Monday, 27 April 2015

Photographs from Pedal on Parliament 2015

Pedal on Parliament was held on Saturday 25th April with hundreds of people cycling from the Meadows in Edinburgh to the Scottish Parliament.

A description of the walk can be read here.

Photographs can be seen here.


Saturday, 25 April 2015

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 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 that 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

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Drummond Trophy Cycle Race, 2015

Evan Oliphant 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 lose. 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:
PosForenameSurnameClub / Team NameTime
1KarolDomagalski Raleigh GAC03:32:50
2EvanOliphantRaleigh GACat42
3GaryHandSportGrub KUOTA Cycling Team1'06
4BradMorganRaleigh GAC"
5HarryTanfieldJLT Condor"
6JamesMossMTS Cycle Sport3.46
7SamBoastWheelbase Altura MGD"
8CarlDonaldsonGS Metro7.43
9JasonRobertsPro Vision Cycle Clothing"
10SamLoweRaleigh GAC8.11
 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

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Sunday 2015

Easter Sunday started early as I was going to a sunrise service outside Chatelherault House in Fernigair, Hamilton at 06.30. I was going with my friend Susan. I cycled over to meet Susan who was going to travel the short distance to Chatelherault on her kick scooter. It was Susan who got me into scootering and I enjoy it. Susan is very fast on her scooter as she uses it nearly every day.

It was still quite dark at 06.10 so I had brought a small silicon light for Susan to strap onto her handlebars for safety.
Sunrise Service outside Chatelherault House
As we approached the house, we could see a crowd of people has already arrived and were waiting for the service to begin. The minister who was going to conduct the service was the Rev George MacDonald of Hamilton South Parish Church. 

Even although it was early, the crowd was quite large, as many people had managed to get up early for this very important day in the Christian calendar.

The Easter Service

The service itself was a mixture of singing, praying and bible readings and was very enjoyable.

Breakfast in the Hamilton Old Parish Church

After it ended just at 07.00, Susan and I travelled back to the Old Parish Church on our preferred modes of transport for breakfast rolls. The Church members had laid on an excellent menu with rolls and sausage, marmalade or jam. We decided to have the home made jam on our rolls which was very enjoyable. This was washed down with a few cups of tea. At 08.30 we left the church to get ready for the next service.

Early in the Garden - St John's Church, Hamilton

The next service was at 09.30 in the garden of St John's Church in Hamilton which was conducted by the Rev Joanne Hood and her assistant. The theme was 'The stone had been rolled away and the grave was empty'.

There was the opportunity to rejoice in the risen Saviour and to celebrate the Last Supper with bread and wine. In the Church of Scotland the 'wine' is grape juice which is more in line with what was drunk in Jesus time.  

The sun was shining throughout the service. This added to the enjoyment of this special day.

Wooden cross with daffodils
After the short service in the garden, the members of the congregation were invited to each take a daffodil and walk into the church and place it on the cross which had been made from last year's Christmas tree.
Wooden cross and magnificent church organ
St John's Church itself is a very modern building and was only renovated a few years ago. The seats are very comfortable, unlike the hard wooden seats which many churches had years ago.

St John's Church
It had been an eventful morning and it was only 10.10. The morning church service had yet to begin at 10.45. There was still a lot of things to look forward to.

Further Information

Hamilton South Parish Church

Hamilton Old Parish Church  

St John's Church, Hamilton 

Church of Scotland

Chatelherault House