Coming to Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh? This link is to help you find the start point and help you to get yourself and your bike there – although remember you can always come without your bike. There are a number of options in general:

We’ll be adding details of groups coming in from outside Edinburgh as details arrive, so watch this space or let us know. For those coming from places not listed here – there’s no shame in driving in and parking somewhere and ride on into the city centre – this map link may help you to plan your ride from where you park. If you are plan to come from a place not listed and could offer others a lift or would like to organise a feeder ride, then let us know via email (hello {at} pedalonparliament {dot} org), or our Facebook group page or twitter (@popscotland)  and we can spread the word.

Feeder rides

We’ll be updating the list here as rides get planned, but this year in recognition of the local elections, there will be an effort to get feeder rides running from every ward in Edinburgh. If you’d like to organise one, let us know (email hello AT pedalonparliament DOT org)

  • From Dunbar – meet at the Bleachingfield Centre, Dunbar 08.30. Rough schedule (timings dependent on the wind!): Haddington, Town hall 09.35, Longniddry Station 10.15, Musselburgh, Fisherrow 11.05 Meadows 11.45ish (approximately 30 miles so suitable for reasonably fit cyclists). Contact Mark James (mrmajames@gmail.com).
  • From Fairmilehead – details to be confirmed
  • From Harrison Park – meet at 11 am for a fully marshalled, family-friendly feeder ride that is an event in itself – more details (Facebook event page)
  • From Leith – Leith Cricket Club on Leith Links at 10:00am, heading to the Meadows on a mostly off-road route via Lochend Park / Holyrood Park. For more details contact @threefromleith.
  • From Liberton/Newington – meet at the Sheriffhall Park and Ride at 10:20, via Inch House, Inch Park (10:45),  Bike Station, Causewayside (11:15). Family friendly from Inch House onwards. A good option for those who need to drive in. more details (Facebook event page)
  • From West Edinburgh – meet at Gyle Park at 10 am for a 10:15 start, via Costorphine (10:15 for 10:30), Roseburn Park (10:50 for 11:00)  and passing by the Russell Road zig-zags at 11:05. Organised by Belles on Bikes Edinburgh, but belles, bairns and blokes all welcome – more details (Facebook event page)

Feeder rides – advice

Organising a smaller feeder ride, especially if it’s largely just for adults, is pretty much a question of choosing when and where you want to start, choosing a route, letting us know, and then getting the word out. Some of the family-friendly rides can get quite large and need a bit more planning, so the organisers of the Harrison Park ride (which regularly gets over 100 riders) have put together this handy guide.

However you run yours, tt would be excellent if the more experienced riders in each feeder ride had some basic kit for repairing any problems that arise. Remember – not everyone will have as well maintained bikes as you will. Some suggestions:

  • tyre levers
  • puncture repair kit
  • pump
  • a few inner tubes – 26″ and 700c
  • allen keys
  • basic tool kit / mini tool
  • electrical tape
  • cable ties (electrical tape and cable ties can solve lots of problems!)
  • pocket first aid kit – some ideas here
  • wet wipes
  • chain lube – not everyone will have such examples of smooth-running perfection as yourself!

Hopefully no one will need it but it’s useful to be prepared and the kit can be spread over a few experienced people. And the good thing is – the presence of that kit means you probably won’t need it 🙂

By Public Transport

If you are planning on travelling by public transport and have a folding bike such as a Brompton or can borrow one – or borrow or rent a bike in Edinburgh (Cycling Edinburgh has some information here) – then please do so as spaces for bike will be extremely limited. Use the #POPbikespaces hashtag on twitter to advise which services you’re using, which are full or if you’re taking a car up on the day and have space for another bike.

By train

There is some general guidance on getting your bike on the train here. Be aware that they can’t guarantee you’ll be able to get your bike on the train and they can’t carry huge numbers of bikes so please leave plenty of time. They also cannot carry tandems, or other ‘non standard’ bikes. Coming back should be easier as long as everyone doesn’t rush for the trains at once – take your time and make a day of it and it will be easier for everyone to get home!

If you are taking your bike on the train, please act as an ambassador for cyclists. Be ready to board when a train arrives & know where to find the space on the train. Do not block any disabled or wheelchair spaces with your bike. Take off any panniers or luggage to make the bike more compact and stack bikes ‘herringbone’ fashion (top to tail)  On some trains Scotrail permits bikes in door vestibules because there is no bike space. If the guard permits this, stay with the bike and keep it out of the way of other passengers. If you’re travelling on Virgin, East Coast Mainline, or Transpennine Express services (from Lockerbie and Carlisle) you can – indeed you must for Virgin and EastCoast – reserve a space for your bike as well as yourself, although these trains tend to have very few spaces. Book via the EastCoast website (regardless of  which train operating company you’re travelling on) and it will allow you to reserve a space for your bike online.

From Glasgow

Note that this year coincides with upgrading works to Glasgow Queen St tunnel, meaning that Queen St High Level station is temporarily closed. Please bear this in mind, and note that diverted trains, or trains running on alternative routes, are likely to be very busy. A queuing system will be in operation for customers using Glasgow Queen St Low Level. Please also allow plenty of time so that if your chosen train cannot take any more cycles, you may have other travel options available.

The advice from ScotRail is as follows:

  • Services via Airdrie and Bathgate run 4 times per hour, with a journey time generally around 1 hour 15 minutes. Although there is no dedicated storage area on these trains, cycles can be placed in the vestibule on the right hand side of the train facing direction of travel. Customers should stay with or near their cycle at all times and ensure it does not cause an obstruction. ?
  • Services via Shotts run twice per hour (one fast train with a journey time of around 1 hour 10 minutes, and one slower train). These trains can usually accommodate between 2 and 6 cycles on dedicated racks. Storage elsewhere on the train is not permitted.
  • Services via Falkirk High run 2 times per hour, however space for storing cycles is limited to 2 dedicated spaces per 3 carriages. Storage elsewhere on the train is not permitted. ?
  • Services via Carstairs run roughly every 2 hours, with journey time generally around 1 hour 20 minutes. 2 designated spaces are available for bikes, and additional cycles can be placed in the vestibule on the right hand side of the train facing direction of travel. Customers should stay with or near their cycle at all times and ensure that it does not cause an obstruction. ?
  • Cross Country Trains also operate some trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh. For details of cycle provision on board, please check www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/on-board-with-crosscountry/bikes-cyclists

From Fife

Mostly 3 coach class 170 as Edinburgh-Glasgow. Possibly some HST’s for Aberdeen – but may be limited to certain stops.

From North Berwick

Half hourly service on Saturdays Class 380 trains 1 train in morning 1 in early evening to/from Glasgow Central, generally not busy – a secret service.

From Stirling

Normally, half hourly services – some to Dunblane often Class 158 – if you are lucky a ‘Highland’ version with 2 sets of bike spaces – officially 5 bikes – using centre doors on 2 coach trains. Plus some Inverness services

From the South West

The fastest service to Edinburgh is from Lockerbie or via Carlisle – the TransPennine express offers two spaces per three-car train which it’s possible to book in advance – use the EastCoast website to do this online. There are also a couple of Virgin services from Carlisle and Lockerbie – you must book in advance if you want to take your bike on these trains. For train times use the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner or call 08457 48 49 50

Coaches

Bikes are carried on many express coach services – officially you should have something to wrap up the bike (groundsheet) and some bungees or straps to secure it to the chassis framing in the luggage hold. As with the train if you can make the bike ‘flat’ it works better. Stagecoach Express services tend to have less luggage, and there are reports of up to 10 bikes on some services used by BMX and MTB riders in Moray/Aberdeen, who arrange to board/alight at the same places – usually a main bus station. Checking this one with operators (mainly First (Dunbar), Citylink and Stagecoach). Useful to check locally in advance as well if this may suit you. Some smaller bus operators also carry bikes on low floor buses – informally in most cases – handy if you break down/get stuck and can negotiate with driver – not advisable in town and Lothian/First will refuse you.

Taxis

A useful reserve option if you do have a problem with your bike or the ‘engine’. Most accessible taxis will carry a bike, provided it is clean and you hold or secure it to avoid damaging the cab. Bikes may be charged for as an additional item of luggage.

Car/van Sharing

If you are taking a car and a load of bikes through you can make sure that your car is getting the most use – be prepared to give a lift to other cyclists to help them get there/ get home. Remember this is a co-operative enterprise where there are a lot of people working together to change things – try to share your ride in that spirit! Parking regulations on the roads surrounding the Meadows can be difficult, so you can join one of our feeder rides or plan your ride in using this cycle journey planner.