Brian Curtis MBE 1943-2021

Cycling UK member; CTC councillor; tour leader and founding chair of Cycling Scotland, Brian Curtis died peacefully at home in Edinburgh on 11 November 2021

Brian Curtis was very well known in Scottish cycling circles. Among his many achievements, he led cycle tours all over the world as a CTC tour leader, and he represented Scotland as CTC councillor, before the formation of the Trustee Board.

As chair of the Scottish Cycling Development Project (SCDP) – a joint project between Cycling UK (as CTC) and Scottish Cycling from 1997 to 2003 – Brian initiated a cross-party group on cycling in the Scottish Parliament.

He was the founding chair and then a trustee and director of Cycling Scotland, the Scottish cycling organisation which succeeded SCDP, from 2003 to 2013. He received an MBE for his services to cycling in 2006.

At Cycling Scotland, Brian was one of the main organisers and event director of the first few Pedal for Scotland rides which attracted thousands of beginner and experienced riders alike on a closed road route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Gary Cummins, former ride leader CTC Cycling Holidays and Tours, remembers Brian: “On his first CTC tour as leader, there was only one participant, but he was undeterred by this and went on to lead many more UK and overseas tours over many years, becoming one of the company’s most popular and loved tour leaders.

“Understated and inclusive was Brian’s approach to leading cycle tours and I suspect to most things in his life. He had a huge impact on many of us, via cycling, his quiet work for his church and just as a friend.

“Leading novice and experienced riders on sociable, exciting and memorable holidays which often led to life-long friendships and not infrequently marriages (including my own), was a theme of a Brian Curtis tour.

“His style was relaxed, humorous and supportive and he was such a strong rider he could speed effortlessly ahead to the pack leaders and then drop back to offer words of encouragement to those struggling at the back.

“As one of his Pedal for Scotland stewards, I spent one very wet day at a junction in continuous rain at Cramond Brig. As we began packing up, a few folk were still trickling though. Nearly last past my junction were three or four ladies, clearly struggling, but still laughing, and with them, right at the back, gently supporting and making sure they got to the finish safely, was Brian.

“Brian’s enthusiasm and involvement with all cycling issues in Scotland helped change it for the better, but everyone who knew Brian, whether a cyclist or not, will miss him.”

Brian and his late wife Ann had three children: Tim, Hazel and Steve.

For anyone who knew Brian, a memorial ride is being organised on Wednesday 1 June by his local CTC Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders cycling club: Brian Curtis memorial ride.