Capital gears up for biggest cycling festival in the UK

The City of Edinburgh Council is pleased to be supporting the first ever Edinburgh Festival of Cycling - the UK's biggest cycling festival.

Running from 15 to 23 June, the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling boasts a packed calendar of events from exhibitions, films and talks, to rides and races, workshops and the world's first cycling poetry slam, Bike Slam.

Heels on Wheels, a 'Ladies day' of cycling, will be held at The Meadows on Saturday 22 June from 11am to 3pm and aims to be a fun and educational event for the whole family. This event is free and all are welcome.

Copenhagen's bicycle ambassador, Mikael Colville-Andersen, will give a talk on "Bicycle Culture by Design" on Saturday 15 June in the Assembly Hall, Mound Place at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 (£13 concessions).

In 'The Fastest Woman to Cycle Around the World', Juliana Buhring will give a talk about setting the first women’s world record for fastest circumnavigation of the world by bicycle, which she achieved in just 152 days, finishing in December 2012. This talk will be at 7.30pm on Saturday 22 June at George Square Lecture Theatre - tickets are £12 (£10 concessions). 
The Council has provided £8,000 in funding, as well as advice and support to the organisers of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling.

Councillor Jim Orr, Vice Convener of Transport and Environment, said: "There is so much to do, see and hear in this exciting festival programme - I would encourage anyone with an interest in bikes to check it out, you never know what you'll discover. It's not just for cycling enthusiasts, either - there are plenty of events for families and for people who don't already cycle but are keen to take it up.

"Having just been on an inspirational visit to Amsterdam, where cycling is such an intrinsic part of urban life (half of all journeys in the city centre are by bike), I'm very keen to build on Edinburgh's already-established reputation as a cycling city. Events like this terrific Festival of Cycling are exactly the kind of collaborative, forward-looking initiatives which will help us do just that."

Kim Harding, Festival Director, said: "We set out with the aim of creating a real Edinburgh-style festival, something that would act as a showcase for all aspects of bicycle culture and the host city. From rides (sporty and otherwise) to family activities to a range of cultural events, we hope that the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling will truly have something for everyone. Let the fun begin!"

The Council has committed 6% of its Transport budget to cycling, with current projects including the A90 cycle route from Haymarket to Forth Bridge and the resurfacing and widening of North Meadow Walk.

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