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Pedal for Scotland

09/09/2013
Sport and physical activity
Transport Minister Keith Brown on Sunday's Pedal for Scotland bike ride.

Far from being insulted when asked to get on his bike on Sunday, Transport Minister Keith Brown was more than happy to swap four wheels for two as he joined celebrity cyclist Mark Beaumont, STV’s Sean Batty and Raman Bhardwaj with thousands of other cyclists at the start line of 15th annual Pedal for Scotland bike ride.

His second time taking part in this mass bike ride, Mr Brown tells us why events like this and the 2014 Games are so important for a greener, healthier Scotland:

"I was delighted to be part of the 15th annual Pedal for Scotland bike ride on Sunday: an event that for the last 15 years has shown cycling really is for everyone, from seasoned cyclists to groups of friends to generations of families having a fun day out.

"Even though jumping on my bike for a cycle at 7am on a Sunday morning - alongside round the world cyclist Mark Beaumont and STV presenters Sean Batty and Raman Bhardwaj - is not my average weekend, it was fantastic to join the other 8,000 plus riders inspired to on their bike and get active. If you haven’t experienced it, I would encourage you to sign up to the first Aberdeen Family bike ride on the 15 September.

Events like Pedal for Scotland are a great way to get people onto their bikes to benefit their own health as well as the wider benefits for society that cycling brings.

"Events like Pedal for Scotland are a great way to get people onto their bikes to benefit their own health as well as the wider benefits for society that cycling brings.  Far from being a one-day burst of activity, experience has shown that training for events like this encourage people to get out more regularly and makes them realise just how easy it is to build cycling into their lives for everyday journeys, such as travelling to work or to school. And with over 40 million trips being made annually across the 2,100 miles of the National Cycle Network in Scotland, we know that more people are swapping the car for a bike.

"Major events are vital in helping to inspire big picture thinking and to encourage our communities and businesses to get on board. That is why the 2014 Commonwealth Games offers Scotland a unique opportunity. The Games are inspiring more people in new ways and building on existing initiatives, including active travel projects and campaigns such as “Not far? Leave the Car” and Bike Week, to help bring about long term benefits for our communities, our businesses, our schools and people everywhere.

"Learning lessons from a major cycling nation, in a recent visit to the Netherlands I saw first-hand the impact that developing the right infrastructure, education and attitudes on cycling can have.  By walking or cycling rather than using the car for short journeys, it is easy for everyone to reduce carbon emissions, improve our health and wellbeing, play our part in making Scotland cleaner and greener and it’s free.

"Given one in three car journeys in Scotland are under two miles and nearly a quarter of all our trips are one mile or less, we have a lot to gain from leaving the car at home.

"That is why the Scottish Government is investing over £58 million in support for cycling and walking infrastructure, cycle training and road safety campaigns during this Spending Review period, with a further £1 billion being invested annually in public transport and other sustainable transport options. These steps are helping us achieve our vision that by 2020, 10% of everyday journeys taken in Scotland will be by bike.

"As we all look forward to the 23 July next year and the start of 11 days of world class sport, I hope that people see its about more than just sport.  The Games and its legacy is about you.”

Register for Pedal for Scotland’s Aberdeen Family Ride

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