Last Saturday we had the very great pleasure of organising cycling lessons for adults using funding from Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival. It was a wonderful success! Watching people who have never ridden a bike before getting a taste of the thrill that comes with cycling was very rewarding.
As you can see from the photos, Aberdeen put on some fine weather for us 🙂
We had two groups of lessons running concurrently: one for absolute beginners and another for adults who have not ridden for a while and who want to get back into cycling.
We’ve had some wonderful feedback from participants.
Big thanks especially to our own member, Nathan Gore, who ran the cycling refresher sessions. And thanks also to Emma Roberts from Cycling UK for helping to make this possible, Sally Duthie from Adventure Aberdeen for running the beginner sessions, and our member Tally Yahya for instigating the process.
I’m a bit late getting this recap post up but that shouldn’t be interpreted as an unsuccessful event. This year’s Pedal on Parliament was the best I’ve been to and this was largely due to the different route we did. Instead of cycling in one direction from A to B we cycled a circuit around the centre of town.
We all met outside Marischal College at 11am on Sunday and cycled first down Upper Kirkgate, then left onto Union Terrace, left onto Union Street, left onto Broad Street and back to Marischal College. We cycled this circuit over and over for one hour. I think I cycled 6 or 7 laps. I lost count at about 5. Others probably cycled more because I do remember being overtaken a few times.
There were just over 100 of us – people from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, of all ages, shapes, and sizes and riding all kinds of bikes. There were cargo bikes, electric bikes, tandem bikes, and even a couple of cool-looking Eliptigos. There were children with the youngest being 6 years old.
Was it a success? In terms of enjoyment value, definitely! Will we see positive action from the local authority? If I didn’t think it would help then I wouldn’t bother and I would give up all hope. I do think these events are important and collectively, with other campaigns, they will help to steer direction towards an Aberdeen that is a safe place to cycle for everyone, adults and children alike.
What’s next for Aberdeen Cycle Forum? We’ve had a great year so far with the King Street Design Competition and Pedal on Parliament. Later this month we’ll be meeting with the Aberdeen City Council to hand over the winning designs from the King Street Design Competition and get an update on the Union Street bike path petition. We also received some funding from LUSH for an exciting new project! Make sure you subscribe to our blog to hear updates about this.
On May 14-16th we’ll be carrying out our annual cycle count, something we’ve done since 2008. The data is really useful and does show that cycling in Aberdeen has increased over the last 10 years – but not by nearly enough! We rely on volunteers to undertake the count and need 16 people in total. If you can spare a couple of hours early-morning (07:00-09:00) on either 14, 15 or 16thMay, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
The count locations are listed below and if you let us know your preference, we’ll do our best to work with that and get back to you with a recording form and other details. The 2 hours can also be split up between any of the 3 days if that makes it more attractive.
Auchmill Rd (nr Chalmers bakery in Bucksburn)
Deeside Line (nr Holburn St turn off)
George St (junc with Hutcheon St)
Grammar School (junc Carden Place/Esslemont Ave)
Kings St (junc with Mounthooly Way)
Great Western Rd (Mannofield; junc with Countesswells Rd)
I’m thrilled to be able to finally announce the winners of The King Street Design Competition. We had some fantastic entries including from as far away as the United States. We also had some amazing designs from pupils at our very own Seaton Primary School. I think transport officers at Aberdeen City Council could learn a thing or two from Seaton Primary School students.
We are in the process of posting/giving the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative vouchers to the winners and will also hand over the winning designs to the Aberdeen City Council.
I’m so impressed with the designs we received. A lot of thought has gone into them. Here are the winners in the adults category.
In first place is Mark Philpotts from City Infinity. You can view the full concept as a pdf here. Mark has clearly designed something with cyclists in mind. He’s also incorporated a ‘boarder’ design to accommodate both bus stops and cycle tracks.
In second place is Christopher Wyatt with the following design. Christopher has included a bus gate on West North Street for his design. The idea for this is to prevent general traffic from making a right turn onto King Street while preserving access for buses and emergency vehicles. He’s also made use of floating bus stops. You can see Christopher’s full design here.
In the children’s category we have 6-year-old Noa in first place. We love that Noa has considered the visually impaired in his design.
For 2nd place we have a tie between Ava:
Thank you to everyone who entered and to our team of judges. Thanks also to Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative for donating the vouchers. The designs prove that no space is too challenging and with a bit of creativity and good design principles we can make Aberdeen a place where active travel is encouraged.
Every morning I walk our children to the local primary school. We like walking because a bit of exercise helps you prepare for the day and there’s evidence that children who walk to school do better in class due to cognitive improvements from the physical activity. However we can smell the pollution from motor vehicles on our morning commute and it’s not just unpleasant, it’s toxic to our bodies and particularly harmful to young children’s bodies. Much of the pollution comes from parents who are driving their children to school. As parents we mean well and want the best for our children but the harm from pollution is not well recognised or understood and many parents do not realise that they’re causing children harm.
It’s for this reason we want to spread the word about pollution and the harm it causes as well as supporting our local authority in taking effective action to tackle the problem. We want the Aberdeen City Council to introduce low emission zones in the most polluted areas of Aberdeen. A low emission zone is one where the most polluting vehicles are banned. We also want to encourage active travel by investing in infrastructure like pedestrian walkways and cycle paths.
If this is something you support then please come along to the air pollution campaign event on 25th November. We are meeting in the paved area outside Marks and Spencer on Sunday 25th November from 12-2pm.
There’s a lot of frustration in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire right now over the lack of infrastructure for cycling. A ton of money has been spent on roads for motor vehicles but this has been to the detriment of active travel. We deserve segregated cycling infrastructure so that people of all ages and abilities (including children) can ride bikes safely. We want all road building developments – new builds, upgrades and road maintenance projects – to consider cycling during the design phase and for cyclists to be given greater priority. Let’s collectively communicate this message to our politicians and transport planners by demonstrating outside Marischal College on Sunday 9th September from 12 noon to 1pm.
The timing of this gathering is deliberate to coincide with the so-called ‘community event’ taking place on the AWPR. The half-hearted and last minute limited inclusion of cycling in that event led one on-line magazine (road.cc) to run with the headline “Is this the worst cycling event EVER”
So if you don’t feel inclined to have a wee token ride on the AWPR within the strict parameters set by the organisers, why not join us instead and send the message that cyclists don’t want to be marginalised or forgotten about when it comes to road transportation.
Each year, Aberdeen Cycle Forum conducts a count of people cycling in Aberdeen City. The current counts are taken at 16 sites across the city. Previous to 2016, there were only 11 sites. The count begins at 7am continuing to 9am. Previous to 2014, the count began at 7:30 continuing to 9am.
The general trend for this year is upward, though not as sharply as previous counts. However, the count is considerably more encouraging than the numbers for 2017. As always, the count is only a snapshot of the activity in Aberdeen City.
The data includes extrapolated numbers for the cells coloured grey, the numbers will be updated when data becomes available from Aberdeen City Council.
Totals for the years 2013-2008 cannot be directly compared to the totals for 2014-2018 because of the change in the time of the count. Totals for only the original counts have been provided for those years, but only for general comparison.
The trend over the last 10 years (for the original count sites) is a drop of 41, comparing 599 in 2008 against 558 in 2018. This is even bearing in mind that the later year’s counts include a long count time, thus the actual drop will be larger.
We look forward to more insightful data in future years when we have more years’ data to compare using the longer count time and additional count positions. Full count data is available here in table form or here in a graph.
Thank you to the members of Aberdeen Cycle Forum, Nestrans, and Aberdeen City Council that participated in this year’s count.
It’s almost time to ride, so before you set off here’s a few reminders about what to expect.
Please remember that the ride is on open roads and normal traffic conditions. You are responsible for your own safety at all times and there are no marshals to guide or instruct you. The ride is a peaceful demonstration of our wish to ride safely on public roads. During the ride please obey traffic law and it is not our aim to disrupt other traffic
We will be putting up a few signs to alert traffic to the event, and a risk assessment has been completed here.
We hope to see you there and that the weather will be fine. Forecast is dry but pretty cool – so dress appropriately. Hope to see you there and that it will be a lot of fun!
Further details of the route, start point and times are posted at