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Mark Beaumont backs Edinburgh cycle hire scheme

Published: 14 Aug 2018

Mark Beaumont, who went round the world in a record breaking 79 days on two wheels has been unveiled as the face of the capital’s cycle hire scheme.

He has now embarked on his latest adventure, albeit slightly closer to home, by helping promote the hire scheme to those visiting, working, living and studying in the city.

The ultra-endurance cyclist and Edinburgh resident is announced as the scheme’s ambassador today after receiving his own cobalt blue Pashley hire bike, named Joy. He will be testing the app, geo-docking technology and bike ahead of the official launch in September.

The 35 year old, who broke the world record for cycling around the world by 44 days in 2017, completed the 18,000-mile route by cycling an average of 240 miles a day, sleeping for five hours each night.

Mark said: “I’m really pleased to get behind Edinburgh’s first cycle hire scheme which will open up cycling to a much broader audience, showing the benefits and possibilities getting on a bike can bring to anyone. You don’t have to go round the world to get something back from cycling, and as someone who lives in Edinburgh, I’m excited to see the bikes and cycle hire points beginning to pop up all over the city as more people see the benefits of travelling on two wheels.”

Jason Holtom, Serco’s Director of Leisure Services, said: “Mark is someone who embodies the sense of adventure, energy and fun that cycling can unlock and we couldn’t think of a better person to test out our high quality hire bikes as we approach the launch. We thank Mark for his support and look forward to working with him over the next year as Your Bike Edinburgh establishes itself as a new mode of transport in the capital.”

Transport for Edinburgh Chief Executive George Lowder MBE said: “We are really excited that Mark will be an ambassador for the new Edinburgh cycle hire scheme.  With Mark’s support we can help inspire people of all generations who work, study, live in and visit the city to cycle more and enjoy our improved transport network.”

Transport and Environment Convener and Chair of Transport for Edinburgh, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “It’s fantastic to see these brand new bikes in use, and being tested by Mark Beaumont no less. By introducing a cycle hire scheme to Edinburgh we want to make it as easy and appealing as possible for people to cycle in the Capital, whether they live here, commute to or are visiting the city. With Mark as ambassador of this initiative, I look forward to seeing a lot more people choosing to explore our fantastic city by bike.”

The scheme’s operator, Serco signed a concession agreement with Transport for Edinburgh (TfE) to introduce and operate the new cycle hire scheme for the City of Edinburgh earlier this year. The initial three-year agreement will deliver at least 500 manual bikes by April 2019.

The cobalt blue Pashley bikes will offer cyclists excellent handling and ride quality, featuring high quality Shimano gears and brakes, comfortable gel saddle, front and rear LED lights, full-length mudguards, puncture resistant tyres that do not compromise ride quality, and a step- through frame allowing ease-of-use for all cyclists regardless of height. The scheme will also be using technology including the unique hybrid lock provided by Urban Infrastructure Partner (UIP) the operators of cycle hire schemes in Oslo and Bergen.