The Aberdeen Cycle Forum is putting on a series of cycling lessons along with a Dr. Bike. The first two lessons in the series were last Saturday, 29th August. It was heart-warming to see beginner adult cyclists get their first taste for cycling and to experience the thrill that comes with it. Those of us who learnt to cycle as kids take it for granted when we’re adults but there are many adults today who never had the opportunity to learn when they were young.
Adventure Aberdeen provided the instructor and the Dr Bike while Aberdeen Cycle Forum was able to pay the costs using funding from Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival, Paths for All, and the fundraising we did for our Reclaim the Streets event which got cancelled due to the pandemic.
The next set of lessons and Dr. Bike will be at Hazlehead Park on the 12th September. The lessons are already all fully booked up but subscribe to our blog so you’ll be notified if we add some more.
We’ve come to the realisation that our Reclaim the Streets event probably won’t be able to go ahead in October and maybe not even in March next year. Many of us cycle for health reasons and it’s therefore extra important for us to ensure the health of all our members so we want to do everything we can to reduce the spread of the virus which means gatherings of hundreds maybe thousdands of people at this time is not advisable. However, we’ve managed to do some great fund-raising for this event and we decided we could adapt it and run many events on a much smaller scale.
Starting at the end of August (provided COVID restrictions allow), we’re going to start the first of our adult cycling lessons. Every second Saturday for three weeks we’ll have a beginner cycling lesson followed by a refresher lesson. At the same time there’ll be a Dr Bike available for people who have old dusty bikes in the shed that need attention. Due to the pandemic these lessons will be capped at four people each so if you’re interested you must reserve a ticket to guarantee your place. Tickets are free and available at the links below.
Bikability instructors from Adventure Aberdeen will be conducting the lessons which are for adults only. We can also provide bikes and helmets for people who don’t have one. Just let us know when you reserve a ticket.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone that the Reclaim the Streets event we had planned for May 2020 will no longer happen on that day due to the current pandemic. However, we have raised lots of funding from various sources and the need for cycling infrastructure in Aberdeen is not going to go away so we very much still want to hold the event just as soon as the situation allows.
We have been in discussions with the council about this and have penciled in October 4th 2020; if public events are still banned at that time then as a contingency we have also asked for March 28th 2021. Neither date is confirmed at this time but we will work towards this for now while having the flexibility to change it again if needed.
Cycling is more important now than ever. All team sports and physical contact between groups of people are banned but yesterday the deputy chief medical officer made a point of encouraging exercise for health and wellbeing with a specific mention that cycling is ok for adults and children, provided people use their own equipment and take all the usual precautions like hand-washing.
Stay safe and keep cycling!
When: May 3rd 2020 from 11am – 1pm Where: Aberdeen central city (see map below for circuit with closed roads)
The Aberdeen Cycle Forum is organising a car-free event in the centre of Aberdeen on 3rd May 2020 from 11am – 1pm. We are planning to close a circuit in the centre of Aberdeen covering Union Street, Broad Street, Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Back Wynd, Little Belmont, Belmont. See the map below:
We will have free cycling lessons for adults and a Dr Bike. The adult cycling lessons will be split into two groups: absolute beginners and people who can already ride a bike but who want to develop confidence cycling on the roads. The Dr Bike is where you can take your bike for a health check. Electric Bikes Scotland is coming along with a fleet of electric bikes; Angus Cycle Hub will be there with bikes for people to ride (if you’re unable to bring one) as well as a collection of crazy bikes; Grampian Disability Sport will have their adapted bikes for people to try; CTC Grampian will be having their Try Cycling for anyone keen to try cycling in a group with more experienced riders.
Here’s what we hope to achieve with this event:
We want to show people what Aberdeen could be like without cars and how pleasant it is to walk and visit shops and cafés in the city centre without the noise and air pollution that accompanies motor vehicles.
Encourage people to take up cycling by providing cycling lessons and a Dr Bike which is where you can take your bike for a health check.
Apply political pressure for cycling infrastructure in Aberdeen. One of the biggest barriers to cycling is the perception that it’s unsafe. People are afraid to cycle alongside cars, trucks, and buses and the only way to see real increases in the number of people choosing bikes over cars is to build the infrastructure.
Make transport inclusive. Women and children are underrepresented as cyclists because of the perceptions of safety. By providing a safe space in the centre of Aberdeen we want to encourage cycling for everyone – women, children, men, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Air pollution in the city centre will be lower during the event due to the absence of polluting motor vehicles. This will promote health and wellbeing as well as improving the ambience in the city centre for shoppers.
To run this event we need your help. The city council charges £850 for a temporary traffic restriction order and £1,471.10 for traffic management making a total of £2,321.10. We have asked the council in previous years to waive this fee when we’ve run Pedal on Parliament but they will not. We’ve also asked them to run their own car-free day regularly. Although they organise In Town Without My Car Day once a year, cyclists are not allowed to cycle on the car-free streets and all the diesel generators at their event make it unclear whether there are any air quality benefits. We think car-free days should encourage cycling, not discourage it.
Please help us by donating to our JustGiving page – Reclaim the Streets. If 500 people donate £5 then we’d have more than enough.
We’re very pleased to announce that the Aberdeen Cycle Forum has received funding from Cycling UK to run some cycling lessons for adults. These will be held in the morning on Saturday 28th September from 9am – 12pm.
We’ll run two sessions in parallel – one for absolute beginners who have never ridden a bike before and another for people who know how to ride but haven’t ridden for a long time and want to brush up on their skills. A bikeability instructor from Adventure Aberdeen will be taking the lessons along with one of our own members, Nathan Gore, who is a bikeability volunteer.
Get your tickets online but hurry because places are limited. It’s completely free thanks to Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival!
The people of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire gathered outside Marischal College today to protest the lack of provision for cycling on the new AWPR – a bypass around Aberdeen. The AWPR has been in the plans for decades and it was more than 20 years ago that Cycling UK argued in favour of a segregated bike path on the road, if and when it got built. The Aberdeen Cycle Forum has also always been in favour of a segregated bike path. Sadly, they built the road and didn’t put in a bike path. Not only that but the new road has made conditions worse for cyclists in the region where is crosses the much-loved Deeside Way and also the Westhill cycle path. People are angry and frustrated and turned up to have their voice heard at the protest today.
Representatives of the media were also there: BBC Scotland Radio, The Press & Journal, The Evening Express, and STV.
We know that money is not a blocker. The money is there but the local authority needs to apply to spend it. We want this money used to build segregated bike paths so that everyone can cycle in safety and we want all new road projects to include plans for segregated bike paths in the design.