities more bikeable.

There is nothing more stylish than exercising your right to make change. While the slow bike movement is quite fashionable these days (Copenhagenizing, anyone?), no one can deny the benefits of cycling. Whether you are pulling off a wicker basket/skirt combo or you are wearing those lycra galoshes that are all the rage with the spandex commuter community – you are doing something great for yourself, your community, and our environment.

So kick up a fuss about it! Check out some ways to get involved -

Get Britain Cycling

There is a petition going around to get Britain cycling.   Nearly up to 40,000 signatures,  this petition urges the government to do a number of things – invest public funds into cycling, redesign communities to be more bikeable,  improve safe driving and speed limits, expand bikeable training and education, and cultivate some political leadership. This is really exciting and I’m proud to have signed it.  You can too.

So…what’s happening Scotland? Well the answer is – lots.

Pedal on Parliament

Last year, 3,000 cyclists mass-pedaled to the Scottish Parliament and despite support from politicians  – folks aren’t happy with the lack of change.  In order to make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation, the movement is asking for -

  1. Proper funding for cycling.
  2. Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
  3. Slower speeds where people live, work and play
  4. Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
  5. Improved road traffic law and enforcement
  6. Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
  7. A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
  8. Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy.

A bikeable eight point manifesto? Man, you can’t get more stylish than that. Read more about the Pedal on Parliament ride on 19 May.  My parents are over from Minnesota and we will be away that day – but I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Spokes

And here I thought Spokes only created great bike maps! As it turns out, these guys have been moving and shaking since 1977. With over 1,000 members, they aim to promote cycling and publicise the benefits of cycling to individuals, councils and governments and their website gives a great deal of information on their activities.  They also have a list of cycle campaigns in communities throughout Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Critical Mass

A friend forwarded me information about Critical Mass Edinburgh. In simple terms, its website says – it’s a bike ride with a lot of other cyclists.  Sounds great but it gets better – on the last Friday of each month, cyclists in cities around the world get together and ride through their city streets. Not only are you part of a movement that started in San Francisco back in the 90s, but you are part of a greater global bikeable community each month.

Read more about Critical Mass here . I’ll be sure to see you at 530pm at the foot of the Mound (outside the art gallery) on the last Friday of the month.

Cycle Festivals!

There is nothing better (or more powerful or more fun, really) than bringing people together around cycling.

In its first year, the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling will be running between 15th and 23rd June 2013 and the programme looks great. You can even learn how to build a bamboo-frame bike!

The folks over at Ed’s Cycle Co-op are hosting East Dunbartonshire’s Cycle Festival on Sunday 17 June in Bishopbriggs.  There will be lots happening including a skills course, a smoothie bike, and a visit from Dr Bike. Read more about the festival here.

This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list so please let me know of other things happening – big and small – and I’ll be sure to let the world know.

Viva La Bicicleta!

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