The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling will soon be upon us! Now in its third year, this ten day celebration of all things two-wheeled is fast becoming a highlight on the Edinburgh festivals calendar. And for good reason too – the festival is entirely run and coordinated by volunteers and brings the city’s cycling community together. It sounds clichéd, but there’s something for everyone, from family rides to building your own bamboo bike. So shove it in your diary and check out the programme – it’s running from 11 – 21 June.
I mention EdFoc not only because it is an excellent festival and well worth supporting generally, but also because I’m involved in a couple of events this year. I’m particularly interested in encouraging women to get on their bikes and to that end have been supporting the Women on Wheels thread of events, which has been masterfully put together by Suzanne Forup and Sally Hinchcliffe (two of Scotland’s BikeBiz top 100 women of 2015). So without further ado, let me tout the activities lined up in the hope that one of them may be of interest…
Women’s Cycle Forum – Sat 13 June, 7.30pm
Open to all. After last year’s successful launch, the Women’s Cycle Forum is back. This year we’ll be hearing from women from successful campaigns about how they ‘changed the record’ and make a difference to their worlds – and then consider together how we can build a better one of our own. Whether you ride a bike for transport, fun or sport, or work in cycling in any way, come ready to learn and to talk about what we can all do to make a difference across the cycling world. £5. Book here.
Belles on Bikes 15:15 ride – Sun 14 June, 10.30am
In partnership with Edinburgh Bike Coop, this women’s ride will be led by myself and fellow Belles on Bikes Edinburgh ride leaders, showing off some of the wonderful low traffic routes around the city. We’ll get a free Dr Bike session at the start of the ride, followed by a 15 mile route taking us around the east of the city. A lunch stop will precede the second 15 miles, which will take us to the west. Book a free spot.
Learn, then Ride – Sun 21 June, 10am
For women who have never cycled before, or have been off a bike for a long time and need to gain some confidence. This event is proving popular already, and will be led by a female cycle trainer. We’ll finish the morning off with a wee cycle around the Meadows. Book your free spot.
Women’s Literary Bike Tour – Sun 21 June, 2.30pm
All welcome! Love bikes and books? Me too! Come and join myself and other friendly bike-and-book nerds for a literary tour of Edinburgh by bike, celebrating cycling writing by women. The ride will cover no more than 5-6 miles by bike, and there will be some readings, conversation and a very good chance of cake. We are pleased to announce that Kate Rawles, outdoor philosopher, writer, activist and cyclist, will be part of the ride. She will be reading extracts from her book The Carbon Cycle – Crossing the Great Divide. Free – just rock up. More info.
But wait, there’s more!
So there you have it. Four female-led and oriented events. I’m pleased to add that there’s a strong female slant to this year’s events outwith Women on Wheels. Several amazing female speakers will be at the festival, including Emily Chappell, who I highly recommend going to see. When I went to the Cycle Touring Festival at the start of May she was there, and I was awestruck by her hard-as-nails stories. Seriously, she’s a machine. Go see her! 🙂