Chief Encounters: Suzanne Forup lurves her Genesis Croix de Fer 20


Suzanne Forup seems to have the perfect job promoting the joys of cycling, which maybe explains her tendency to over commit!

TFN Staff's photo

30th May 2017 by TFN Staff 0 Comments

What makes a good day at work?

I love days that include both celebrating what our work achieves and campaigning for a future to enable more people to cycle. So a good day will start by visiting a project like our Edinburgh All Ability Cycling centre and talking to participants about how the opportunities we provide have enabled them to get active with their friends and family.

Do you socialise with colleagues outside the Christmas party?

Yes, my work/life balance is quite integrated as cycling is a central part of my life; my evenings and weekends are often spent cycling, talking about cycling or enabling other people to cycle.

Suzanne Forup

Suzanne Forup

What’s the best thing that’s happened this month?

We celebrated the second year of the Big Bike Revival early this month with a fantastic event at SoulRiders, one of the 100 organisations we’re working with to enable more people in Scotland to get back on two or three wheels. The Big Bike Revival will support around 20,000 people over the next year to get cycling for the first time or get them back on a bike after some years off.

Are two-wheels better than four?

They are for different things; we use a car for longer journeys that can’t be completed by public transport or by walking or cycling.

Do charities do too much in our society?

No, I’m delighted to be in a sector that is working towards a collaborative vision of Scotland as more equitable nation. It’s also a privilege to work in an environment where so many people give their time freely to the issues that are important to them, creating positive change in communities across our beautiful county.

Is Facebook your friend or your enemy?

Facebook is my friend, but sometimes I feel married to Twitter

What’s the best film every written?

Ohh tough! Wadjda, the 2012 film directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, about a girl in Saudi Arabia who longs to buy a bicycle in a country where girls are not allowed to cycle, is a beautiful story of determination and the emancipatory power of cycling.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

I managed to create my perfect weekend for my 40th birthday a couple of years ago: camping and cycling with my family and friends at Comrie Croft in Perthshire. That said, I went to Seville recently with some cycling girlfriends, leaving my five year old at home with my husband, and that was pushing close to a different sort of perfect: sunshine, tapas, orange wine and Europe’s most quickly built cycling infrastructure scheme.

If you were your boss would you like you?

I’d probably like me, but I’m not sure I’d want to be my boss – my tendency to over commit, be prepared to manage projects on a shoestring budget and say yes to anything interesting is probably hard to manage.

Is the third sector a calling or an accident?

I’m not sure it’s either, but the third sector is where I’ve found the interesting and exciting work.

What was your first bike like?

My first bike was a blue Raleigh Budgie as far as the photos show but I don’t recall loving cycling as a child. My real bike love is my newest, a Genesis Croix de Fer 20.

What advice would you give your successor?

Don’t listen to me, go and talk to the staff team, our volunteers, members and stakeholders

What’s your favourite cause apart from your own?

Books and bikes are my two major passions, so if I couldn’t work in cycling I’d be looking to work in literacy, enabling children from any background to find adventure, creativity and joy through stories.

Which Brian Cox?

As one of the founders of Women’s Cycle Forum Scotland I’m rather sick of being asked to ‘choose’ between two men. Right now I think the late MP Jo Cox is the choice I would make.

Suzanne Forup is head of development Scotland for Cycling UKĀ