Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Katie Cycles to School: Little Things Bring Big Changes

Kids change everything.

Anyone who has kids will know exactly what I mean by the above statement. No-one or nothing can prepare you for having children and for the ways that they will change your life. My own life is very, very different from what it was pre-kids.

Is it better? Absolutely. Am I happy with every change? Of course not. My social life is a shadow of its former glory...(OK not exactly glory.....). Would I change a thing though? Not a chance. I can honestly say that I love them to bits.

Some changes though are totally unexpected. One of those was cycling.

I started cycling when my first child was born, just as a cheap means of getting to work. It saved buying a second car. Little did I know that I would end up becoming a mildly 'infamous' helmet camera cyclist, and I would help set up a cycling safety campaign. Cycling hasn't taken over my life, but it is certainly a big part of it now.

My kids have changed me in another way.

There was a time when I truly believed that the roads were fine as they were and that all we needed to do to make the roads safer for cyclists was to ask people to drive better. To educate. Then my kids started growing up and my oldest showed some enthusiasm for cycling. Very quickly I realised that, there was no way I could take him on the roads as they were, and that no amount of driver education would change that.

My kids taught me that education wasn't the answer, investment in properly designed infrastructure was.

My kids have not only given me great joy, they have show me the way. It's time to give them something back. It's time to stop talking about how we can make the streets safer for them and everyone else. It's time to make it happen. To make it happen though we need to get the message beyond cyclists. We need to spread the word that cycling and designing for cycling isn't about helping a minority of Lycra clad cyclists. It's about making our cities, our countryside and our country a happier, safer, and less polluted place for everyone.

We all benefit from safer cycling.

Thus we at POP have released a video that we hope will send the message out that cycling and investment in cycling is for all. Its for Katie, its for her family, its for you.

Please spread this video. Not just to your cycling friends, they probably already get it. Spread it to your non-cycling friends and ask them, do they want a future dominated by more road, more cars and more pollution, or do they want Scotland to become a people friendly country?

Pedal on Parliament. 25th April 2015. The Meadows. Be there on bike or foot, and let's send a message that now is the time to build a fairer Scotland.

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