Night Ride FAQ - Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

Night Ride FAQ

Night Ride FAQ

This page provides further information about the Original Edinburgh Night Ride 2017, what to bring and how the ride works

Preparation/from now until the day of the ride

  • BIKE: Please make sure your bike is roadworthy and in good nick. You may want to ask your local bike shop to give the bike a service or at least do a quick check. Leith Cycle Co. are offering a discounted service/tune-up to anybody bringing along proof of registration for the ride.
  • LIGHTS: Please bring along working front and rear lights AND sufficient batteries to last you through the night. The front light should allow you to see adequately on country roads with no street lights. By contrast, the rear light should not be too bright, but sufficient to be seen as part of a group. Powerful rear lights, especially strobing ones, rob your fellow riders of their night vision and are very hard on the eyes of anybody following behind trying to see the road surface in front of them. You may also want to bring small backup lights to be seen by (front and rear), in case batteries run out or lights fall off/break (which happens to at least one rider every year!).
  • CLOTHING: Please consider that we’ll be out all night, and the weather may be unpredictable (this is Scotland!). The temperature will drop during the small hours, you may get wet and we will stop every so often to re-group and have short breaks along the way. Do bring along an extra layer or two, they don’t weigh much, and it’s better to have a spare item than have a miserable experience.
  • FOOD/DRINK: Please bring along something to drink for during the ride and some snacks. We’ll be able to refill bottles at the rest stop, where the local team will be welcoming us with hot and cold drinks and a light meal. If you have never ridden through the night before– you WILL be hungry by the time we get there. And then there is the buffet breakfast at the finish to look forward to!
  • BIKE LOCK: While your bike should be safe enough at the rest stop during the small hours, we cannot guarantee this. We recommend that you bring a lock, especially for the final stop back in Leith.
  • MEDICAL CONDITIONS: If you have any medical conditions that could affect your riding, please let us know in advance (in case of an emergency)


On the day

  • EMERGENCY CONTACT: Please remind your emergency contact to have their phone switched ON during the night!
  • If at all possible, try and get a good night’s sleep the night before the ride and have an ‘easy’ day or at least an easy evening. It may also be useful to have a short lie-down in the early evening and try to relax (whether you can sleep or not doesn’t really matter). If you have never ridden through the night before, from experience, most people are fully alert until at least after sunrise, when they may start to feel a bit tired – this is where it’s nice to have a group of fellow riders to chat to, to keep you awake. Of course, everybody is different …


  • Where: Griffen Fitness studio, next to Leith Cycle Co (corner Leith Walk/Balfour Street)
  • When: 22:00-22:45, Friday 16th June 2017
  • Please arrive in good time and bring proof of booking (print-out of booking e-mail), for registration and to meet your ride leaders.
  • Registration closes at 10:45so we can get away on time. Some groups may leave a little early, if they are assembled and ready to go.
  • You will be given 2 cards with your name and emergency contact details.
    • One of these is for you to keep safe in a pocket.
    • The other is for you to give to your ride leaders. In return, you will be given a card with your leaders’ mobile numbers, in the unlikely event that you get separated from your group. We tested this new system last year, it reduced delays before the start.
  • You will also receive food vouchers for both stops. Please look after them (they help us count you in).
  • Leith Cycle Co will be open between 22:00-23:00, if you need any last-minute supplies for the bike.



When: ~23:00, Friday 16th June 2017


The Ride

  • Please remember that you are responsible for your own safety, follow the Highway Code and be considerate to your fellow night riders.
  • We’ll be setting off in groups of ~15-20, with 2-3 ride leaders per group, and groups staying together for the duration of the ride. The ride leaders are there to show the way, make sure nobody gets lost or left behind and look after the participants as best as they can. For this to work, it is essential that you don’t overtake the lead rider and make sure you let the backmarker know if you have a problem.
  • Please follow the guidance and instructions of the ride leaders (unless circumstances make it is unsafe so to do).
  • If you are leaving your group before the end of the ride, it is your responsibility to make one of your ride leaders aware of this (in person or by text message – you will receive mobile numbers at registration).
  • Pace: approx. 12 mph rolling speed
  • Distance: approx. 60 miles/100 km
  • We are keeping the details of the route under wraps, it will be a big loop through East Lothian, stopping in the small hours for food and a rest at a secret location, before heading back to Leith. It’s meant to be a bit of an adventure/mystery tour. In case you are wondering how hard the route might be, it’s not taking in any big hills, although there will be some ‘undulations’. We’ll stay well clear of the big hills, and it’s not a competitive ride in any way.

The stops

  • MID-WAY REST STOP: This is located in a residential area. Please be considerate on arrival and departure not to disturb the sleep of the residents – we would like to be allowed back another year!
  • LEITH: Again – this is a residential area, and your cooperation would be much appreciated.
    We are aiming to arrive at the hall around 6-7am, but this is flexible as we are ‘self-catering’ again this year, and the breakfast team will be there early.
  • Your entry fee includes food and drinks at both stops. If you have specified any special dietary requirements when you booked your place, these have been passed on to the teams, you won’t go hungry!
Edinburgh Festival of Cycling