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 away from the city centre, then riding 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

For some people, feeder rides are the best part of POP, so don’t miss out – and if there isn’t one planned in your area, then feel free to create one yourself. We’ll be updating the list here as rides get planned – if you’d like to organise one, let us know (email hello AT pedalonparliament DOT org). You might like to join a feeder ride by taking the train – see here.

  • From Fairmilehead – a family friendly ride using quiet routes at a gentle pace. Meet at Fairmilehead Park at 10:00 for a 10:30 start. More details (Facebook event).
  • From Glasgow – the Glasgow Cycling UK group will be leaving from George Square at 6:45am. This is a 49 mile ride, aiming for speeds of 12-17mph. Riders should bring food & drink as there won’t be time to stop for long en route.  More details (Meetup)
  • From Harrison Park – this is a slow-paced family friendly ride from Harrison Park via Polwarth Terrace and Gilmore Place. Gather from 10:30 for an 11am start. More details (Facebook event).
  • From Hermiston Park and Ride – meet at 9:30 for a 9:45 start or at Edinburgh Park tram stop at 10 am for a 10:05 departure. Meets up with the West Edinburgh feeder ride at the Balgreen tram stop. As well as those using the park and ride, this is also suitable for those coming in by train on the Falkirk or Shotts lines. Route hereMore details (Facebook event)
  • From Kirkcaldy – the Fife feeder ride rides again – start at Kirkcaldy Prom at 8:30 with pickup points at Dalgety Bay train station (9:30 am),  Inverkeithing High Street taxi rank (10 am), South Queensferry Tesco (10:45 am). More details (Facebook event)
  • From Leith – a sociable family ride (with some short unavoidable on-road sections). Meet at Leith Links at 9:45 for at 10 am start. Route here. More details (Facebook event)
  • From Livingston – on paths and quiet roads. Meet at the West Lothian Bike Library at Crofthead Community Centre for a 9:30 start, going via the West Lothian Civic Centre (9:45) and joining up with the other west of Edinburgh rides at Russell Road at 11. More details (Facebook event)
  • From North Edinburgh – a family-friendly ride meeting at Victoria Park at 10 am for a 10:15 start. Pick up points at 5 Ways Junction (10:20), Crewe Toll Red Bridge (10:35), Craigleith Junction (10:40) and merging with the West Edinburgh ride at the Russell Road zig zags. More details (Facebook event)
  • From Portobello – a family-friendly ride. Meet at the swimming baths at the prom at 10 for a 10:30 start. Route here. More details (Facebook event)
  • From Queensferry – start at North Queensferry train station at 8:30 am with pick up points at Dalmeny train station (9:15), Cramond Brig (10:00) and the Russell Road zig zags at 11am (joining with the West Edinburgh feeder ride). More details (Facebook event).
  • From South Edinburgh – start at the Sherrifhall Park and Ride at 10:20 am, via Inch House (10:45) and the Bike Station Causewayside (11:15). Family friendly only from Inch House onwards. Those coming from the Borders could take a train to Shawfair. Route here. More details (Facebook event)
  • From Stirling – start at the Stirling Active Travel Hub at Stirling station at 7:30am. Ride will mostly be on the National Cycle Network, but this will be a 40 mile ride at a 12-13mph pace so be prepared. Route here. More details (Facebook event)
  • From West Edinburgh – family friendly ride from Corstorphine. Meet at St. Margaret’s Park at 10 am for a 10:15 start, going via the Balgreen tram stop (10:35) or gather at Roseburn Park at 10:30 for a 10:50 departure. Meets up with the Queensferry ride at 11 am at the Russell Road zig zags. More details (Facebook event)

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 🙂

Insurance for your feeder ride can be arranged by registering your ride as a Bike Week event (yes, we know Bike Week itself is in June but the insurance will cover PoP and feeder rides to PoP. This is part of the support that CyclingUK gives us. If you enjoy your PoP feeder ride experience, you could also organise an event for Bike Week itself!)

Bike Week logo


Getting to PoP 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 bikes 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

Please allow plenty of time for your journey so you don’t have to leave your bike behind!

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.

Most non-reservable Scotrail services are frequent and ‘clockface’ so it may be prudent to aim for an earlier service. Better also to board at a ‘starting point’ or ‘main stop’ station, where there is more time allowed for boarding.

Most local Scotrail services do not take any reservations for seats or bike spaces. Other operators do and may or may not allow non-booked bikes as conditions allow. If you do need to make a reservation, help to keep your local station staffed by using the booking office to buy tickets and make cycle bookings (but not at the last minute!). Station staff are often a valuable and informed resource when it comes to knowing the special detail on the best services to get bikes on. Also, CrossCountry can take bike bookings on their own services via Twitter – @crosscountryuk

If you are taking your bike on the train:

  • Please act as an ambassador for cyclists.
  • Work with the front line rail staff – they want the trains to run on time, and with minimum fuss.
  • 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 either top & tail (handlebar to saddle) or ‘herringbone’ (at an angle with back tyre to the wall).
  • 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 East Coast – reserve a space for your bike as well as yourself, although these trains tend to have very few spaces, which have to be unlocked by staff on the train or platform. Book as noted using a staffed station – or via the EastCoast website (regardless of  which train operating company you’re travelling on) which will allow you to reserve a space for your bike online.

Going home by train

…should be easier as long as everyone doesn’t rush for the trains at once! Aim to board at Waverley as this is where many services start their journey and can be loaded in a managed way with as many bikes as safely as possible. This of course will mean that many trains may be ‘full’ of cycles when they call at Haymarket and you’ll be refused trying to board there… Take your time and make a day of it and it will be easier for everyone to get home!

The ‘back door’ to Waverley Station is via Calton Road, which conveniently involves minimal hill climbing, and is the shortest journey from Holyrood. The downside is that it has steps (with wheeling ramps and lifts), and most of the route has cobbles. The other downside is that the ‘Bathgate’ services often leave from Platform 8 or 9 – best access via Market Street entrance. The Real Time Trains website can provide details of which platform the train should be leaving from.

Feeder rides by train

A number of feeder rides go via train stations, so you can take a train part of the way in, and then cycle the rest of the way in company (for many people, the feeder rides are the best part of PoP!). Please see the advice further down the page about taking your bike on a train. Thanks to Dave Holladay (@BCCletts) for compiling this information.

Train arrival times shown on Real Time Trains here : Left column = starting station & arrival time. Click on train number for stops en route.

From Glasgow

  • Services via Airdrie and Bathgate run 4 times per hour, with a journey time generally around 1 hour 15 minutes. There is a dedicated storage area on the refurbished trains which can fit at least 4 bikes carefully stacked. We hope that 6-coach trains will be running. The doorways are wide and there is spaces to fit in more bikes if the train is not going to be busy.  If needing to put your bike in a vestibule, platforms are on the left hand side of the train facing direction of travel so cycles go on the right side. You should stay with or near your bike at all times and ensure it does not cause an obstruction. If you are travelling from Partick and further West, it makes sense to use this direct service. Recommended alight at Edinburgh Park for 10.00 feeder ride.
  • Services via Falkirk High run 4 times per hour, some services are now 7 coach electric trains, others 6 coach diesel. Each unit (2 per train) has a dedicated bike space which can take at least 2 bikes (diesel) or 4 bikes (electric). Additional bikes at train crew discretion.http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/GLQ/to/HYM/2018/04/28/0800-1030?stp=WVSC&show=passenger&order=wtt
  • Services via Shotts run 2 times per hour, with 2 or 4 car diesel trains. Each unit has space for 6 bikes. The xx.15 stopping service is very slow – alight Slateford or Haymarket (avoids big hill en route to Meadows!)
  • Services via Carstairs (CrossCountry/East Coast/Scotrail): Fastest 55 minutes but stopping trains take around 1 hour 20 roughly every 2 hours. Scotrail electric trains with generous bike space (up to 4 bikes will fit) and other (door vestibule) space at train crew discretion. CrossCountry – roughly every 2 hours, normally 3 spaces per unit – reservable, & check space @crosscountryuk on Twitter. East Coast 07.00 – 6 bikes in van space – reservable. (alight Haymarket as above) http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/GLC/to/HYM/2018/04/28/0650-1045?stp=WVSC&show=passenger&order=wtt

From Fife

Services about every 30 minutes. Mostly 3 coach class 170 as Edinburgh-Glasgow. Possibly some HST’s for Aberdeen – but may be limited to certain stops.

From Dundee/Perth/Aberdeen

As Fife Circle for Scotrail  HST’s (VTEC) from Aberdeen Voyagers (Cross Country) from Dundee – but limited stops, especially in Fife (alight Inverkeithing for rides in from Forth Bridge or Haymarket) Trains in BOLD stop at Inverkeithing, others are fast stopping at Kirkcaldy (KDY) or Dundee (DDE) only (enter codes to check these stations)

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/INK/to/EDB/2018/04/28/0800-1115?stp=WVSC&show=passenger&order=wtt

From East Lothian

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!

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/NBW/to/EDB/2018/04/28/0800-1100?stp=WVSC&show=pax-calls&order=wtt

Dunbar limited service VTEC 1 Scotrail service 11.06 – best advice to get trains from North Berwick

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. Alloa – change at Stirling.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/STG/to/EDB/2018/04/28/0800-1000?stp=WVSC&show=passenger&order=wtt

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 see link below – use CAR for Carlisle in Station box. After 10.00 on the day of PoP the line will be blocked and a coach service replaces all trains, so you’re best off travelling earlier unless you have a folding bike!

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/LOC/to/EDB/2018/04/28/0800-1100?stp=WVSC&show=pax-calls&order=wtt

From Borders

Increasingly Class 170 – working with staff on a less busy train …. suggest local riders use twitter/SMS to co-ordinate.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/TWB/to/EDB/2018/04/28/0800-1100?stp=WVSC&show=passenger&order=wtt

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. Send a Twitter DM to @BCCletts if you are planning to use a coach service, as he’s in touch with the main operators – mainly for Fife-Edinburgh, and services to Inverness and Aberdeen.

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.

There are also Car Club vans that can be booked see https://www.enterprisecarclub.co.uk/gb/en/programs/regions/scotland/edinburgh.html (members can see available vans and larger cars). Allow for 2-2.5 hours and 20-25 miles to ship a van load of bikes to peripheral locations outside Edinburgh.

Again, please use the #POPbikespaces hashtag on Twitter to advise which services you’re using, those which you know are full or if you’re taking a car up on the day and have space for another bike.