On yer bike.
A phrase which might not be entirely alien to politicians of all persuasions – and none – at every level.
But perhaps unlikely to have every been taken up so literally as it has been by one Angus councillor.
Arbroath Independent Lois Speed has decided to eschew the more traditional setting of side rooms in council buildings or community facilities by encouraging constituents to get on board – literally – the idea of pedal-powered pondering of local issues.
Tandem talk is the driver for Ms Speed’s latest idea of getting a handle on local views after she saddled up with Scott Francis of Angus Cycle Hub for a whirl around town to promote her innovative idea.
She hopes folk will join her on a bicycle built for two, or their own wheels, to take leisurely pedal around their local community and chat about things which might be exercising their thoughts.
Part of the motivation behind the idea has been the reaction – not entirely positive from every corner it has to be said – to the recently announced near £7million windfall for a transformative re-think of the A92 running through Arbroath which has been said to divide the town.
However, Ms Speed is keen the Sustrans-supported scheme, which also delivered massive money for a plan to bring similar sustainable transport benefits to Perth’s Motor Mile, isn’t the sole subject up for discussion.
She has also emphasised the idea is aimed at all and definitely isn’t a Tour de France paced time trial challenge for those whose wardrobe comprises mainly tight-fitting, padded in parts, lurid lycra.
“It’s meant to be a bit of fun, to get folk out in the fresh air and chew the fat on things which matter to them,” she said.
“Being out in the fresh air and enjoying the environment around you is very different from sitting in a room across the table from someone and so if it gets them a little more inspired about the area they live in by seeing it in a different way then that’s great.”
Arbroath is probably a long way away from becoming Amsterdam in a cycling context, but if you need any indication of how a different outlook can turn the tide of thought in the way Ms Speed hopes to then look no further than the pontoons packed with leisure craft in the town’s once commercially-dominated harbour.