By Tracy Griffen
Sometimes it can be frustrating dodging potholes cycling about Edinburgh. It‘«÷s easy to get frustrated with traffic and forget just how good riding a bike can feel. However, cyclists are a proactive lot and the 4,000 strong crowd at the recent Pedal on Parliament is a good example of this. Instead of focusing on frustrating things about cycling (but acknowledging that PoP is hugely important), a group of cyclists have decided to start a festival that celebrates all things bike. We want to show Edinburgh just how significant cycling is, to many people‘«÷s lives.
The inaugural Edinburgh Festival of Cycling runs as part of National Bike Week, from 5 to 23 June. There‘«÷s over 40 events to choose from, many of them free and family-friendly. Whether you are a seasoned road cyclist, occasional commuter or simply bike-curious, there‘«÷s something for you. Talk highlights include Copenhagenized Mikael Colville-Andersen at the Assembly Hall, fastest women around the world Juliana Buhring speaking about her experiences at George Square Lecture Theatre, Mark Beaumont at Queens Hall and others. There are map and photography exhibitions, guided bike rides, bike polo and extreme unicycling plus much more. Women cyclists can meet and chat at Heels on Wheels, Edinburgh‘«÷s first ‘«ˇladies‘«÷ day of cycling on the Meadows, 11am to 3pm on Saturday 22 June.?Š There will be cycling instructors, cycling clubs seeking women members, inspiring speakers, coffee, cake and ice cream… All are welcome to this fun and informative day. The bike rides include a coastal night ride on the longest day of the year, mountain biking, speedway racing and a hill climb up Arthur‘«÷s Seat.
The best way to support this new festival is to check out the programme and book yourself in for some events. Some of the workshops are already booking out, so get in quick and show your support for cycling in ‘«ˇauld reekie‘«÷. Visit www.edfoc.org.uk for all details and a downloadable PDF of the programme. EdFoC are also on Twitter @edfoc and Facebook /edinburghfestivalofcycling