General News:

New Scots benefit from Rock Up and Ride sessions


Sport Aberdeen – alongside partners Rock Up & Ride, Sustrans, Nestrans & Robert Gordon’s College – recently held a cycle safety event for New Scots living in Aberdeen.

The event took place on Tuesday 12March, where 27 New Scots benefitted from the sessions.

The cycle trainers on the day were from Sport Aberdeen’s Rock Up & Ride Project and Sustrans’ Bike Project, along with Bob Tayler – Head of Outdoor Education at Robert Gordon’s College and Tim Bowden – Sustrans’ Bike Communities Officer for Aberdeen.

The work was delivered in partnership with Asylum & Refugee Care, as it was identified that many New Scots have attempted to cycle since arriving in Aberdeen with little or no knowledge of the Highway Code and how to keep themselves and others safe. 

Despite the language barriers, the basic cycle safety sessions covered the importance of riding in a controlled manner, having good observation skills, positioning on the road, how to signal, and who has priority.

Attendees were also informed that cycling on the pavement in the UK is not permitted and that care should be taken to respect pedestrians when passing.

Laura Benson, Project Activator for Cycling at Sport Aberdeen, said: “Many of the New Scots are keen to explore the city by bike and they welcomed the safety advice provided. 

“It is intended that further cycle safety sessions for New Scots located elsewhere in the city will be provided.  

“Our Community Sport team at Sport Aberdeen will continue to work with New Scots to create more opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity, including Rock Up & Ride led rides, football and fitness sessions.

“We’d like to thank the cycling trainers Tim Bowden, Sustrans’ Bike Communities Officer for Aberdeen and Bob Tayler, Head of Outdoor Education at Robert Gordon’s College, for dedicating their time to deliver the session.”

Jayne Smith from Asylum Refugee Care said: “There was a really good attendance at the session.

“It was great to see so much enthusiasm from the New Scots to learn about how they could keep themselves safe on a bicycle.

“Personally, I am relieved this event has been held as it gives me greater confidence in those individuals’ knowledge of cycling safely in Scotland.”

Bob Tayler, Head of Outdoor Education at Robert Gordon’s College, said: “Sport Aberdeen’s dedication to organising these cycling sessions for New Scots in Aberdeen underscores the collaborative effort needed to ensure everyone can enjoy the city safely. 

“Cycling is not only great fun and exercise, it’s an effective and free method of transport. Working alongside Sport Aberdeen and other partners to promote essential cycling skills was a fantastic opportunity. Through these efforts, we enhance safety and create a sense of belonging and empowerment among New Scots as they navigate their new surroundings.”