Saturday, 10 August 2013

Family Cycling Events in September - Pedal for Scotland rides and Skyride

There are various cycling events coming up which will be of interest for family cycling.   Open to all, so please pass on the info to anyone who might like to participate. 

See below, with more details and registration via 

And if the Pedal For Scotland programme isn’t enough, it seems that Sky are doing another SkyRide in Edinburgh - Saturday 7 September - round Arthur's Seat / Duddingston as last year; see .


- Danny MacAskill Glasgow Family Ride - Sunday 1st September
A brand new event that takes a traffic free loop from Glasgow Green to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and back, and features an amazing cycle show featuring Danny MacAskill alongside the Clan stunt team at the Velodrome.

Route: a 4 mile loop on the traffic free cycleway from Glasgow Green along the River Clyde, through the East End to the Velodrome and back to the Green on segregated cyclepaths.

- Edinburgh Family Ride - Sunday 8th September
Join the thousands of riders taking part in the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland Challenge ride by cycling the last nine miles. The Edinburgh Family ride for provides a fantastic (almost completely traffic-free) 9 mile route from Kirkliston Leisure Centre to the main event finish at Murrrayfield Stadium.

- Aberdeen Family Ride - Sunday 15th September
A brand new event that marks the first time a freshnlo Pedal for Scotland event has taken place in the north of Scotland.

Route: a 4 mile loop of the Aberdeen Esplanade on fully closed roads, making it ideal for riders of any age or ability.


Freshnlo Pedal for Scotland Challenge and Sportive Rides - Sunday 8 September

The classic 47 mile Glasgow to Edinburgh ride uses a mixture of closed roads, cycle paths and quiet streets to take thousands of riders across the country, taking in Scotland two largest cities via stunning counrtyside with refreshment stops roughly every ten miles.

The 110 mile Sportive ride take riders from Glasgow to Edinburgh on a much more challenging route through the Southern Uplands for serious road cyclists.

The STV Appeal is delighted to be the official charity partner for freshnlo Pedal for Scotland. The STV Appeal is dedicated to helping children and young people in Scotland affected by poverty and this is a fantastic opportunity for the Appeal to make a difference in the lives of even more children.

Friday, 14 June 2013

'Tis the Season to be Cycling

An early summer round-up of things going on:

Bike to School Week is just drawing to a close, but if you missed it, you needn't miss out on doing something anyway.  Sustrans have lots of useful resources on their website to encourage cycling to school: see

School Bike Sales - Spokes factsheet on how to organise one available

Second-hand bike sales are very useful in encouraging people to start cycling by making it easier to get an affordable bike, especially first bikes for children and replacements for out-grown bikes.  They can also be a good way to fundraise and are a popular social event for schools, youth groups, scouts/guides, church groups etc. 

Worth thinking about for the autumn for schools or groups you are involved with? - plan now to get everything lined up over the summer.
[pdf 1.1MB]  Downloadable only – not available printed.
Printed factsheets on cycling with children are also available from Spokes - How to be a Cycling Family, and How to get Your Child Cycling.  [These can be downloaded too - see]   
* If you could use any copies at events (School Sports Days, summer fairs etc) or linked to bike training sessions, contact WeansOnWheels or *

Forthcoming Cycling Events

 Join in the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling!  15 - 23 June 2013 all around Edinburgh
Full programme details at
Twitter: @edfoc
Facebook: EdinburghFestivalofCycling

Many many events; just a few are listed below.

- Sat 15th June - Edinburgh to St Andrews Cycle RideNow in its 33rd year, this is a friends and family sponsored event for LEPRA, following a 68 mile route from Edinburgh to St Andrews through scenic Fife. It is well signposted with refreshment stops, bus and van transport back to Edinburgh.
All sponsorship to LEPRA Changing the lives of people affected by disease, poverty and prejudice.
You can book online or register on the day. Entry £10 or £5 concession.
Bus returning you and bike to Edinburgh: £14 – Please book your place on the bus at same time you register. Starts from Inverleith Park at 08:45.

Good luck to everyone doing it!

Wed 19th June - Spokes Bike Breakfast Edinburgh City Chambers (Royal Mile) 7.45-9.45.

Free breakfast for you and oil for your bike; Edinburgh Bike Coop, police security marking, free Spokes maps for the first 20 to arrive (after 7.45); stalls, leaflets; speakers 8.45am - Cllr Jim Orr, Alison Johnstone MSP (co-convenor Cross Party Group on Cycling)

Sat 22 June  - "Heels on Wheels" ladies day of cycling 
On the Meadows from 11:00 – 15:00; aims to be an inspiring, inclusive and educational FREE event.
Sarah Boyack and Alison Johnstone MSP's will be speaking to open the event at 12pm, as well as Juliana Buhring - the fastest women to cycle the globe.
Stalls, info, cycle-chic market stalls, representatives from Cycling clubs (many cycling clubs are actively trying to encourage women to join).  Holly, bike mechanic from the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative offering free mechanical advice; Chocolate Tree with their cargo trike selling ice cream and chocolate; bike smoothie maker; Cycling instructors; coffee, cake and ice cream… and lots of fun for everyone

More info at
Extra helpers (or stalls) still very welcome - contact Tracy Griffin via the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling website

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Edinburgh Event - Innertube Map Postcode Challenge - Sunday 28 April 2013

Join the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust and the Edinburgh Bike Station on Sunday 28 April for a treasure hunt on wheels (walkers and runners also welcome!) on the North Edinburgh city cycleways. 

This is a free, fun, family event to get you exploring the off-road path network and explore the green spaces you didn't know existed. Just grab a route card and check off the stands along the way, then – if you get them all – you can enter the prize draw.

Turn up on your bike or on foot, get your route card and all you have to do is to check in at all ten stands dotted around the route if you're cycling, or five if you're on foot. Gather stamps at all the stands, then finish off at Five Ways Junction for the chance to enter the prize draw.

Everyone welcome – come by yourself, as a team or a family.

Download a route card or find out more at the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust website

Friday, 8 March 2013

Let's Scoot to School! Resources for Your School to Encourage Active Travel

Sustrans have some great stuff to help parents and teachers encourage walking, cycling and scooting to school:

1. A recent initiative that might be of interest, perhaps for Eco-Club or wider group activities, is the Big Street Survey - in essence mini-travel-planning for pupils. 

It's a resource enabling pupils to investigate the area around their school and create a manifesto on how to make their streets safer and greener. Working both inside and outside the classroom, it is a two-hour curriculum activity where pupils explore what they like and dislike about their neighbourhood, before using their manifesto to lobby decision-makers and elected representatives at national and local level to make their changes happen.

Designed by a Sustrans schools officer and qualified Geography teacher, alongside other Sustrans education officers, it meets numerous curriculum objectives, with various cross-curriculum opportunities - there are lesson plans for each of the devolved nations. All the resources are free and available to download. It is targeted at year 6 pupils but is also suitable for year 5 and potentially year 7.

More details at

2. Scooting is a great way to travel - faster than walking, lots of fun, and for many families easier than sorting out and storing bikes.

Again, Sustrans has some really useful stuff to help promote scooting for travel to school (and elsewhere!) with a online info on scooting to school and scooter parking:


Get Ready for Spring - Emerging from Hibernation

Now that the days are getting longer, and, hopefully milder, things are starting to happen again. There are various events now in the calendar - see below for some dates for you and your families: all events open to all.

- Saturday 16 March: Spokes stall at Edinburgh Farmers Market, 9.30-1.30, Castle Terrace.  Get your cycling maps for Edinburgh and the Lothians, and pick up a limited-edition Spokes-map buff as well as general info, factsheets, chat etc.

- Monday 8 April: Spokes public meeting, 6.45 (coffee and stall for maps, info etc) for 7.30pm.  Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh
Presentations and discussion on The Future of Local Transport. Main speaker Prof Iain Docherty, with special input on cycling from Jim Eadie MSP [Cross-Party cycling group] and Cllr Jim Orr [Edinburgh cycling supremo].  More info at on the Spokes website.

- Sunday 28 April - Innertube Postcode Challenge: a fun family day on North
Edinburgh path network. See for details.

- Sunday the 19th of MayPedal on Parliament mass ride, 3pm from the Meadows along on an entirely traffic-free route down to Parliament.More details at

- Saturday 22 June: the first ever Edinburgh "Heels on Wheels" event, part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling! Meadows from 11am – 3pm.  An inclusive and educational event including activitiessuch as:
- Cycling stalls for info, maps etc; market stalls with ladies cycling gear.
- Representatives from Cycling clubs – many cycling clubs are actively trying to encourage women to join. A good opportunity for clubs to chat with interested women.
-   Mini-Cyclocross demonstration tbc
-Cake and coffee, Chocolate Tree with their cargo bike.
- ‘Best dressed’ competition. Categories include: best dressed bike, best most fashionable coordination of bike and rider, the ‘how does she do that?’ award (for most unlikely cycling outfit).
- Cycling instructors – teaching a novice to cycle
The organisers are looking for potential stallholders, as well as volunteer stewards to help run the day. Please do get in contact if you can help out. Contact

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Spring is on the Way - Get Ready!

With the winter cold and darkness, Weans on Wheels has been in hibernation for the past wee while, so a very belated 'Happy New Year' to everyone.  May 2013 bring you and yours many happy miles of cycling!

Now daylight is returning, cycle-commuting to school is much more feasible again as we can get home before darkness. So, decent gloves and thick socks at the ready for tomorrow.  A buff round the neck and ears helps with keeping warm too. [If you haven't already seen them, check out the Spokes ones for a cycling map you can wear! Contact Spokes to purchase.]  And don't forget bike cleaning kit and oil: the salt on the roads can turn chains bright orange with rust pretty quickly, so clean them off after use - and check bikes that haven't been used in a while to make sure they're ready to go. 

Yes: definitely time to get properly back into cycling now.  Advance notice of some diary dates for later this year:

(1) The Sustrans Big Pedal 2013 - a massive cycle- and scoot- to school event, running between 28 Feb - 30 March. See for more details.  Could your school take part??  Superhero fundraising day to get things started on 28 Feb!

(2) the campaign group Pedal on Parliament ( are holding a second mass-cycling event in Edinburgh on Saturday 18 May - a repeat of last year's highly successful family-friendly event, in which 3,000 cyclists gathered to demonstrate to politicians the scale of demand for safer roads and better facilities. The ride will start at the Meadows and will end at Holyrood.

(3) an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is planned for 15-23 June, which is National Bike Week,  For more information see .

In the meantime, Weans on Wheels is aiming to develop the younger wean's road sense, with a view to more independent cycling this summer, and get the older wean's stamina back up after a bit of a break.  The odd half hour or so here and there practising on quiet roads as well as local trips by bike will hopefully pay off come spring weather for long rides.

And for parents: if you're looking for social cycling and ideas for routes, there are other opportunities to get your legs moving again.  The Cycling-Edinburgh website - - provides an up-to-date listing of all organised cycle rides in or near the Scottish capital. These rides are run by local cycling clubs and groups, and are mostly free of charge and open to all.

Two points to note if you're interested in taking children out with you on these rides:
1. EasyCycle will now accept children of any age on their rides (previously, they had a minimum age of 16). Obviously, children would have to be accompanied by a responsible adult. The next EasyCycle ride is on Sat 23 February, and they will be once a month thereafter.

2. The 'Edinburgh 20-Milers' group has said that tag-alongs and child seats would be fine on most of their rides. They occasionally use rough paths where there might be some difficulties, but these shouldn't be insurmountable. Rides take place on the second Saturday of the month, throughout the year.

For further details on rides see

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Marvellous Midlothian - the Dalkeith-Penicuik cycle route

WeansonWheels is thinking the geese (some of which we saw overhead today) are onto a good thing with their autumnal migration to the balmy south.  Midlothian was as far as we got, but it offered up another highly enjoyable route for family cycling with an almost entirely off-road cycle path between Dalkeith and Penicuik.  This follows the old railway, and gave us a ride of around 20 miles overall (out and back).

Starting from the centre of Dalkeith, head west along the High St, past a church and then the War Memorial, take a right hand turn into a lane and basically just follow the blue cycle route signs to Penicuik.  [Get hold of a Spokes Midlothian map for full details of junctions etc.]  This takes you down to Hardengreen (big Tesco's visible), round behind Bonnyrigg, then off to skirt past Rosewell.  Cross the main road with care as cars are fast (though not too frequent on a Sunday at least), and pick up the cycle route again just by the car park.  This proved a handy place for a family puncture-repair lesson as Child 1's rear tyre had gone flat.  Nice views to the Pentlands, walls to lean bikes against, and some random steps to occupy Child 2.

Head on westwards and you then approach Roslin with views to the Chapel and the country park.  The route so far has a gentle upwards incline and a good surface (watch out for horse droppings though!).  From around here there is a welcome descent (though rougher surface; still fine for novices and tag-alongs etc) for quite a way down.  The path then follows the river and rises up again to come out at houses on the south west side of Penicuik.  We nipped up to the High St and found a welcome snack in the Peni Deli cafe just round the corner on the right.  9 miles out; we returned the same way to Dalkeith (views to the sea) but interested to hear if anyone makes a nice circuit based on this path (ideally <30 miles and not too hilly).

A lovely sunny morning and nice autumn colours along the way; it's a pleasant mix of trees and views to the hills.  Not the warmest of days but the kids were fine with thermals, decent socks and decent gloves - seems that if extremities are looked after, the rest looks after itself.  Mudguards come in handy at this time of year - worth investing in!  Child 2 on the tag-along still got a bit splattered (well-used to it now, luckily), given some puddles from the rain yesterday.  If anyone knows of a decent crud-catcher for tag-alongs, please write in!

Any more Midlothian suggestions for family groups?

Two quick websites to pass on:

(a) looks like a good source of ideas [haven't had time to look through all the rides there]

(b) might be of interest to those up for longer rides - please send in any reviews.

Happy autumn cycling!