Archive for the ‘tandem’ Category

Bikes to the Fore in Commuter Challenge

Posted by chdot on September 16, 2009

First arrival at St. Andrew Square in today’s annual Commuter Challenge was Richard Bloodworth (left) on a minimalist recumbent. He covered the four miles from The Royal Infirmary in just 15 minutes – half the time of the bus.

A tandem was the first arrival from Ocean Terminal – again twice as fast as the bus. Though even the bus passenger was quicker than the father/daughter carshare team – finding a legal parking space takes time!

The fastest average speed from all four staring places was 21mph on two wheels – but with the benefit of an engine. Second fastest was the train and Brompton combination from Queen Margaret University (Musselburgh station).

The flat out fastest cyclist managed 16.1mph on the 7 miles from the park and ride at Ingliston.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland reporter David Miller did a live report from QMU then drove to his office in Holyrood Road and walked to the finish to broadcast interviews with CC organiser Maggie Wynn and Alex Macaulay, Partnership Director of event sponsor SEStran. SEStran is involved with public transport and also encouraging people to walk, cycle and carshare.


Photos from the finish can be viewed on Flickr.



Posted in Active Travel, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cyclingedinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Lothian Buses, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety, tandem, walking | Leave a Comment »

Historic Free Entry to Lothians

Posted by chdot on March 27, 2008

A view from Craigmillar Castle

Once again Historic Scotland is offering a weekend (12th and 13th of April) of free entry to 268 of its 345 properties which span “over 5,000 years of Scotland’s history and culture”.

There was a time when cyclists were notoriously ‘careful with their money’ – or was it that ‘only poor people cycle (or take public transport…)’. Now, cyclists are just sensible

You could just visit Edinburgh Castle, but how about Craigmillar Castle – and then travel east to Dirleton Castle and Gardens and on to Tantallon Castle.

Or cross the Forth and visit Dunfermline Palace (lunch at Abbot House) – and check out Pittencrieff Park (aka “The Glen”). (Last two not HS properties.)

Maybe try a tour of West Lothian taking in Blackness Castle (movie star), Cairnpapple Hill and Linlithgow Palace.

You could organise a ride and make it an official Bike Week ‘preliminary event’. All venue pages on the Historic Scotland site have links to the appropriate part of the Sustrans NCN map.

EDINBURGH AND LOTHIANS properties included in the Free Weekend.

Opening times over the Free Weekend are 09.30 to 17.30 (last admission 17.00) unless otherwise stated. Some of the smaller properties may close over lunchtime.

Blackness Castle
Cairnpapple Hill
Craigmillar Castle
Crichton Castle
Dirleton Castle and Gardens
Edinburgh Castle – open 09.30 to 18.00; last admission 17.15
Linlithgow Palace – last admission 16.45
On Saturday 12 April some parts of the Palace will have restricted access between 11.00 to 13.30 due to a wedding taking place. There will be no car parking at the Palace on that day. To fully enjoy exploring the Palace, visitors are advised to come on Sunday 13 April instead
Seton Collegiate Church
Tantallon Castle
Torphichen Preceptory – open 13.00 to 17.00
Trinity House, Leith – open 12.00 noon to 16.00; last admission 15.30

Posted in ChangingPace, commuting, connect2, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, Edinburgh, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Glasgow, holidays, Lothian Buses, Peak Oil, Safety, Spokes maps, Sustrans, tandem, walking | Leave a Comment »

Bicycle Film Festival Programme Announced

Posted by chdot on May 16, 2007

Programme design – Jenny Leask at Filmhouse. (PDF 1.7Mb)

Details of next month’s Edinburgh Bike Week Film Festival have just been released. It’s bookended by a couple of films about Scottish racing cyclists. The Festival opens with Robert Millar – The High Life a fascinating TV documentary about one of the country’s most enigmatic and mysterious sportsmen. It coincides with the launch of a biography by sports journalist Richard Moore who has just been in Bolivia reporting on Chris Hoy’s adventures.

The final film is The Flying Scotsman, the exciting tale of troubled time trial and track star Graeme Obree. The film premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last year and will finally get its UK release in July. This special preview screening is being sponsored by Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative to mark its 30th birthday.

In between there are films about bicycle gangs in New York, the latest from local filmmaker Chas Nairn, the drama Beijing Bicycle, a Canadian Critical Mass movie, a Jacques Tati comedy, and also the winners of the Wheel to Reel 2007 competition.

Tickets go on sale at the Filmhouse on Friday.

Posted in Bike Week, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, holidays, Spokes, tandem, TryCycling, walking | Leave a Comment »

Touring East Lothian

Posted by chdot on February 11, 2007

mrcc map
map and info © Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club Publications

If you’re out in East Lothian next Sunday you might come across a few cyclists on a ‘Tour’. The event is organised (for the 19th time) by the Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club. If you fancy taking part, it’s too late this year as entries have closed, but there’s sure to be a 20th ride. In the meantime you could try the route yourself (perhaps when the weather gets warmer) with the help of the detailed map (PDF 113kb) and route notes. The Tour takes in, mostly, quiet roads from the coast to the 1400 foot heights of the Lammermuirs.

MRCC’s Tour is organised under Audax UK (AUK) regulations and “is not a race but a cycle touring ride. The event objective is to complete the course within specified time limits. You can ride the event on your own, with a group of your friends or ride with other entrants matching your pace. The distance is approximately 65 miles (105 kilometres) and you can take from 3½ hours to 8 hours to complete the ride.”

“You are given a control card, which you get stamped at control points during the ride; this is to confirm that you have completed the full route. 2 of the control point on this route are at cafes, giving you the chance to stop for refreshments. The card is sent to AUK after the event to validate that you completed the ride according to the rules. It is then returned to you as a memento of the ride.”

Audax rides are organised throughout the UK (calendar) and many other parts of the world especially the ‘Continent’ – which is why distances are measured in Kilometres. The most famous is the Paris Brest Paris (PBP), annually entered by hundreds of riders for the whole 1200 Km.

The next local audax starts in Rosewell (Midlothian) on March the 4th – merely 201Km.

Later this year, Scotland hosts a similar event (not simply a race and open to all over 18). The Etape Caledonia will be held on Sunday 24th June 2007 with two versions – 134 and 45 Km. This event is being organised by the people behind the London Triathlon and will bring closed road racing to the UK for almost the first time. Big professional races such as the Tour of Britain (starts Glasgow September 7th) are protected by “rolling road closures”, usually created by Police motorcyclists. The Etape Caledonia will close Perthshire roads for up to 5 hours, protecting all but the slowest stragglers.

Posted in citycycling, commuting, critical mass, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, tandem, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Drowned Bike

Posted by chdot on January 18, 2007

drowned bike.jpg
Global Warming? Climate Change? The on-line weather forecast for Edinburgh today was for STRONG winds. The reality is dank calmness with winter showers. It usually rains at this time of year. The Meadows (photo) usually gets waterlogged. The cyclepath is lower than the surrounding land in places so it gets flooded.

So cyclists stray onto the pedestrian path (it’s dangerous cycling to through puddles – especially on uneven, perhaps potholed, surfaces).

A City trying to encourage walking and cycling really should spend more time and money on its off-road infrastructure.

Perhaps the newly created Services for Communities department will make a difference.

Posted in Airdrie to Bathgate, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, tandem | 1 Comment »

1977 Was a Good Year for Cycling

Posted by chdot on January 16, 2007

pilton path photo
As well as the being the year that Recycles was born (see story below), it’s also when two of the UK’s most significant campaign groups began.

In Bristol there was Cyclebag (officially started July 7th). As well as local campaigning and a few good parties, members also organised some innovative practical action that spawned a revolution. This was the Bitton to Bath Railway Path (since extended to Bristol). Cyclebag developed into National Cycle Network building charity Sustrans.

Edinburgh (and the Lothians) has had SPOKES since 1977 – and it’s kept the same name throughout. It’s progressed, quietly but steadily. An Edinburgh Corporation Councillor once said that cycling would be allowed through The Meadows “over my dead body”. (He later apologised). Now the Council consults SPOKES. (It doesn’t always act on the advice though!)

SPOKES produces a Bulletin roughly 3 times a year (latest issue 95). In addition to these and other visible activities there’s a lot of behind the scenes action. Scrutiny of all significant Planning Applications and sometimes straightforward objections – on the grounds that they contravene policies on making walking and cycling easier – or positive suggestions for planners and developers to consider before Permission is granted.

The photo shows a site meeting in 1986 when Sustrans came to Edinburgh to help SPOKES volunteers create the Pilton Path (since replaced by the approach road to the Waterfront – SPOKES made sure that the Red Bridge over Ferry Road was constructed). On the right is Sustrans ‘boss’ John Grimshaw on the left is Dave du Feu, founder member of SPOKES, in the middle is an MEP and a future Leader of City of Edinburgh Council.

All three organisations are due to mark their first 30 years.

In addition there will be many other cycle related events in 2007 in Edinburgh – TWO Bicycle Film Festivals, plenty of TryCycling rides, a bonanza of Bike Week events, developments with Craigmillar Cycles and much more.

Posted in Airdrie to Bathgate, Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, BikeStation, commuting, critical mass, cycle parking, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, holidays, paths, tandem, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Exploring Just Got Easier

Posted by chdot on December 28, 2006

google swanstons.jpg

Images The GeoInformation Group, TeleAtlas. Route TryCycling in Edinburgh

People often ask “where can I cycle in Edinburgh?” The first response is to say “buy a SPOKES cycle map“. A bargain at £4.95, with off-road routes and quiet roads clearly marked.

But it can’t show what an area or route is like on the ground. One answer is Google Earth an impressive piece of software bringing maps and satellite images to your computer screen. Unfortunately while Aberdeen, Glasgow and many other places could be clearly seen, Scotland’s Capital was a bit of a vague blur.

NOT ANY MORE. About a week ago Google quietly released “small high-res updates in the UK (Swansea, Edinburgh, Doncaster, Gwent) and expanded London coverage”. The image is from a sunny (Sun?)day in 2005 (looks like late July with Edinburgh getting ready for the Festival).

It’s now much easier to see where you might like to go (or have just been). The map is a bit basic with few cycle paths marked – so you’ll still need the SPOKES map!

The clarity of the images will also make it easier for you to plot your favourite route and share it with others. This could be a tour around the North Edinburgh Path Network or a suggested way for someone who wants to cycle to work avoiding the main roads.

One web site that will make this easy is Map My Run. Originally created for runners it’s also used by cyclists. If you have a GPS device the process is simple, but without one a series of mouse clicks will quickly create your own on-line route map. (Works best with Firefox.)

The results can be e-mailed as a web address or as a Google Earth (kmz) file. Existing routes can be searched for on Map My Run. Already available are the H2EP route (Haymarket to Edinburgh Park avoiding main roads) (kmz file) and July’s TryCycling ride to Swanston (kmz file).

If you create your own favourite route e-mail the details and we will compile a list.

The new clarity will help schools to plan safe routes to school as part of their ‘Green Travel Plans’. Businesses will also be able to encourage employees to cycle to work.

(Google Earth needs a recent computer and Broadband to work effectively.)

Posted in BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, Craigmillar Cycles, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling on the Radio, HEALTH, holidays, paths, tandem, TryCycling | 3 Comments »

Government Mentions Cycling 505 Times

Posted by chdot on November 13, 2006

A brand new Scottish Executive report Joined Up Policy and Practice in Health and Transport (PDF) mentions bicycles and cycling 475 times in 277 pages.

"(Executive Summary par. 1.30) It is clear that significant progress needs to be made to convince policy makers across, both health and transport sectors that there is merit in working together to achieve, common outputs, even where sectoral objectives may contrast (for example, modal shift for transport, healthy living for health). Moreover, there is effort needed in the, transport sector to convince decision makers that there is firstly merit, and secondly a duty to consider the health impacts of transport policies and projects, as well as, actively seeking to maximise health improvement opportunities.


A related (and more accessible) publication PROMOTING ACTIVE LIFESTYLES, GOOD IDEAS FOR TRANSPORT AND HEALTH PRACTITIONERS (PDF) manages 30 mentions in 25 pages.

Selected quotes

“Joined-up thinking and practice in transport and health is not mainstreamed in Scotland.” THAT’s an understatement!

“encouraging cycling or walking to work, school and other day-to-day activities is a good opportunity to promote health at both a policy and practical level.

“Employ dynamic dedicated individuals willing to forge links across sectors, and take a proactive approach to the development of new projects.”

This report shows what has been done in 8 areas in Scotland – 2 in West Lothian, none in Edinburgh. It demonstrates what works by using careful targeting, cost effective promotional methods and involving enthusiastic ‘champions’ – preferable at a high level in key organisations.

Posted in Airdrie to Bathgate, Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, HEALTH, holidays, Maps, paths, recycling, ride, Shawfair, sswc07, Tall Bike, tandem, TryCycling, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Cash Offered for New Cycling Films

Posted by chdot on November 3, 2006
Brendt Barbur’s great idea for a Bicycle Film Festival has spread around the world from its New York base. Other cities have started their own versions.

This year TryCycling in Edinburgh created a BFF in Edinburgh which was great success. The 2007 event is currently being planned.

Edinburgh and BFFs throughout Britain have joined together to initiate a Bike Film and Animation Award “to showcase bike culture at the growing list of Bike Film Festivals across the UK”.

Film makers (that’s anyone with a good idea and access to a camera!) are invited to create something that could win a £300 prize. There are three categories ‘Best Action’, ‘Documentary’ and ‘Animation’. Additionally prizes for best local film and an audience vote winner will be awarded. Selected entries will also be available on a limited edition 2007 Bike Shorts DVD.

Andy Salkeld of the Leicester Bike Film Festival said “The aim of the Awards Is to encourage people to make their own films, start festivals and have fun with the new bike culture”.

Bella Stewart, Organiser of Derby’s Bike Film Festival adds “We organised our first Bike Film Festival last year. It was a massive success. 500 people came to see films and biggest hit was a short film made by local kids riding BMX and breakdancing in the park”.

In Edinburgh BFF Organiser Maggie Wynn says “We were hopeful that the festival would be a success, but the reality was that we were overwhelmed by the positive response the event received. As a result both Cycling Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council have pledged to increase their support. This year we hope to screen films like the Tall Bike Tour of Britain. Indeed, near calamitous events almost contrived to cut short their Tour in Edinburgh!”

Lesley Ann Rose of Lancaster’s Bike Film Festival said “If cycling is ‘the new football’, bike film festivals are ‘the new fanzines’ – engaging, irreverent and passionate”.

Download a submission form at Entry deadline is 26th January 2007.

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, cycle parking, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, recycling, ride, sswc07, Tall Bike, tandem, TryCycling, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Evening News Cavalcade 2006 Pictures

Posted by chdot on August 9, 2006

Photos and a short video of Sunday’s event now on-line.

If you have any of your own add them through Flickr.

Posted in citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, tandem, TryCycling | 1 Comment »