Edinburgh has rain, wind, hills, and traffic is often heavy. So it may come as a surprise to learn that it is considered one of the better cities for cycling in the UK.
Part of this is down to its extensive off-road cycle network built along old railway lines which were closed down in the Sixties to make way for the brave new age of the car. These "green corridors" now provide a haven for wildlife and non-motorised traffic alike.
Unfortunately, there are few of these routes within the city centre itself and since they pass few shops or places of work, they're more suited to leisure riding.
Cycling uptown is definitely a less leisurely affair, although experienced cyclists shouldn't have a problem. Also, as climate change and environmental concerns grow, Edinburgh City Council has started taking cycling more seriously with more space devoted to bicycles on city streets.
In recent years, more bike lanes and bike boxes at traffic lights have been painted on roads and traffic calming measures introduced on busy biking commuting areas, although the network is far from joined up and motorised traffic still a major deterrant for would-be cyclists.
SPOKES, the Edinburgh cycle lobby group, provide current information, including a cyclists' map (essential if you are going to find all those cyclepaths) and regular newsletters on the state of the cycling in Edinburgh. Sign up now!
- Cycle Streets Edinburgh The handy route-planner and map, drawing on the input of crowds.
- City of Edinburgh Council Cycling & Walking Details of current cycling projects and initiatives.
- Cycling Edinburgh Listings of local bike rides, most of which are free and open to all comers.
- SPOKES Edinburgh's long-running lobby group has spent many years encouraging the council to develop bicycle facilities around the city, including the introduction of a cycle project team in the Highways department.
- Danny MacAskill World-famous stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill home page.
- Edinburgh Road Club One for sporting cyclists.
- SUSTRANS The non-profit organisation for sustainable transport is heavily involved in building and maintaining the millennium cycle route that runs continuously from one end of the country to the other.
- Biking in the Pentlands There's extensive mountain biking to be had in the Pentland hills to the South of Edinburgh.
- Edinburgh Fixed Gear Blog with focus on fixie and related culture such as bike polo.
- Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Thriving cycle shop in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh.
- Cycling Scotland National body championing cycling at all levels and ages.
UK Wide Cycling
- National Cycle Network Cycle tour safely in the UK.
- Bikebiz Carries news for both bicycle trade and cyclists.