Archive for June, 2007

Deal Done over Peartree Pint

Posted by chdot on June 28, 2007

Award winning filmmaker Chas Nairn (right) has agreed to make a film with the Bike Station. After last week’s World Premiere of his new film Extended Family he was approached with the idea of documenting The Bike Station‘s next Build a Bike Course which is being run with a group of young people from Granton in North Edinburgh.

The aim is to produce both a guide to what the course actually teaches and also record how those taking it develop from being fairly inexperienced bike fixers to more competent mechanics. In addition it is hoped that some of the footage will be used in conjunction with film of other Edinburgh projects such as those like Craigmillar Cycles, to highlight some of what is happening in Edinburgh.

Chas met the Bike Station’s Training Manager Steve Hynd (left), who will run the course, in the Peartree’s Beer Garden to discuss the plan. Filming starts tomorrow, Chas will show extracts from his new film, including scenes from Glentress. A day there is part of the Build a Bike course.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, Safety, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Mass On Friday

Posted by chdot on June 28, 2007

It’s the last Friday of the month tomorrow so there will be another Edinburgh Critical Mass starting from the Foot of the Mound about 6.00.

Last week the Bike Week Film Festival showed a Critical Mass film called You Never Bike Alone. Afterwards there was a good discussion about how to make CM in Edinburgh better – and encourage more people to join.

EBWFF organiser Maggie Wynn says “the general consensus was that the CM is more effective if it’s celebratory, rather than confrontational, and in the long term should attract families. With this in mind, maybe meeting at 5.30pm on a Friday, at the Mound isn’t the best place to start the event! However we’ll start from there this month, as that is the current recognised meeting point.”

She hopes people will come, “bring a friend, dress colourfully and enjoy a summer evening ride in celebration of cycling”. Many of the people in the audience for You Never Bike Alone said they would try to come – and look out for each. One problem of CM (in Edinburgh) is that newcomers sometimes few like outsiders, and don’t quite know what is going on. Maybe a new influx of people will change this…

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, Safety, TryCycling, What the papers say | 2 Comments »


Posted by chdot on June 26, 2007

That’s the verdict of Spokes – Edinburgh’s, generally, influential cycle campaign group. In recent years Spokes has managed to alienate some cyclists by being supportive of the plans to route trams along the Roseburn Corridor (the well used walk/cyclepath from Haymarket to Crewe Toll).

However Spokes has consistently argued for proper on-road facilities for cycles (alongside the trams) as well as ensuring that the Roseburn route will have a parallel path if a tram line is built on that section.

Of course the future of trams in Edinburgh is far from certain. The new (minority) SNP Government at Holyrood is set against the tram plan. Whether it will take this to a vote in the Scottish Parliament will be known tomorrow. Even after a defeat (which would be almost inevitable) the SNP has indicated that it will proceed to scrap the project – but there is much public, and behind the scenes, lobbying going on to see if there can be a different decision.

Promoters of the tram, the Council’s arms length company TIE could (and should) have done more to meet both Spokes’ reasonable expectations and, more importantly, to encourage cycling in Edinburgh – in line with the Council’s own policies.

The latest Spokesworker details specific concerns on Leith Walk – “…the initial consultation plans for Leith Walk are quite unacceptable in our view. The existing uphill bike lane, and the downhill bus/cycle lane will be removed…” Princes Street – “The detailed consultation plans had not been released as this is typed, but a preliminary sketch suggested there is room for cycle lanes similar to the existing, but that they may not be included. Again this is unacceptable.” and Constitution Street – “This will be closed to motor vehicles at its narrow north end. The pavements will be widened and slightly raised, to form a combined wider pavement and tram stop. The tram lines will therefore come close to the pavement, making it dangerous for cyclists to use the road.”

Spokes also highlights opportunities for ALL cyclists to contribute their views –

“If you use Leith Walk or Princes Street and are concerned about neglect of cycling, it is vital that you act now. Do NOT leave it all to Spokes; we can only win this battle if individuals are taking up the case at the same time. Take the opportunity also to comment on any other tram onroad issues concerning you. Write to or email your councillors asking them to speak to Transport Convener Cllr Phil Wheeler and tram promoters TIE.”

There are also “public consultation drop-in session” – TODAY Tueday June 26th (mainly for Leith Walk proposals) 4.30-7.30 Thomas Morton Hall, 28 Ferry Road and Thursday June 28th (mainly for Princes St, York Pl, etc) 4.30-7.30 Walpole Hall, St Mary’s Cathedral, Chester Street. you can leave comments. If you can’t go, email

Posted in bike security theft, Bikes on trains, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, critical mass, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Safety, Spokes, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | 1 Comment »

Cameo Ticket Winners Chosen

Posted by chdot on June 26, 2007

The winners of the competition for Flying Scotsman tickets have been chosen. Competitors had to write a sentence about why keeping the Velodrome is important.

The winners said – “Edinburgh’s velodrome produced Chris Hoy – Olympic Champion, World Champion and Commonwealth Champion, and without it we will never see his like again.” and “Edinburgh should have a velodrome or we will never have another Chris Hoy.”

Which pretty much puts the case, though of course the Velodrome isn’t just there to produce the occasional top athlete. The new(ish) facility in Manchester attracts thousands of local people – particularly young ones. The new velodrome in Glasgow (part of the Commonwealth Games bid) will do the same. Only Edinburgh would consider doing away with a track used for two Games, without replacing it!

The two ticket winners are Fraser Millar and Gerry McLay. Fraser is a contibutor to the Cycling in Edinburgh Flickr group used on this site.

Lynn Morrison of the Cameo says – “thanks very much for having the competition as part of your site. For such a wet week, the Bike Festival certainly has had a high profile and I hope that lots of the cyclists now come and hide undercover and see the film in The Cameo.” (Daily at 1.05, 3.50, 6.25 and 8.55 and late Fri and Sat at 11.35).

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh | Leave a Comment »

Festival Finished, Exhibition Extended

Posted by chdot on June 25, 2007

EBWFF Exhibition
Edinburgh’s Bike Week Film Festival finished last night.

The photo exhibition in the bar will be on show until the 8th of July.

Most of the pictures can be seen here – but they are much better seen large and framed…

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Exhibition, ride, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Cycling on TV

Posted by chdot on June 23, 2007

The soon to be released drama doc about Graeme Obree, The Flying Scotsman, is actually being advertised on Channel 4 and STV. Almost a year after premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival it’s finally on general release on Friday.

Lucky ticket holders will be seeing it tomorrow on the final day of the Edinburgh Bike Week Film Festival. After that it’s at the Cameo.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, bikeweek, citycycling, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh | Leave a Comment »

Still Waiting

Posted by chdot on June 20, 2007

more puddles in The Meadows
Six months after this site drew attention to the state of the North Meadow Walk cyclepath, nothing has been done to solve the problem of puddles.

This is in spite of a site meeting involving a man from the Council’s Services for Communities Department and someone from the contractors who do this type of drainage work.

While no promises were made, there were strong indications that the problem would be high on the list in the ‘new financial year’ – which started in April. The issue was reported using the CTC’s FillThatHole web site.

The path is a busy part of Sustrans’ National Cycle NetworkRoute 75.

On a day when big transport infrastructure projects are in the headlines it’s a shame money can’t be found for the basics to help (and encourage) people to walk and cycle.

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, CTC, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Maps, paths, ride, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, TryCycling, walking | Leave a Comment »

Life Imitates Art – Sadly

Posted by chdot on June 18, 2007

neil robertson's bike
Click for larger version.

After watching Beijing Bicycle at the Edinburgh Bike Week Film Festival, Neil Robertson was shocked to discover that his bike had been stolen. The film revolved around the theft of a bicycle.

Full description –

Modified and loved Giant XTC3 2005 spec Mountain Bike. Original purchase price around £600 plus accessories.

Rather distinctive in unpainted alloy frame with white transfers, size is XL ~ 19”.
Brakes Giant MPH hydraulic discs front and rear
SRAM X7 – 27speed shifters and rear mech (Shimano front mech)
FSA Truvativ chainset in black and plain/SPD pedals
Front forks, Suntour XCP75 with black stanchions and lock out twist button on RH crown
Wheels, black rims with distinctive side by side spoking and Xero black hubs fitted with Schwalbe Marathon 1.5” road tyres with reflective side bands.
Accessories, rear alloy rack, fittings for Raleigh cordless computer, twin bottle cages, barends, light mount on handlebars, pump fitting on downtube, half length mudguards front and rear.

Information (reward offered) to Neil or the Police (reported as incident 919 on 18th June 2007).

Lets hope they are re-united soon.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, CTC, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, holidays, ride, Spokes, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Something About Bells

Posted by chdot on June 18, 2007

New bikes in the UK have to be sold with a bell. It’s the law! Doesn’t matter if it’s a shopper or a headbanging Downhill bike. Many bike shops are a bit embarrassed, some ‘forget’ (none in Edinburgh of course).

Today on the (trade only) Bike Biz Forum is a post from someone who describes himself as “an unfit slob (bike trade for 17 years)” who decided to buy a decent touring bike “to get my fat ass into some shape”.

His first thought on the new bike was, “Get rid of the Bell.” However he decided that it looked “tiny and worthless” and “small enough not to spoil a good-looking bike”.

So he kept it on the bike “just out of curiosity – see whether I’d ever use it”.

“Then today on my second 30-mile ride (knackering for a slob like myself), I found myself on a narrow road with no traffic other than dog walking couples. Approaching them at my steady 14mph, I pinged the bell not expecting any response. How impressed I was to see them turn around, see me coming, and step aside (dog restrained) to let me past. I thanked them as I passed and got a friendly response. That happened several times and, yes I will keep the bell on my bike. It delivered a non threatening way of letting my presence be known with safety.”

Perhaps some of the people who hurtle along the canal towpath (and other shared use paths) should also be as wise and courteous.

Posted in citycycling, commuting, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, HEALTH, paths, ride, Sustrans, walking | 4 Comments »

And Today’s Film Is

Posted by chdot on June 18, 2007

Beijing Bicycle.

The fourth day of the Edinburgh Bike Week Film Festival has a 21st Century take on the cinematic masterpiece Bicycle Thieves

“At seventeen, Guei has left his provincial town to find fame and fortune in the big city. He finds work as a bicycle courier, earning a pittance per trip until the cost of his sleek bicycle is paid off. The work is hard but he doesn’t complain, knowing that he will soon own something and be one step closer to owning other things and starting a family. Just as he is about to buy the bike from his boss, he finds that it has gone missing.”

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »