Campus Cycling Officer? Who’s Tamzin Dewar?

Bike Pool Transition University of St Andrews transport Travel

Transition St Andrews is pleased to announce the addition of another full-time member of staff! Tamzin Dewar will be taking the role of Campus Cycling Officer with the general remit to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable travel option for staff and students. A keen bikepacker on a mission to share her passion find out a bit more about Tamzin and the role of CCO here. If you have any questions or ideas about cycling in St Andrews you can get in touch!

‘Hello! I’m Tamzin, your new Campus Cycling Officer!’

This statement is usually greeted with ‘Oh nice! What course do you study?’, or, ‘You’re a what?’. Today I am delighted to get the opportunity to reassure you that despite sounding like a member of the SU, I am in fact a full time working professional (there you go mum). I was fortunate enough to start working for Transition St Andrews at the start of November and I have been loving every moment since. I started cycling myself in my third year at University, I admired my triathlete housemate’s road bike every day for a year, despite it being a major trip hazard in the corridor, and eventually I caved and bought myself one. Seasoned cyclists will relate, this rapidly escalated and I ended up both working in a bike shop and president of my university road cycling club. At first it seemed like nothing more than a pretty hefty saving on the Uni bus pass which I’d purchased every year previously. However, I soon started overtaking the bus (in a safe and responsible manner of course) and would frequently pass shivering course mates in bus stops on the way home from lectures. Fast forward just over 4 years later and I’ve graduated with the most indecisive degrees known to studentkind; a BSc in Mathematics and a MSc in Project Management. Brought home from a year out snowboarding in Canada, I knew I wanted to work a job that I loved but that the current economy might not be generous. I took a risk and moved to Scotland on a day’s decision making which is when I chanced across the Campus Cycling Officer role.

If there is one thing I bring to my role, it’s the passion that comes with sharing something you love with people. Certainly, my official job summary is to promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable travel option for staff and students, but I want it to be much more than that. I want people to get outdoors because they love connecting with nature, I want students to have a break from the pressure of their studies and work on their mental and physical health, I want to support an activity that is accessible to everyone; summed up I want people to cycle!

A huge part of my work this year will revolve around aiding the design and installation of a new ‘cycle hub’ where we at Transition can support students, staff, and to some extent the local community, with all their bicycle-based endeavours. I will be encouraging people to go on some of the many courses we have on offer, from cycling skills to bike maintenance and then helping to run these. I’ll be out there campaigning for you, yes you, to put lights on your bike and to wear a helmet, and I’ll be at the Bike Pool Fix It sessions when your brake pads wear out. I’ll even do the paperwork. Finally I want an underlying theme of my work this year to also focus on equality and diversity in cycling; as someone who is part of a minority the majority of the time, my passion for ensuring inclusivity for everyone rivals that which I have for cycling. I am guilty of previously not making this a priority and I want to change that.

I think I should wrap up there, but please come and speak to me about cycling or about anything else you think I can help with. My email is linked below or get in touch with Transition. I’m quickly learning not to scare freshers off with detailed explanations of why I run SRAM 1x on my gravel bike, but I know there’s an audience somewhere. See you around and safe cycling!!