When I first had the idea of offering rides at the EdFoC I had no idea what to expect, I had not attended any of the previous festivals either as a customer or as an event organiser. Fifty eight yo and still learning!
Carol and I attended the opening speeches, drink and food in a church in Edinburgh. I was like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof.
We got home and after a chat and a cuppa Carol left me to my final preparations and I had an early night. The 9th dawned and I do mean dawned to me up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take on the world. I was washed, dressed, breakfasted, packed, double triple checked and ready to go for 8. Train time 9:25!
FF to Edinburgh I was waiting outside the Parliament when I got a call from Martyn today’s client he and his friend Jules were in the vicinity and just wanting to know my exact location. I gave him directions and in no time we were introducing ourselves and I was describing the route to them. During this conversation a Burmese tourist rocked up on a Dahon folder EdFoC programme in hand! Luckily he was only wanting to know about the routes and what type of bike would be suitable so I might see him again.
Surprisingly Martyn and Jules were local, until recently Jules lived in Leith! They were familiar with some of the route but not it all and wanted to see the paths they were not familiar with. Jules was on a 29er and Martyn on a CX bike.
We set off heading through the park and into the Innocent tunnel then onto NCR 1 and out to Dalkeith. Although there are a few road crossing this part of the ride through the capital is on traffic free cycle path. We continued along this path till we neared Dalkeith and took to the road for the ride through the town, with a stop for tea.
After leaving Dalkeith we headed for Roslin Glen and the climb up by Glencorse Barracks which would take us out on the A702 and to the Pentlands.
We took time for another break by the visitor centre before tackling the climb up Maidens Cleugh this had concerned Jules but she did splendidly whereas Martyn did have some trouble with the CX tyres on the terrain however we all made it to the top and regrouped for a look at the descent which I described as exhilarating rather than technical. The view from the top was clear and we could see the 3 bridges across the Forth clearly.
The off road descent did not give anyone any bother and soon we were travelling along the Water of Leith and the canal basin the end of the tour.
It was a great day and in Martyn and Jules I could not have asked for better first clients. Roll on Friday and the 3 Forth bridges tour. No one is booked on but plan B will be get a fringe programme and soak up the atmosphere of one of the best cities in the world during festival time!!!