Bikes are in for Scotland’s interior design gurus, who got on their saddles to launch a week celebrating the pollution-free mode of transport.
Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan gave their wheels a spin – and a makeover – in the lead-up to Team Green Britain Bike Week, beginning on Monday, June 18.
In keeping with the week’s Biggest Bike Fix, an attempt to repair as many bikes as possible, the pair met staff at Edinburgh’s Bike Station to do some work on their own two-wheelers, before pedalling across the nearby Meadows.
Justin explained why they got involved with the campaign. He said: “We’ve both cycled pretty much since we were kids; we’ve always been motivated to get healthy.
“It’s a brilliantly social exercise. The weather is beginning to get that little bit warmer in Scotland and we want to support everybody as much as we possibly can.
“Cycling is just a fantastic way to get around, and obviously the big side benefit is you get fit.”
Colin added that, like design, cycling is open to anyone. He said: “It’s kind of like design - it’s not about what you know, you don’t have to know about the history of art or period furniture, you just know what makes you tick, what makes you smile.
“It’s the same with bikes, people are put off by the weight of the bike, the number of gears. You don’t have to worry about all that, you just want to get it from A to B and have as much fun as possible.”
The TV regulars spent time in The Bike Station finding out about how to get their bicycles in tip top condition for use.
Colin said: “Now is the time to liberate your cycle. Take it along to one of the specialist cyclist shops, they will be able to help you repair it and then you can get back on the road without having to break the bank.”
The Bike Station specialises in reconditioned and recycled bicycles and works to promote cycling through training, maintenance and workshops.
Mark Sydenham, manager of the Edinburgh branch, said: “There are more bicycles in Britain than there are cars, but a lot of bicycles are in sheds or garages with punctures and rusty chains.
“The only thing that’s stopping people from getting out and using them is that they need a bit of maintenance, a bit of TLC.
“This year’s Bike Week is all about encouraging people to give their bikes a bit of attention, and at The Bike Station we help people do that. We’ve got workshop space, bicycle recycling, refurbishment and we help people get their bikes fixed off site.”
Sponsored by EDF Energy’s Team Green Britain, Bike Week aims to get more than have a million around the UK to give cycling a go by demonstrating its social, health and environmental benefits through a series of events.
Andrew Pankhurst, from Cycling Scotland, thinks that learning to fix bikes will get more people cycling.
He said: “So many people have got bikes languishing in sheds, gathering dust, when just a few minor repairs would get them back out on the road again.
“There are millions of reasons to get into cycling. It’s really great for your health and it’s a free mode of travel - especially at the moment when prices are going through the roof and even public transport costs are getting higher.
“People have concerns about the safety of cycling, but statistically it’s one of the safest modes of travel. It’s maybe more the fact that people don’t feel confident on the roads when they’re sharing it with other traffic. Cycle training is a fantastic way of getting your confidence up on a bike.”
Team Green Britain Bike Week takes place from June 18 to 26.