Pedal on Parliament 4

Today I went to Edinburgh to meet up with friends and to participate in the fourth Pedal on Parliament ride from the Meadows in the south of the city to the Scottish Parliament. 

Although it was a cycling event, those without bicycles could walk the route instead. I didn’t take my bicycle as it would have meant having to leave it while visiting some of the sights after the ride.

I travelled on the Cross Country Glasgow to Penzance train from Motherwell to Edinburgh Waverley. This only takes about 50 minutes and is through pleasant countryside.

After arriving, I walked to the Meadows via the George V Bridge, Royal Mile and Forrest Road to the Middle Middle Walk entrance and met my friends there. I had also pre-ordered a lovely teeshirt which I collected when I arrived. It was too cold to wear it so I put it in my bag to proudly wear on a warmer day.

At the Meadows

Making the Roads Safer

The Pedal on Parliament movement aims to make the roads safer for cyclists and get the Scottish Government to invest in making the roads safer in Scotland for cyclists.

The group and supporters would like the Scottish Government to to commit a minimum of 5% of its transport budget – revenue and capital – to cycling within an overall commitment of 10% of the transport budget to active travel.

Middle Meadow Walk

Start of the Ride

The ride started at 12.00 noon and travelled from the Meadows at Middle Meadow Walk, down Forrest Road to George IV Bridge then onto the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is mainly a cobbled road and this was another reason I left my bike at home. The Scottish Parliament is at the foot of the Royal Mile. 

Forrest Road
Forrest Road
Greyfriars Bobby looks out at the cyclists

Sunny Weather
The weather forecast was for heavy rain, but it was dry when I arrived in Edinburgh and the sun eventually came out at 11.30,  just before the ride began. It was quite cold though and I had my woolly hat and fingerless gloves on to keep warm.  

Royal Mile
Youngest rider?
Royal Mile


Royal Mile

Arriving at the Parliament
After arriving outside the Parliament there was a minutes silence for those killed on the roads and a number of speakers addressed the crowds including Briana Pegado, President of the Edinburgh Student’s Union, Emilia Hanna of Friends of the Earth, Transport Minister Derek Mackay, Cameron Buchanan (Conservatives), Sarah Boyack (Labour), Green MSP Alison Johnstone and Bruce Whitehead Left Unity candidate.   

Speakers outside Parliament

Transport Minister Derek Mackay 
Transport Minister Derek Mackay he would do everything to support cycling and committed the government to spending more on cycling in for 15/16 than in 14/15.

Crowds outside the Scottish Parliament
Penny farthing

It was a great day out and the ride got a lot of coverage in the media which was a measure of how successful it had been. 

I look forward to the improvements for cyclists on the roads.

Further Information
Pedal on Parliament
Scottish Parliament

Drummond Trophy Cycle Race, 2015

The Drummond Trophy is a cycle race around the roads of Strathaven (pronounced Stray-vin) in South Lanarkshire. Strathaven is a small rural town and the surrounding roads, apart from the busy Ayr Road, are pretty quiet. It was held today (19th April) in quite cold and windy conditions.

The race is held in April every year and is sponsored by Norrie Drummond the bookmaker. Norrie was a cycle racer when he was young and the family bookmakers have sponsored the race now for 60 years. Photographs of the race can be seen here.

Drummond Trophy winner 2015 Karol Domagalski – Raleigh GAC

Glasgow cycling club, Glenmarnock Wheelers, are the race organisers and they put a lot of effort into running the event. It is always organised in a very professional manner and the club also arrange for service cars to help riders with mechanical problems while on the course. The St Andrew’s Ambulance Service also provide medical assistance when required by riders (and spectators) who suffer an injury or medical problem during the race.

There were also plenty of marshalls on the course guilding both riders and spectators during the event and making sure dropped riders did not get lost. The roads around Strathaven are quite numerous and it is easy to get lost if unfamiliar with the area.   

The race is between 80 and 100 miles in length and is open to Elite, 1st, 2nd and 3rd cat riders offering the 3rd cats the chance to ride against pro and semi pro riders. Previous winners of the Drummond include the late Jason MacIntyre, Raleigh pro Evan Oliphant and Commonwealth Games medalist James McCallum. 

The roads around Strathaven are pretty hilly and the Drummond is always a tough test for the riders who come from all parts of the UK and beyond.

Evan Oliphant was second
Third place was Gary Hand SportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team

I took my Brompton folding bike and cycled along the route to catch the riders. I was unable to carry my heavy Canon ‘L’ lenses on the bike so took a smaller lens which was reasonably good for picture taking.

More photographs can be seen here.

The top 10 result:   

Pos Forename Surname Club / Team Name Time
1 Karol Domagalski  Raleigh GAC 03:32:50
2 Evan Oliphant Raleigh GAC at42
3 Gary Hand SportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team 1’06
4 Brad Morgan Raleigh GAC
5 Harry Tanfield JLT Condor
6 James Moss MTS Cycle Sport 3.46
7 Sam Boast Wheelbase Altura MGD
8 Carl Donaldson GS Metro 7.43
9 Jason Roberts Pro Vision Cycle Clothing
10 Sam Lowe Raleigh GAC 8.11

 It was a great day out despite the cold weather but at least the rain stayed off.

Further Information:

Glenmarnock Wheelers

British Cycling

Team Raleigh GAC

SportsGrub KUOTA Cycling Team

JLT Condor