Well, Tour of Britain you most definitely didn’t disappoint. What a simply fantastic day!
Wonderful to see, at such close quarters, the world class peloton snaking through OUR roads and OUR communities. So great to see so many people out by the roadside cheering on the riders as they passed. A carnival atmosphere that all of us GCP HQ had been looking forward to for such a long time.
Thank you to the riders and support teams. We hope you enjoyed the challenge and riding some of the best roads that the UK has to offer (note: we’re unashamedly biased but the preceding comment is a fact*).
Thank you to all those marshals, volunteers, events teams and emergency services for ensuring the spectacle passed safely without adverse incident. And a big thanks to all those who staffed the stalls and the events at Stonehaven, Aberdeen Beach. Great to see so many smiling faces!
Thank you to all those who cheered them all along the route at the roadside. We appreciate many of you had travelled some distance. Please do come back and visit us, make sure to take your bikes and enjoy #aberdeenshire for yourselves (ps #moray is fab too!).
We simply cannot wait until the Grand Depart for Tour of Britain 2022. Let’s make sure we give the riders a spectacular send-off then.
Special mention to @Team Jumbo Visma who made young Xander Graham the true star of the day (sorry Wout!). A tremendous gesture which he, his family and friends will never forget.
In the interim, we have a simple message to the decision makers within @aberdeencc and @aberdeenshirecouncil who collectively secured the agreement with Sweetspot to bring the ToB to the north east for two years… please can we build on this success story and, at long last, begin to create a legacy from it, where young boys and girls just like Xander, can go enjoy riding their bikes without their parents worrying about their safety while on the roads.
The sad reality is that Aberdeen, in particular, remains a hostile place in which to cycle around in. Most regular riders become hardened or are confident riders. They need to be to continue to use the city’s roads. However, they still worry about their vulnerability and can often be scared by a near-miss or a careless or dangerous man oeuvre by a motorist. Unfortunately, we struggle to persuade many we know to join us on a bike in the city because they do not feel safe. Quite how, in this environment, we can get more people to consider cycling regularly remains to be seen.
This needs to change for so many reasons;
How we travel across and around our city has never been so important – other cities and towns in Scotland/UK are (long before the pandemic) making bold, creative and significant change to their roads so that (walking and) cycling can rightly become the most important forms of travel for so many. Meanwhile, in Aberdeen, the car/motor vehicle continues to be ‘King’.
Our physical and psychological well-being can drastically be improved by a bike ride. Going for a ride regularly is not only very good for you and can quickly improve your basic level of fitness, it can make you far less susceptible to many serious illnesses and health conditions. All these points are well-evidenced worldwide.
We remain in the midst of some tough economic times. Contrary to what some think, catering properly for walking and cycling can provide better support for our local businesses, many of whom are struggling, than the car/motor vehicle. Cycling in itself does not harm businesses. This is also well-evidenced repeatedly elsewhere.
Lastly, our local natural environment, let alone that further afield, simply cannot cope with our over-reliance on so many, often short, car journeys, some of which could be replaced with walking, cycling and/or public transport. The positive impact on air and noise pollution that cycling makes, in stark contrast to the damage that motor vehicles do, cannot be overstated.
We accept and acknowledge cycling is not for everyone and is not the answer on its own. However, we think it is perfectly clear that cycling could play a major part in the solution to many of the problems we face in respect of our transport and travel, our general physical activity and wellbeing and improve the natural environment.
Councillors, please let’s give it a go… for all these reasons but also for our next generation. For all the budding north east boys and girls, just like Xander. They deserve more than offered by the status quo, so much more.
GCP remain determined to proactively work with our councils, and anyone else interested in improving the case for change that so clearly exists here. If anyone wants to help or have any queries, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Ok, so this bit is maybe not a fact, but we think it should be…