The 2014 Edinburgh Festival of Cycling gets under way tomorrow (12 Jun) and promises to be ten days of pedal-powered fun, packed with plenty of events for all ages and abilities.
Andy Revill takes a look at the best of what’s on offer, with a couple of tips along the way.
Brompton Folding Competition at Biketrax
Something I must admit I have never encountered before, but it seems that the ingenious Brompton folding bicycle has given birth to a whole subculture of people who are intent on folding it as fast as possible, rather than riding it. Don’t be fooled though, it’s incredibly tricky as I found out (picture evidence below). Qualifying rounds start tomorrow (12 Jun) at 11am, so why not pop in and try your hand at competitive Brompton folding? You never know, you might just beat my best time!
Biketrax, 11-13 Lochrin Place, Thu 12 Jun at 11am; website
Edinburgh Lochs and Castles Bicycle Tour
This tour is a three-hour long ride, but don’t be put off: it’s a gentle pace and there’s a break in the middle. It takes in the Innocent Tunnel, Craigmillar Castle, Dr Neil’s Garden, The Sheep Heid Inn, Duddingston Loch, The Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Scottish Parliament and Our Dynamic Earth.
Adults: £20 for bike hire and tour, £6 if you bring your own bike
Concession: £18 for bike hire and tour, £5 if you bring your own bike
Beginning at 39 Jeffrey Street, Fri 13 Jun, 6.30pm.
For more information visit the Le tour Edinburgh website.
Belles on Bikes
Belles on Bikes will be hosting two led bike rides around the city, taking in some of the low traffic roads and path networks throughout Edinburgh so you can use them to your advantage. Choose from a 20 mile or a 40 mile ride. Bring a bike that works, a helmet, water and snacks!
Meet at top of Middle Meadow Walk, Sat 14 Jun at 10.30am
For more information visit the Women on Wheels website.
The Spokesmen – a theatre experience with a difference
A wholly different theatrical experience to enjoy on a weekend afternoon. Bikes and helmets are provided as audience members will do some cycling as the story unfolds. Don’t worry, it’s five minute stints on the flat! Advance booking is a must, go to www.summerhall.co.uk for more details.
Meet at main gates of Cammo Estate, Sat 14 Jun and Sun 15 Jun at 12.30pm
Monday Mechanics at Cyclone
Make your Monday a mite more mechanised with this free drop in session for all abilities. Bring your own wheels for free expert advice on bike maintenance. Tools are also provided so you can really get to grips with your bike and learn some new skills. There’s also the chance to see the great Cyclone Bike track at Gypsy Brae.
Gypsy Brae, Mon 16 Jun at 6pm
You’ve had a cycling accident, what next?
It’s all important that cyclists stay safe on the roads, and this informational talk given by legal expert Julie Harris will shed some light on what cyclists can do if they are ever involved in an accident. As ever, preventing an accident is always ideal, so please take care on the roads and wear hi-vis clothing and a helmet.
Allan McDougall Solicitors, Coates Crescent, Tue 17 Jun at 12pm
Marco Pantani – The Pirate
More theatrics with a dramatic reading of this fascinating tale of legendary Italian cyclist Marco Pantani. Pantani won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, and five years later he was found dead in a Rimini hotel room. Read by Stuart Hepburn, Jane Robertson and Scott Ballantyne, this promises to be an eye-opening and entertaining production. Tickets £5, £4 concession, book here.
Pleasance Theatre, Wed 18 Jun, 7pm
King of Kaimes Hill Climb
Prizes to be won for the King, Queen, Prince and Princess of Kaimes Hill in Corstorphine. Battle your way to the top of the 9% gradient slope in the fastest time possible for your place in history. Sign-up opens at 6pm and the first rider is away at 7pm. More details at harts-cyclery.co.uk.
Kaimes Hill, Thu 19 Jun, 6pm.
Tickets: Adults £5, Concession £3, available from Hart’s Cyclery.
The Mind of a Helmet Camera Cyclist
Over the past six years, David Brennan has been wearing a helmet camera whenever he rides his bike. He has had death threats, been threatened with arrest, dodged bullets and set up a safer cycling campaign. This talk should offer a unique insight into what it can be like on Britain’s roads. Tickets £5, book here.
Canon’s Gait, Fri 20 Jun, 7pm
Cycle Speedway Drop in Session
Speedway cycling is done on an oval shaped blaze track, over four fast paced laps on bikes with no brakes. Come along and try out this down and dirty form of racing. Watch the Edinburgh Falcons at work and then give it a bash yourself.
Redbraes Park, Sat 21 Jun, 11am
Arthur’s Seat Hill Climb Challenge
What better way to round off ten days of two-wheeled festivities than by pitting yourself against the one mile ascent of Edinburgh’s famous landmark? Prizes on offer for the fastest three men and women, so get training now and you could be in with a shout. Oh, and it’s free to enter, so what’s your excuse?
Queens Drive, Sun 22 Jun, 9am
For more information about the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, visit www.edfoc.org.uk