This article was published in 2021, in Magazine 153.
‘In the face of the rising global tide of hatred and the impact of austerity, fighting for protected cycling space seems irrelevant sometimes. But we all have to choose our fight, for what we want to put our time and energy towards, and I’ve chosen the thread that brings me joy. ‘
With COP26 being hosted in Scotland, it was about time we featured a Scottish cycling blog! Suzanne Forup is Head of Development for Cycling UK in Scotland, co-founder of Women’s Cycle Forum Scotland and one of the coordinators of Walk, Wheel, Cycle, Vote, a collaboration of more than 50 organisations in Scotland working together to increase investment in active travel. Her blog Back On My Bike includes thoughts on campaigning, cycle adventures and becoming a car-free family.
In People Make Change, a post from December 2019, Suzanne discusses how working for change often starts with a need to change ourselves. Sharing experiences, listening, being prepared to adjust our own positions and judgements: all these are important steps on the journey. So too is finding others to plot, plan and pedal with and making sure we remember some joy!
Suzanne says: ‘Creative campaigning, highlighting what works, and the occasional thank you for something good keep us motivated, finding some eye-catching fun in otherwise dreary conversations about road widths, kerb heights or correcting everyone about road tax … In these despondent times some hope in the dark goes a long way and can open doors you don’t know exist.’