We’ll be pedalling again in 2015 on April 25th, setting off from the Meadows in Edinburgh at 12:00 to remind our politicians that they still are not doing enough to help make Scotland a cycle friendly country. Cycling is not just a hobby to be enjoyed by an out-group of weirdos. It’s an ideal way to travel. If everyone using their car to make a journey of less than 5 miles were instead to use a bike then our roads would be a lot quieter and less damaged, our environment would be cleaner, and our health so much better.
This excellent video from Pedal on Parliament explains it extremely well.
But when the only way to get from A to B means sharing a road with HGVs and cars (some of which are driven by people who are under the mistaken belief that bicycles are inferior and should be ridden deferentially in the gutter) then many people justifiably give up on the idea. There have been some token efforts in the past to create lanes and paths that cyclists can use but for the most part they are nothing more than useless paint, or they don’t connect up and leave the cyclist having to use a main road for part of their journey, or they are not maintained and are generally unpleasant to ride on. See my new video below for some examples.
We’re not asking for money to be taken away from Schools and Hospitals. The Scottish Government has a Transport Budget of just over £2 Billion for the financial year 2014-2015. We believe that if just 5% of that were spent on cycle infrastructure then we could transform Scotland for the better.
While I’m here I’d like to leave a shout out to the developers of all the wonderful Free Software that I used in the making of my video. Many people think that it is necessary to give thumping great wodges of cash to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe etc. but it’s not. I produced my video using the following excellent Free Software.
Drum machine – Hydrogen
Recording and mixing – Audacity
Graphics – GNU Image Manipulation Program (used for creating images as well as overlay text and credits)
Video Conversion – VLC (used for deinterlacing camera footage)
Video Editor – OpenShot
Animation Scripting – Perl (taking static images and generating the right amount of copies for the video frame rate to match the beat of the music)
Operating System – Gentoo Linux (Other, less geeky GNU/Linux distributions are available with all the above software ready to install from their repositories, consider trying Linux Mint, Ubuntu or Fedora)
Total cost of software: £0.