Pedal on Parliament

Pedal on ParliamentYesterday (Sunday, May 19) saw thousands of cyclists descend on the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood as part a campaign, supported by Olympic legend Chris Hoy and ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Graeme Obree, calling for 5% of Scotland’s transport budget to be spent on cycling. Pedal on Parliament, who describe themselves as, ‘a grass-roots group of cyclists of all kinds who want to see Scotland become a place where everyone can cycle safely and enjoyably,’ claimed some 3-4,000 cyclists look part, whilst police estimated just 2,500 participants. Beginning at 3pm with a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives on Scottish roads, the cyclists headed for Holyrood through the centre of Edinburgh and down the Royal Mile.


Reiterating the campaigns ‘everyman’ approach, David Brennan – one of the Pedal on Parliament organisers – told the assembled crowd: ‘We aren’t “cyclists”, we’re everyone – from the mum taking her children to nursery to the road cyclist doing 100km at the weekend… But we’re also the kids in the back of the car looking wistfully out of the window because their parents can’t risk them riding to school, the people who drive to the gym to ride on stationary bikes because the roads are too fast and busy.’


The campaign’s manifesto is calling for:


Proper funding for cycling.

Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.

Slower speeds where people live, work and play

Integrate cycling into local transport strategies

Improved road traffic law and enforcement

Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians

A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training

Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy


Further details can be found at




Sir Chris Hoy Confirms Retirement

Sir Chris Hoy Confirms RetirementIt came as no surprise yesterday that Sir Chris Hoy announced his retirement – BBC Scotland had widely reported the story earlier this week, well ahead of Hoy’s planned news conference, which took place in Murrayfield, Edinburgh. The six-time Olympic Gold Medallist, the winner of new fewer than 11 world titles, was pragmatic in his analysis, saying, ‘It’s a decision that I didn’t take lightly and I thought about it very hard. In sport at the highest level you are dealing in the smallest margins and you can tell when you are good but not good enough.’ He continued to say that London 2012, at which he added two further Golds to his collection, had taken ‘every last ounce of energy and effort’ and that he felt that competing at next year’s Commonwealth Games might simply be a case of ‘making up the numbers’.


When asked about his status as Britain’s greatest every Olympian, the ever-humble Hoy replied, ‘…to describe the greatest is subjective. To me, in my subjective opinion, Sir Steve Redgrave is the greatest in British history.’


In 2008 Hoy was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year and knighted in the New Year’s Honours list.



Chris Hoy Set to Retire?

Chris Hoy to retireSir Chris Hoy, GB’s most successful Olympian, is thought to be ready to announce his retirement. The 37-year-old, holder of 11 world titles and winner of two Golds at the London Olympics, has called a press conference for Thursday, April 18, in his hometown of Edinburgh, with BBC Scotland reporting that he will announce his immediate retirement there. The former-BBC Sports Personality of the Year had taken an extended break following last year’s Olympics – in part to develop his own brand of bike, but largely, it is thought, to consider his future. If he does indeed retire this coming Thursday it will leave what was almost certainly his guaranteed squad place open for a younger rider at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which are set to take place in Glasgow next year.



BBC Battle: Wiggins, Storey and Hoy

BBC Sports Personality of the Year SPOTY 2012 Bradley Wiggins Sarah Storey Sir Chris HoyCould a Brit cyclist make it two years running for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year? Always a tough call in an Olympic year, but with Mark Cavendish having taken the award in 2011 this year’s short list includes three cyclists: Sir Chris Hoy, Sarah Storey and, bookmaker’s favourite, Bradley Wiggins. Just choosing between the three would be hard enough; Hoy (the winner in 2008) has an almost unbelievably illustrious career to recommend him, Storey has 11 Paralympic Golds – matching Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record – and Wiggins became the first Brit ever to win the Tour de France and picked up his fourth Olympic Gold this year to boot.


Their competition comes in the form of: Nicola Adams, Ben Ainslie, Katherine Grainger, Rory McIlroy?, Andy Murray, Ellie Simmonds?, ?David Weir?, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah. The latter two most likely to give Wiggins a run for his money on the night. The BBC SPOTY (as it is colloquially known) will be decided by vote during a live ceremony from London’s ExCeL Centre on Sunday, December 16. Further details at



Hoy on Hoy

Sir Chris Hoy has taken the inaugural spin around the new velodrome that boasts his name. The facility, along with the adjoining Commonwealth Arena, is situated in the East End of Glasgow and will provide the centre-piece for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The 250 meter Siberian pine track, which includes long straights likely to prove incredibly fast, was deigned by the legendary Ralph Schuermann with input from Hoy and features a permanent seating capacity of 2,500 with the addition of 2,000 temporary seats. The foresight of those additional seats proved instantly significant as all tickets for the venues launch competition – the UCI Track World Cup, November 16 to 18 – reportedly sold out in less than 30 minutes…


Speaking after his test laps yesterday, Hoy said, ‘To have this velodrome named after me is a huge honour and something that I am very proud of.’



Hoy to Fly Flag

The prestige of British cycling seems to be going from strength to strength. Hot on the pedals of Bradley Wiggins’ historic win at the Tour de France comes the announcement that Sir Chris Hoy has been chosen to carry the Union Flag at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday, after the conclusion of voting by the 542-strong British team. The four-time Olympic Gold Medallist had previously had the honour of carrying the flag at the closing ceremony at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, today saying, ‘I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to have been voted as the flag bearer for Team GB… To lead out your team at a home Olympics is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that that I can’t wait to experience in just a few days time.’


Hoy will be in action on the track during the second week of the Games when his participation in both the Team Sprint and Keirin events could see him equal, or even surpass, Sir Steve Redgrave’s British record of five Golds.



BOA Shortlists Team GB

The British Olympic Association has confirmed the 18 athletes officially named to represent Team GB at the London Games. Unsurprising riders include Beijing Olympic triple gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy, road race World Champion Mark Cavendish and Olympic road race champion Nicole Cooke; with Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips in for the BMX. Somewhat more controversially, David Millar, despite an initial lifetime Olympic ban for taking performance-enhancing drugs back in 2004, makes the shortlist of eight (to be finalised to five) for the men’s Road Race. The women’s Road Race shortlist of six will be further whittled to four and the selection for individual track events is yet to be determined.


Track Sprint: Philip Hindes, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Varnish

Track Endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Wendy Houvenaghel, Peter Kennaugh, Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell, Andrew Tennant, Geraint Thomas, Laura Trott

BMX: Liam Phillips, Shanaze Reade

Cross Country Mountain Biking: Liam Killeen, Annie Last

Men’s Road (TBC for 5 places): Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Jeremy Hunt, David Millar, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Bradley Wiggins

Women’s Road (TBC 4 places): Lizzie Armitstead, Nicole Cooke, Katie Colclough, Sharon Laws, Lucy Martin, Emma Pooley



Hoy Battles Back to Gold

Anyone who had written Sir Chris Hoy off after a rocky few days in Australia at the Track Cycling World Championships will have done so prematurely – as the 36-year-old deified naysayer to take Gold in the Keirin, an event that he has made very much his own during a long and distinguished career. Even by the Scot’s usual standards, this was a blistering final attempt that saw him virtually elbow past New Zealand’s Simon van Velthooven and Geremany’s Maximilian Levy to take the crown – a huge boost ahead of the London 2012 Games.


Hoy’s success takes the GB tally to five Golds ahead of second place Australia’s three.