ChangingPace has helped to revive a bike club in South Edinburgh.
The Mansion in Gracemount has had a bike club (on and off) for over 10 years. At the back of the house is a (neglected) BMX track.
As part of a wider project for SEHLI (with funding from Cycling Scotland) ChangingPace has offered advice, run a ‘fix your own bike’ session and created a web site for the club – themansionbikeclub.wordpress.com.
More than 18 months ago ChangingPace suggested, at a Sustainable Transport seminar, that Edinburgh could do with its own version of the impressive Cambridge Cycle Journey Planner. This was a section of the, equally impressive, Cambridge Cycle Campaign web site.
The CCJP was the creation of two cycle campaigners and computer programmers – Simon and Martin. It was a complex (but simple to use) on-line tool for journey planning in and around Cambridge full of local knowledge and packed with photos that magically appeared as a slide show along a planned route.
Just over a year ago the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Transport section awarded ChangingPace (via Cycling Scotland) a tiny amount of money (in computer project terms! – £5,000 UPDATE some controversy about spending on another cycle journey planeer) to develop an Edinburgh Cycle Journey Planner. The Cambridge duo soon realised that the opportunity was there for a UK wide CJP and began developing CycleStreets.net.
One reason that this became a viable project was the rapid development of Open Street Map which is a free to use (copyright – creative commons-attribution-share alike) on-line map which anyone can update and improve.
CycleStreets.net has been “beta” since earlier this year, this means that the public has been able to try it out but improvements (large and small) are still being made. Last week the Photos-en-route (PER) function was switched on which will be a great bonus once there are more photos (for Edinburgh) in the database.
Almost every town and city in the UK now has a sub-domain – e.g.edinburgh.cyclestreets.net (though most don’t have their own logo). Work is in progress to allow schools and workplaces (etc.) to have a customised start page for planning journeys (walking or cycling) to the chosen destination.
One challenge not yet resolved is the issue of hills. Cambridge is flat so a journey takes roughly the same time in both directions. At present the suggested journeys are impressively sensible (with a choice of direct or scenic) but estimated times are less reliable.
Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, Climate Change, Cycle to Work, Cycling, Cycling Scotland, EducatedTravel, European Mobility Week, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans
For the third year running ChangingPace has been awarded a small grant for “soft measures” (as opposed to engineer works) to encourage cycling to school.
Previously CP has developed its Bicycle Awareness Afternoons and organised holiday bike clubs. Children get the chance to learn new skills including journey planning and basic bike maintenance.
This year’s project will build on the accumulated success and (working with four schools spread across Edinburgh) will also work with teachers to find out what would help them to involve bicycles in the curriculum more – and where they would value external input.
Last year ChangingPace ran a couple of highly successful holiday cycle clubs for pupils of primary schools in the Royal High cluster. This term it is the turn of Firrhill’s cluster schools.
Previously youngsters explored the North Edinburgh Path Network. This time they will be led on rides along the Braid Burn, Water of Leith and Union Canal.
Once again this is being made possible with funding from Sustrans.
One way of encouraging people to cycle is to actually meet them!
ChangingPace is taking simple stalls to a number of outdoor events. They have free leaflets, (including the revised Explore Edinburgh series published by the Council) and sell Spokes Maps.
Importantly they are staffed by people who can answer questions about cycling in Edinburgh – where to ride, how to get Cycle Training etc.
The stalls have appeared at Corstorphine Fair (pictured), The Meadows Festival and Davidson’s Mains Parish Church’s Green Day. This weekend it’s TreeFest. On Saturday there will be a bike ‘try out’ and an obstacle course – similar to the one at D Mains last Saturday – but on grass!
Maggie from ChangingPace is seen replenishing the leaflet rack and advertising an Edinburgh based on-line magazine.
TryCycling in Edinburgh took it’s stall to Treefest again at the weekend.
This year it added a cordoned off skills course, which had kids queuing up all afternoon.
Bikes (for those who didn’t bring their own) came from the Council’s collection at nearby Broughton High.