SBT at EdFoC 2017

After last year’s festival where I dutifully turned up every day I had decided to try and cut travel costs by asking clients to prebook and prepay.  Unfortunately some foreign clients seem unable or unwilling to do this,, not quite back to the drawing board at least the prebooking was working.  I spoke too soon as I was travelling to Edinburgh for the first booking my e mail pinged with a message from my clients to say that they couldn’t make it!

I did not have a totally wasted day however as I went to the Fringe office and got a couple of programmes for a wee thing happening in August!

Both tours last year had been quite long so this year I decided to have a short tour, Waterways of Edinburgh, and a long one,  Innocent railway and Rosslyn Chapel, running them on alternate days.  By far the most popular was the short tour with bookings on three days. I will admit to this being my favourite even with diversions for flood defence work at Murrayfield.  I had no bookings at all for the longer tour and one request to do a tailored private tour for a father and 2 sons.

The Waterays tours went very well with a Norwegian, a Brazilian and a Turk taking the chance to be introduced to the Union Canal and the Water of Leith. 

 It was a joy taking them along the canal regaling them with tales of Burke and Hare and the local area then  as we travelled along the WoL explaining about the John Muir way and the NCN which we are lucky to have.

Dean village proved the point of much snapping and gasps of appreciation.

I enjoyed all of their company and it was a shame to leave them.

The bespoke tour morphed through a few changes until it ended up being a mix of trails, railway and pump track.  I met the three American riders at the Scottish Parliament and after explaining my plan for the trip headed off towards Salisbury crags.  After the crags we went around the back of Arthurs seat for a view of Duddingston Loch and the Pentlands and then headed for the Skelf Bike park.  The final destination was Liberton which we reached via the Innocent Railway and Craigmiller Castle.

Events wise the only one I attended was Spokes Big Breakfast.  There was plenty on, you could get your bike marked by the Police, your chain cleaned and a few samples of cleaner and lube and of course free breakfast rolls.



Tay Bridge to Carnoustie

I parked up in the car park at the south end of the Tay Bridge.  A lovely sunny day with a slight westerly wind which would mean a helping hand on the way home.

Carol and I got the bikes unloaded and headed out on NCN 1 and across the Tay Road Bridge.  This bridge is unusual in that the cycle and pedestrian way is raised in the middle rather than on the side.  We headed north with traffic rushing by on both sides.  At the north end we got in the lift and once at ground level headed for the silvery Tay.  We were’nt alongside it for long however before being directed away from the river and into an industrial/commercial estate which leads into the docks.  The cycle path goes straight through the docks and emerges at Stannergate.

Once more alongside the Tay travelling on a well surfaced path.  You can see Broughty Castle in the distance.

NCN 1 takes you past the castle and along Broughty Ferry esplanade to Balmossie and Monifeith.  After Monifeith you are on Barry Links, owned by the MOD and still in use today.  As we approached we could see red flags flying and heard gunfire as live firing is conducted on ranges on the links.  It wasn’t long and we were sitting in Franco’s cafe enjoying a light lunch before retracing our steps back.

A great wee ride of 26 miles with 500 feet of climb all on well surfaced cycle path.