Bicycle Matters do Matter

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Lorna Ramm, CineShrub Coordinator. (Credit: Linnéa Lind)


It’s Thursday evening and a small group of people have gathered on Guthrie Street for a film screening, but they don’t know exactly what they will see. The theme is bicycles. 

As bags of popcorn are handed out and blankets are offered, one of the viewers asks if it is okay if she takes her shoes off.

“Of course! This is meant to be like friends coming to a screening,” Lorna Ramm says, CineShrub Coordinator.

The Shrub is a charitable organisation that works towards a world without waste. The film screening tonight is part of the Bicycle Matters programme, which runs until the beginning of May.

“We do repair workshops and screenings. It is all about maintaining bikes and making sure we don’t throw them away. We focus on bicycles for environmental reasons, as there are lots of times when people might take the bus or the car instead,” Lorna says.

She says that the best thing about cycling is speed and freedom:
“Cycling gives me the feeling of being unstoppable and being in my own space, to move forward and be in my zone rather than thinking about what’s going on around me.”

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“Cycling gives me the feeling of being unstoppable and being in my own space,” Lorna Ramm says. (Credit: Linnéa Lind)


The surprise film tonight turns out to be The Flying Scotsman from 2008. The beautiful cinematic piece is based on the true story about cyclist Graeme Obree, who becomes the world champion twice whilst battling mental health issues. He’s also famous for his innovative bicycle designs as he used parts of a washing machine to build a bicycle.

Two of the visitors tonight are India Lumai Fiorentino and Max Johnson, who both cycle in their free time.

“I really loved the film, it was inspirational. True stories are always the best; they give you true motivation, as it is a real story and not made up. There were a lot of messages in the film, like never giving up on your dreams,’’ India says.

When India was young, she often cycled but then stopped because she did not have the opportunity to continue. Two years ago, she took up cycling again when she moved to Amsterdam and bought a new bike.

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India Lumai Fiorentino and Max Johnson came to watch the film on Thursday evening. They both cycle in their free time. (Credit: Linnéa Lind)


“I pushed myself so I could cycle with no hands. I fell a few times and had a few accidents too, but that didn’t discourage me. I can literally search through my bag and look for things and put it back on. In fact, I feel really safe on a bike. Sometimes, I feel unsafe if I go out and it is dark but when I’m on a bike, I am never scared. And you can go fast,” she says.

Max agrees and says that he has cycled ever since he was a child.

“It gives me the ability to engage with the city in a completely different way. It makes Edinburgh even smaller, but in a nice way.”

“I don’t have any plans for building a bicycle with parts of a washing machine, but it might be great,” he says, laughing.

 

The Bicycle Matters programme is part of the Zero Waste Edinburgh project, which aim is to establish long-lasting strategies to reduce waste in the south side of Edinburgh’s Old Town. It is supported by a grant of £300,000 in funding by Zero Waste Scotland and the European Regional Development Fund until March 2020.

For further information about The Shrub, see their webpage here.

Bike storage costs rocket in the Capital

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Bike storage shelters in Edinburgh.

The price for bike storage is now higher than car parking permits in certain areas of Edinburgh.

New bike storage units have been introduced throughout Edinburgh, meaning it now costs more to park a bike than it does a car in some parts of the city.

Edinburgh city council will build a total of 128 units throughout the city over the next two years, costing the average biker £84 a year to lease.

The subject was first brought to attention in November 2016 when the council proceeded with plans to introduce 20 to 30 storage units to the city over the next 3 years.

The pilot schemes proved to be successful over the years with each unit at maximum capacity with waiting lists for future spaces.

However, many have expressed anger towards the situation, claiming that the high prices will only discourage people from riding bikes.

Spokes is one of Edinburgh’s largest cycling groups. Spokesperson Ian Maxwell has highlighted certain problems with this scheme but insists prices should not be compared with car parking permits.

He said, “The price is a bit high. What you can’t do is compare it directly to an on-street parking space because you are actually having a structure built and maintained, so there is an additional cost for that which has to be paid for by somebody”

“That said, there should be a scheme to provide lower rates for people who are unemployed or simply can’t afford it. You shouldn’t be deterred from having a bike and parking it safely just because you can’t afford it”

“What we have been concerned with for a long time is the slow roll-out of this scheme and the continued delays in implementing it.”

New additions come after the council received requests for an increased amount of storage in over 200 different streets across the city.

Despite the price not being Ian’s main concern, Chas Booth, Green councillor for Leith, believes the council are not sending out the right message for sustainable and active travel.

He said, “Green councillors have very real concerns about the proposed costs of the cycle storage. Five pounds a month doesn’t sound like a great deal but when you compare it to an outer zone resident parking permit for a car which comes in at £35.50 a year, I don’t think that the price sends the right message”

“I think the council should be saying loud and clear that we support active travel.”

Travel group, Sustrans Scotland, have agreed to donate half of the project cost in order to support the councils aim for a greater amount of sustainable travel in Edinburgh.

Overall, the project is said to cost around £600,000.

 

Top 10 Scottish Athletes Of All Time

While Scotland might not be the biggest country in the world, we have managed to punch well above our weight in science, sports and technology. Many of our biggest names have been athletes, and in light of Andy Murray’s recent anointment as tennis’s world number 1, here are our personal picks of the best Scottish athletes.

1 – Sir Chris Hoy

 

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Chris Hoy (pictured) on the top podium, as usual.

 

An easy pick from us. Hoy was Scotland’s biggest representative on the world stage as he peddled to glory between 2000 to 2012 Olympic Games. He went on to win the most gold medals for a British Olympian and second overall in the British medal tally.

2 – Sir Jackie “Flying Scot” Stewart

 

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The Scottish driver flew into a respectable second spot

 

Formula 1 legend and Britain’s most successful driver in terms of overall titles. While he was successful in going for glory, he also pushed hard for better safety precautions for drivers when 2/3s of drivers had a chance of dying in a five year career.

3 – Kenny Dalglish (MBE)

 

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“King Kenny” cantered into third

 

Scotland’s joint leading scorer and all time most capped player. Managed to shake up club football with his spells on both sides of the border; plundering goals for Celtic and Liverpool.  Also had fruitful periods as a manager, winning the “double” for Liverpool and also a league title with Blackburn Rovers.

4 – Andy Murray (OBE)

 

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Still time to spare for him to push further up the list – watch this space.

 

Current world number 1 at Tennis and the first British athlete to do so. The oldest athlete to become number 1 but will hold it for the remainder of 2016 after seeing off Novak Djokovic at the ATP World Tour Finals.

5- David Wilkie (MBE)

 

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Also current holder of En4News’s pick as 5th best athlete.

 

Only person to have held British, American, Commonwealth, European, World and Olympic swimming titles at the same time.

6- Allan Wells (MBE)

The Scottish sprinter nabbed golds at the Olympic Games, IAAF World Cup, European Cups and Commonwealth Games in the 100 and 200m.

7- Dennis Law (CBE)

Joint record scorer for Scotland’s football team (we will touch on the other joint scorer later on) and Manchester United’s third highest scorer. He is the only Scottish player to win a Ballon d’Or, doing so in 1964.

8- Isabel Newstead (NBE)

May not be the first name on the tip of your tongue but this Paralympic athlete was a jack of all trades in her competitive career. Isabel won golds across three  disciplines – Six Golds, one Silver and two Bronze medals in Swimming; Three Golds and one Bronze medal in Shooting; One Gold, three Silvers and one Bronze medal in Track and Field.

9 – Graeme Randall (MBE)

Second ever male from the UK to hold a world title in judo (1999).

10 – Eric Liddell

You may have heard of him via the movie that depicted him – Chariots of Fire. Won Gold for Britain at the Olympic Games in 1924 in Paris but was more notable for his religious beliefs. He was known for refusing to compete in his preferred 100m heats as they were hosted on a Sunday, forcing him to compete on a weekday in the 400m heats – which he went on to win. Chose to be a missionary in China over competing in the Olympics again.

If you want to read more, check out our Twitter feed @EN4News2016.

Scots paint the sporting world tartan

Football might not be our forte but while our tartan athletes battle for a place in the World Cup 2018, Scotland proves we can dominate other sports.

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Grant Ferguson, 21, has peddled a long way from Peebles.  The Scot is a shoe in for the Olympics and has enough meddles to back that up.

Ruaridh Cunningham, 27, from Galashiels won the Junior World Title Champ in 2007 and hasn’t stopped winning since.

In 2015 the Scot won first prize in Scottish DH Champs Ae Forest and also took home the gold in the UK Redbull Hardline.

Fort William will host the third round of the 4x ProTour for the World Cup will be hosted this June.

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Frigid seas, enormous swells and a chance of frost bite have only made Scottish surfers even harder.

Fraserburgh Scot, Chris Noble, 41, has become a legend in Scottish Surf. The tartan surfer was Scotland’s Surf Champion in 2014 and 2015. His plight of being the first surfer to hold the title for three years was stubbed out by 2016 champion, Mark Cameron.

Mark Cameron, 37, won gold at the year’s Scottish national Championship. This isn’t the first win for this gnarly Scot, he surfed towards 1st place in 2012 as well.

Mark ‘Boydie’ Boyd from Thurso, won silver in the 2015 Scottish Surf Championship and has been making waves overseas.

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Skiing is usually dominated by the French but Scots are sliding in to the competitive scene.

Emma Carrick-Anderson, 40, from Stirling is a huge name in Ski and has been dubbed Britain’s top Slalom Skier.

Britain’s top female skier for 15 years running, this Scot has more meddles than most. She represented Britain in the Olympics four times and has finished in the top 20 at the World Cup numerous times.

Another Scot that will go down in Ski history is Alain Baxter, 42, unfortunately maybe not for the right reasons.

The Scot won bronze in the 2002 Winter Olympics. When the victorious Olympian returned home to Scotland to celebrate, he was found guilty of drug use and stripped of his medal.

So while we might not be anywhere near the German standard for football, Scotland is dominating everywhere else.

 

Top five safety tips for Edinburgh by bike

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Cycling is on the up, it’s cheap, it’s clean and it can help keep you fit and healthy. However, with the influx of two-wheeled travel, particularly for people commuting at busy times, it’s important that everyone knows how to keep safe for their own, and other road user’s benefit.

Hi Vis

Yes, it can make you look like a builder, or a lollipop man, however it is highly recommended that you stay safe by being seen when on the roads. Although you might be worried about being picked up by the style police for crimes against fashion, it’s worth investing in some fluorescent clobber to avoid being picked up by an ambulance after being knocked over because a driver couldn’t pick you out in your ultra-stylish black gear.

A bell

Particularly for the commuter that is cycle path happy, a bell is an essential. It’s another gadget to clutter your handlebars, but if you’re coming up behind a mum ushering her kids to school along the canal paths in the morning, a ring on your bell to let them get well out of your way is a price worth paying.

Use cycle paths sensibly

Contrary to what many road users believe, cycle paths are not compulsory. In fact the 2004 Local Transport Notes on Walking and Cycling document states that “As a general rule, if you want to cycle quickly, say in excess of 18mph/30kph, then you should be on the road.”

That being said, in many situations it makes sense to be on a cycle path, for example if there is heavy or particularly fast traffic, so you really have to make a judgement call based on your situation. However it’s important not to rule either the road or cycle paths out entirely.

Decent cycling kit

There are plenty arguments on either side of the helmet debate, however, there is no compulsory helmet laws in the UK, let’s just leave it at that. Yet when it comes to other specialist equipment, it’s really worth looking into.

One for the commuter in particular is decent waterproof gear, it can’t be pleasant having to sit in the office in the morning in a suit drenched in muddy rainwater, so some good waterproof trousers and a jacket to go over the top of your work wear can pay off.

Be respectful of other road users

Probably the most important point here is to respect your fellow road users. Regardless of your skill or fitness level, or how much protective gear you’re decked out in, the cyclist is still the most vulnerable road user, so it pays to be sensible. When sitting your Car Driving Theory Test it recommends that you assume that a cyclist could turn any way, and could take up any amount of the road; and it’s worth applying this to motorists when you’re the cyclist.

Keep safe distances, use designated cycle paths where appropriate, under no circumstances undertake moving traffic and keep your aggressive hand signals to yourself. These tips will not only save you from getting hit by something bigger and stronger, but might save you from getting hit by a car too.

If you are involved in any incidents on the road and need to seek legal advice,  Cycle Law Scotland provides cyclists with unrivalled, specialist, personal representation with accident claims.

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