Edinburgh Festival of Cycling – a right proper festival
Edinburgh knows how to do Festivals. It doesn’t hold with the ‘two day, blink and you missed it’ events that other cities call a festival, Edinburgh Festivals take over your life for weeks at a time.
The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling has proved to be no different. Established this year by a dedicated (some might say obsessed) group of volunteers, the EdFoC has provided and promoted nearly two weeks of engaging cycling-themed activities for anyone and everyone across the City.
There have been rides (a night one, long ones, a Tweed one and family ones), talks, workshops, exhibitions and events. There was even some poetry..! The annual Bike Breakfast at the City Chambers, hosted by Spokes, was so busy there was some concern from the CTC stand that the sausage sandwiches might run out before we got to the head of queue.. (they didn’t).
I’m sure everyone will have their highlight from the EdFoC, but my son and I really enjoyed the ‘Monumental Motion’ exhibition by Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize. The exhibition, hosted by the Hub on the Royal Mile, showed what Colville-Andersen thinks of as the Danes greatest monument – it’s cycling culture and vast infrastructure that supports it. The pictures of normal people carrying on normal activities (shopping, talking, going to work/school/nursery/the pub) on bikes was enchanting and inspiring. As a new parent I was particularly struck by a photo of a woman in fabulous shoes cycling with her child. I’m not sure even Danish cycling infrastructure will ever make me look like that, but it did remind me that I don’t have to dress ‘as a cyclist’ to cycle. Every time I don my lycra, helmet and hi-vis jacket am I telling everyone that what I’m doing is potentially dangerous and rather odd? I do it because at some level I don’t feel safe on the road, particularly with my child on the bike. I’m looking forward to joining the Danes in their ‘monument’ this summer, and seeing if I feel the need for my cycling outfit there.
You can see the full EdFoC programme here www.edfoc.org.uk