Blog - Page 2 of 3 - Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

Cycling and other Edinburgh Festivals

Cycling and other Edinburgh Festivals

As you may know there are a few other festival in Edinburgh, so here are a few of the cycling events on offer.

First off something a little different, The Bike Station has an a small exhibition celebrating 50 Years of Flying Scot bicycles. It is free, just drop in during opening hours.

There are some fantastic talks at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, these include:

  • Chris Hoy: Sensational Cycling. Grab your bike and get down to this event to meet one of Great Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes, Chris Hoy, as he introduces his magical cycling adventure series, Flying Fergus. Join Chris and his writing and illustration team, Joanna Nadin and Clare Elsom, for a fantastically fun, fast-paced event.
  • Elly Blue: Getting To The Hub Of Cycling And Society. The social bicycle revolution keeps on spinning with Oregon’s Elly Blue leading the field. Offering a new perspective on how we get around, her Bikenomics includes a shocking comparison between cities which invest in a two-wheeled future and others that don’t. For those who already ride their way through life, this will bolster their beliefs; those who don’t will have their eyes truly opened.
  • Dervla Murphy & Jennifer Tough: Staying On Your Bike. Moving about on two wheels has never been more popular but few would undertake the endurance tests which Dervla Murphy and Jennifer Tough have put themselves through. Murphy recalls the great journeys she’s cycled, including Dunkirk to India and across Cuba, while Tough was captivated by the idea of peddling around the entire Baltic Sea coastline, where she encountered perfect beaches and less than perfect driving.
  • Juliana Buhring: The Cycle Of Life For A Record-Breaker. Feats of human endurance never cease to amaze and enthral. In 2012, against all odds, Juliana Buhring became the first woman to circumnavigate the world on a bike, after very little training and with barely any financial backing. Now a Guinness World Record holder, Buhring tells us about her upbringing, which is both fascinating and shocking. Saddle up for a classic Book Festival ride.

In addition, there are great shows as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, these include:

  • In Conversation With… Graeme Obree. Described by Sir Chris Hoy as a ‘genius’, Graeme is a cyclist, parent, writer and broadcaster. Graeme has never held a driving license and commutes regularly on his bike. A regular contributor on TV and radio, often on cycling or mental health issues, Graeme is the author of two books: his autobiography The Flying Scotsman, made into the 2006 biopic starring Jonny Lee Miller as Obree, and his acclaimed training manual The Obree Way. Graeme is an accomplished speaker, regularly addressing audiences from all walks of life, including corporate groups, schools and cycling clubs.
  • Bikeology. Journalist, television presenter and best-selling author Ned Boulting brings his acclaimed ride through the world of cycling to the Fringe for the first time, for 3 shows only! From the humble commuter to the winner of the Tour de France*, Boulting takes an off-centre look at what it means to ride a bike, drawing on his own underwhelming adventures in the saddle and his 15 summers spent hurtling around France in pursuit of the sport’s biggest names. All two-wheeled life is here! *Ned Boulting has never tested positive for performance enhancing substances.
  • The HandleBards: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The HandleBards are the world’s first cycling theatre company. Before touring their beautifully bonkers production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream around the world, they pedalled it 1500 miles around the UK by bicycle with all the necessary set, props and costume in tow. Now, their critically acclaimed show is back by popular demand in the Botanic Garden, with riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos and a great deal of laughter. Bring a picnic, bring some friends and enjoy this magical show in the great outdoors
  • The HandleBards: As You Like It. The world’s first cycling theatre company, the HandleBards, pedal from venue to venue with all the set, props and costume necessary to perform environmentally sustainable Shakespeare across the globe. Join their all-female troupe, at the peak of their 1500 mile adventure, for this bicycle-powered production with riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos and a great deal of laughter. Bring a picnic, bring some friends and enjoy this wild show in the great outdoors!

If you know of any more that we have missed please let us know. Keep on Pedaling!

Writing & Riding 2017: and the winners are…

Writing & Riding 2017: and the winners are…

This year as part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling we ran a literature competition with two categories, poetry and short story. We were not sure what to expect, but were delighted with the quantity and quality of entries, with a total of five short stories and twenty individual poems submitted. The high quality of the entries made the job of the independent judging panel that much harder. Congratulations to the winners! There could only be one winner for each category, and it was the poetry competition which led to he most debate among the panel.

So without further ado, we are delighted to announce that the winners are (Drum roll):

  • Sarah Whiteside for her short story Freedom Of Movement
  • and Beth McDonough for her poem Cycling flat
  • with Finola Scott being highly commended for her Nolly Berries.

The two winners receive four books each, generously donated by Canongate books.
Our thanks to everyone who entered the competition, to our judges for giving freely of their time and to Canongate books for the prizes.

Prizes by Canongate Books

Mike Hall RIP

There was sad news from Australia last night, Mike Hall the world-renowned ultra-distance cyclist died after being hit by a car whilst competing in the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Mike’s untimely death is a great loss to the ultra cycling community, including many friends of EdFoC, our hearts go out to all of them. Two members of the EdFoC team met Mike at EuroBike last year and we were hoping that he would be a part of the Festival this year. We are deeply saddened by his death, rest in peace Mike, you are already missed.

If you would like to help Mike’s family in this difficult time, TCR rider James Hayden has set up a Justgiving crowdfunder.

Mike Hall RIP

There is a fitting tribute here.

Writing & Riding

We are thinking of holding an EdFoC Creative Writing Competition, Writing & Riding, so we are calling all writing cyclists and cycling writers – send us your poems and short fiction about bicycles and cycling, for a chance to win (well we will work something out) and to have your work published by EdFoC. We’re looking for original and well-crafted pieces that will help to communicate your enthusiasm for cycling in all its forms, to people of any age.

Rules, there’ll have to be some form of guidelines, probably something along the lines of word limits – 40 lines poetry (and max 3 poems per entrant). Short story fiction, around 1,000 words max – esp as judges’ time is likely to limited.

Let us know what you think…

Feedback from EdFoC 2016

Feedback from EdFoC 2016

We have finally gotten round to analysing the feedback from EdFoC 2016 and thought we’d share the highlights with you. A big thank you to all those who took the time to fill out the survey. We are pleased to see that you clearly liked the Festival, with 82% saying that it was Excellent or Very Good, 14% rating it Good and only 4% saying it was Poor.

Comments about the festival included:

“well done! Do it again!” and “Great fun for all!”

We’d just like to say a big thank you to all who gave us feedback.

So what did people think of the individual events? Here are a few of the comments:

An evening with Julian Sayerer

Excellent – “Much more varied than I was expecting, jumping from politics, to touring the world to courier work in London. Made it all the better and quite easily convinced me to buy his books on the spot”

Belles on Bikes & Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative Ride


Bike Curious Family Workshop

Very Good

Bikey tales of adventure – Jenny Tough

Excellent & Very Good – “I feel a lot of cycle-touring talks are usually a case of the converted preaching to the converted. As someone who has never been on a long trip, it was truly inspiring to hear someone talk about how easy it was to do with no previous experience.”
“Well done and the wee film was a nice touch”

Cycle Speed Dating

Excellent & Very Good – “I met some really nice people, the venue was good and well hosted”
“Nice relaxed environment”

Cycling and the Law – Cycle Law Scotland

Very Good – “Presentations and speakers great. Good content. Venue a little too squished” [sorry about that, was more popular than anticipated]
“Very interesting presentation, would have liked a bit more time for discussions at the end.”
“Good interesting programme, well presented.”

Essential Yoga for Cyclists: Union Yoga


King of Kaimes Hill Climb

Very Good – “Low key event with the correct amount of craziness to make it an attractive option”
“Great fun for all”

Ligfiets Zondag

Excellent – “Ideal opportunity to try a different form of cycling”

Meadowbank velodrome taster sessions

Excellent – “Completely amazing, weather ended up being perfect, phil [of ERC] got us up and running no problem. One of the most fun things I’ve done”

Mind is the ride with Jet McDonald

Excellent & Very Good – “Jet was an excellent choice by the festival programmers. More than anything, talks like this are very inspiring, especially if you had ever considered (ro dreamed about) similar experiences. Although it wasn’t a full house at all, there was a lot of engagement in the Q&A part, which shows how inspiring these events are.”

One pedal at a time – one woman’s journey to the top – Genevieve Whitson

Very Good – “Very interesting and show the dedication required outwith British Cycling envelope.”

Original Edinburgh Night Ride

Excellent & Very Good – “It gets better and better. Very well organised. A pleasure.”
“Cycling during a mild and still quite light June night with others on a mystery tour with pre-arranged stops and meals at a non-competitive pace is absolutely fab!”

Pantani – the accidental death of a cyclist [and other films at Balerno]

Excellent & Very Good – “Cinema ‘staff’ all very welcoming on arrival, free beer was a lovely gesture, audience were appreciative and civilised, all three films were excellent, it was a very enjoyable event, thank you!”
“Excellent programme and presentation and value”

Ride to the Sun

Excellent – “Fantastic atmosphere, well done to the organisers”

Spokes Bike Breakfast

Excellent & Very Good – “Great veggie breakfast and free maintenance”
“Well done to organisers of this one!”
“Free breakfast, chain cleaned, bike ID applied by police, and lots of other stalls! … What’s not to like? Apart from the dreich weather, but at least it wasn’t raining!”
“It was a nice event and opportunity to meet other people.”

Spokes public meeting on cycling and health

Excellent & Very Good – “Good format. But then it’s been tested often 🙂 ”
“Interesting content, but preaching to the converted? … Good to see event well attended … Good to see gender mix panel. (No all male panel)”

Very Beginners Bike Maintenance

Excellent – “I really enjoyed the bike maintenance class. Hannah [of Cycle Service] was enthusiastic and answered all questions as if they weren’t daft. I looking forward to getting stuck into maintaining my own bike now!”

Women’s learn then ride

Excellent – “I was somewhat skeptical about how useful this was going to be given I’d ridden bike in past (albeit a very long time ago) … however, [it has] been very useful in helping users think about balance, and good tips (and practice) on road procedure. Very encouraging for all participants, and helpful on getting us enthused, and importantly getting us linked into ‘Edinburgh Belles‘ and ‘the festival’.”

Womens Cycle Forum Scotland launch

Excellent & Very Good

Give us feedback and win prizes!

Give us feedback and win prizes!

Now that the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2016 is over we need your feedback, tell us what you though of the Festival this year and help us to make it event better next year. We have created two surveys for you to fill in, one for individual events (just five questions so it is really quick and easy), and a survey to cover the whole festival. As an incentive we are offering entry to a prize draw to all those who complete the surveys.

We have some really great prizes on offer these include: LIMITS power meter worth £250, Cycloc Hero bike storage solution, a copy of Bikepacking by Laurence McJannet, and much more.


LiMiTs Power meter

The LIMITS power meter is a new invention which is designed to fit between the pedal and crank arm removing all compatibility issues normally associated with the frame, crank arm and pedal. The design ensures you do not need to replace any of your existing components. LIMITS can be installed by you in minutes with easy software upgraded as enhancements are made as well as quick and easy replacement of batteries. The power meter can connect to any smart phone via Bluetooth or any ANT+ compatible wireless cycle computer able to display power. Designed in Scotland.

EdFoC 2016 now on!

The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2016 is now on, we hope that you will join us! Sadly not all of our friends can be there Juliana Buhring who is about ride the Race Across America (RAAM) supported by Emily Chappell. Juliana and Emily first met and became friends at the festival last year.

Also missing is Markus Stitz, who last year created the Capital Trail as part of the festival. Currently Markus is cycling single speed around the world, and although he can’t be with us he did send this message from Iran:

Red Dwarf meets Urban Arrow

At the weekend EdFoC was invited to the Bikes vs Cars Future Vehicle Showcase at the Edinburgh International Science Festival to show our Urban Arrow cargo bike. We we very please by the level of attention it got, even if some riders were a wee bit wobbly at first.

Robert Llewellyn trying out an Urban Arrow cargo bike, thanks to James Nikitine for the video.

What the video doesn’t show is just how quickly Robert over came the initial wobbles and was able to ride the bike with ease. However, the manic giggling does give you a sense of just how much fun it is to ride. If you’d like to find out what it is like to ride an Urban Arrow cargo bike, ours is for hire.

Programme distribution #EdFoC2016

The distribution of printed programmes for the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2016 (#EdFoC2016) has started, and will be continuing for some time. This list is a work in progress and will be continuously added to, so far programmes have been left at the following locations:

This list will grow and may already be out of date as we have a busy group of volunteers out and about delivering more. If you would like to help by delivering programmes or by suggesting somewhere that might like to stock them, please get in touch.

SEStran is proud to sponsor Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2016

We at the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling are delighted that, for the third year in a row, the South East Scotland Regional Transport Partnership (or SEStran for short) is one of the major sponsors of this year’s Festival. A spokesperson from SEStran told us:

SEStran is proud to sponsor Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2016. SEStran is one of seven Regional Transport Partnerships in Scotland, covering the South East region. Its role is to develop and deliver the Regional Transport Strategy, which includes improving active travel and public transport infrastructure. Consistent with our Regional Transport Strategy, SEStran is currently progressing initiatives to improve cross-boundary cycle routes across the South East of Scotland. SEStran looks forward to seeing everyone out on their bikes during the festival.

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling