The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is now in its 7th year. It is something slightly different from all the other cultural festivals on offer – and you don’t need to be a cyclist to enjoy some of the events.
There is a packed schedule of diverse activities from the 6-16th June, there is something for you – whether you an ardent cyclist or you’ve never even sat on a saddle.
The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling celebrates the humble bicycle (or adapted velocipede) and its contribution to film, adventure, travel, culture, art, sport and life in general.
The Festival has a strong focus on making cycling more inclusive with activities that cater for all abilities and ages – providing an outstanding opportunity to join a welcoming and inclusive community around a shared passion.
There are short and long rides, events with adapted bikes and handcycles; rides for enthusiasts, novices, families and children. There are workshops, seminars and films covering every aspect of the bike and some of the incredible physical and mental journeys of those that ride them.
Here are some suggestions : You could head out on a magical mystery tour of East Lothian on an overnight Summer Solstice ride on the Original Edinburgh Night Ride. Sit back and watch and listen in awe as Karen Darke shares her journey of hand-cycling the seven continents or laugh out loud with Jenny Graham as she tells tales of the record-breaking ride that made her the fastest woman to cycle around the world.
OR – join in on the Edinburgh Naked Bike Ride – Adults only!!
There are workshops, films and talks by cycling adventurers – go along and join the fun – edfoc.org.uk
For those interested in pushing boundaries, there will be many events to choose from
Join Karen Darke, human-powered speed record holder and Paralympic champion, on her quest to hand-cycle the 7 continents
Hear about the World’s Fastest Handcyclists: Ken Talbot and Karen Darke how they both set new world records at Battle Mountain in Nevada. Find out more about the ARION Project and the team behind it as they continue to push the boundaries for the land speed record for a human powered vehicle.
Meet Edinburgh- based Jenny Tough, the only woman to complete the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race – Jenny will be talking about the mental and physical challenges of unsupported bike racing and pushing boundaries, both at home in Scotland and abroad, from the Transatlantic Way in Ireland to the extreme and remote environment of Kyrgyzstan
- By contrast Self-confessed non-athlete, Naomi Campbell, will be speaking about her 32,000 km journey, travelling through 26 different countries, and how to set about achieving your goals, no matter how audacious they may seem.
- Be inspired by Rob Ainsley, who takes on you on a journey through Britain’s oddest bike rides, and by Alan Brown’s new book Overlander on finding your own Highland adventure.
- Join the first Cycling Summit Scotland – Inspiring Scotland to Cycle event, featuringEsther O’Callaghan, OBE (Head of Legacy and Development, Women’s Tour of Scotland),Craig Burn (CEO of Scottish Cycling) and Neil Fachie, MBE13 x World, 4 x Commonwealth and Paralympic Champion.This year’s Festival will showcase inspirational and award-winning films:
- the Scottish premiere of “Afghan Cycles” which follows Afghan women who are using their bicycles to challenge gender and culture barriers, with a chance to meet the producer, Shannon Galpin.
- Or watch the chair gripping Danish documentary “A Sunday in Hell” about the 1976 Paris Roubaix road race over the cobbles of Northern France, at the Balerno Village Screen.For those looking for a more hands-on experience, there is a wide variety of workshops and rides to choose from;
- The Intrepid Photographers Bike Tour will take you on a guided route using their intrepid 5 x 4” cameras before taking you to the Stills darkroom to process your own unique photographs.
- Tracy Griffen’s Fitness for Cycling workshop will teach you how to boost your fitness between bike rides,
- or dip your toes into public speaking at the Pecha Caka event organised by theWomen’s Cycle Forum Scotland – and/or just come to eat the cakes.
- If you are looking for a family activity, there are picnic rides and the Play Together on Pedals Drop-in session is perfect for your kids to learn how to cycle in a safe environment.
- Discover the hidden tapestries of Edinburgh by bike, with Dovecot Studios’ Kate Grenyer,
- Come-and-try adaptive bikes by the All-ability Bike Centre, try hand cycling,
- or join a women’s ride by the Edinburgh Belles on Bikes and Breeze Ride.
- Try out the pro-cyclists’ dream machines at the Cyclist Track Day in Fife,
- compete in the annual King & Queen of Kaimes hill race (or just watch and enjoy the BBQ put on by Hart’s Cyclery).
There is a free breakfast at the City Chambers, at the annual Spokes Bike Breakfast, and you will hear about Edinburgh’s ambitious city centre transformation plans from Daisy Narayanan, at the Spokes Public Meeting – Connecting our City, Transforming our Places.
And last but not least, follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook and keep up to date with events at edfoc.org.uk