Tribute to Erl Wilkie MBE, Cycling Scotland’s first Chief Executive

17 March 2023    

Cycling Scotland’s staff are deeply saddened by the death of Erl Wilkie MBE, our organisation’s first Chief Executive and longstanding advocate for cycling.

Brought up in Glasgow, Erl enjoyed a career as a civil engineer taking him to many countries across the world. On returning to Scotland, he focused on helping more people to cycle.

In the early 1990s, Erl united Strathclyde Regional Council’s public health and transport teams in  a programme to support people in improving their fitness through walking and cycling and contributed to the prioritisation of a cycle route along the River Kelvin.

In 2001, he directed the international cycle conference ‘Velo-city’, bringing hundreds of delegates from across the world to Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 2002, Erl received the MBE for services to cycling, the same year that Cycling Scotland was founded. Erl became our first Chief Executive, leading the charity until retiring in 2009.

In retirement, Erl continued to take part in long-distance cycle trips across Europe with his running and cycling partner Donald Christie. Just last year, following his cancer diagnosis, Erl and Donald cycled from Amsterdam to Hamburg, raising over £2,400 for Beatson Cancer Charity.

We are grateful for Erl’s work in championing cycling in Scotland and for the legacy he leaves. Our sincere condolences to Erl’s family, friends and all who knew him.

Erl’s life is remembered in The Herald.