Trials rider and YouTube phenomenon Danny MacAskill is teaming up with Cycling Scotland to urge Scotland’s drivers to give adequate space to children cycling to school, with increasing numbers of youngsters expected to take to their bikes to get to and from their lessons in the coming months.
MacAskill, together with the Riderz stunt team, will be paying visits to schools throughout Scotland, which has seen a 33% increase in the number of pupils cycling thanks to the impact of celebrities such as Sir Chris Hoy and Mark Beaumont, in a drive to getting even more children to use pedal power to get around.
As part of the initiative, Cycling Scotland is running a Cycle to School campaign in seven parts of the country - Orkney, Moray, Edinburgh, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire – aimed at children, their parents and drivers.
One key feature of the six-week campaign will be to encourage schools to highlight ‘Cycle Friendly Zones’, which Cycling Scotland says will be “areas where drivers are asked to give children as much space as possible so they can make an easy and safe journey to class.”
Ian Aitken, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland, said: “Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise. With an estimated 50% of school children getting less than their recommend activity levels a day, cycling to school is an ideal way of reducing this figure and increasing children’s exercise routine. Getting children out in the fresh air also means they will arrive at school more alert and eager to learn.”
He continued, “Research shows that children want to cycle to school so we hope by making sure drivers look out for them, more children in Scotland will get on their bikes and cycle to school.”
MacAskill shot to fame this time last year when a video posted to YouTube of him performing tricks around the streets of Edinburgh went viral – in 12 months, it’s been viewed nearly 17 million times, and even if you’ve seen it before, we hope you enjoy it again. And if, somehow, you haven’t seen it before, you’re in for a treat.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.