When and Where are Spokes Sunday Ride?
Spokes Rides are on the First Sunday of every month. We meet at 10.00 am, outside the Usher Hall, Lothian Rd.
What are Spokes Sunday Rides?
Spokes Sunday Rides rides are 56km to 72km, 35 to 45 miles, in length. (If the weather is nice, and the riders are comfortable, it might creep up to 80km, 50 miles, but that is rare)
In summer, there may be longer rides on the Third Sunday of the Month in July, August and September.
Scotland isn't flat, there may be hills on the ride, even when following National Cycle Routes.
All Spokes Sunday Rides are carried out at an average speed of 16 to 20kph, 10 to 12mph. Slow enough to chat to each other, fast enough to get quite a way out of the city.
How much does it cost? How do I book a place? Do I need to be a member of Spokes?
All Spokes Sunday Rides are Free.
When lunch occurs at a pub / restaurant / café, this information is posted on the website, so please let us know you are coming, via Contact page, Facebook, email or phone call. Then we can notify the pub / restaurant / café of numbers.
If you are bringing a packed lunch, tell the leader. They will let you know where you can eat your lunch, and at what time we will be heading back in to Edinburgh. Some lunch venues may allow you to have your lunch inside in exchange for buying a drink.
You do not need to be a member of Spokes to participate on a Spokes Ride.
Fortunately the ride leader knows that disability is no obstacle to an active lifestyle. Some routes may present a challenge, so its best to contact the leader beforehand.
Narrow gates on cycle paths are generally a thing of the past, although some do remain. we can alter the route to suit, but its best if we know beforehand, so we can plan the route accordingly.
Spokes Sunday Rides will never take routes that require steps / stairs.
However rough tracks, gates, hills and occasional kerbs may
What should I bring?
- A drink. Advisable on all rides. Even in winter you can dehydrate.
- A couple of snacks to eat along the way.
- A small toolkit to suit your bike.
- One, or two, spare innertube. Replacing an innertube is quicker than fixing a puncture. (In cold wet weather, glue may not cure and sticky patches may not stick)
- A pump
- A lock for your bike. (We do not recommend doubling up as, from several painful experiences, keys can get left at home, lost or fall down very deep drains)
In winter and dull weather bike lights are recommended. (In these days of blinding LED front lights, point them slightly down to light where you are going, and not ride participants)
Some money, to cover lunch if it is a pub lunch. On some rides, we may also stop for an afternoon refreshment.
What should I wear?
Cycle helmets are not mandatory. If you don't wear a cycle helmet that's fine.
Wear clothing that you would normally wear on the bike to suit the weather conditions. Check the weather forecast and bring whatever clothing you think you might need.
Generally clothing you would wear outside in Scotland is OK.
When does the ride finish?
Generally between 4 and 6pm depending on the time of year and weather. Good weather may mean a slightly longer ride, especially in summer.
When the ride returns to the city boundaries, you are under no obligation to follow the ride back in to the city centre. Notify the ride leader if, and when, you intend to head home.
I see from the blog that the next ride goes near my house. Can I join you en route?
This is something we discourage, for several reasons. First, we can never be sure that we will follow the advertised route, as we sometimes have to change plans at short notice. And, even if we do stick to the planned route, we can't be sure that we will pass a given place at any particular time. It would be unfair to the group as a whole if we had to wait for people to meet us along the way. Also, the leader has a difficult enough job in keeping track of the riders that he or she knows about, without the added worry of picking more people up along the way. For all those reason, we ask you to join the ride at the planned meeting point.
Any bike that works is fine! In fact, you'll see all sorts of bikes on The Spokes Sunday Ride: road bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, folding bikes and ancient things too. These are all fine. The important thing is that you're comfortable on it and it's safe to ride. We generally find ourselves on a mix of roads, cycle paths and very occasional rough tracks. There is no "must have" bike type.
Check your bike before the ride
A bike with firm tyres, lubed chain, and one where the brakes do no rub on the wheel runs a lot smoother.
Basically follow these rules:
- Check the chain is clean and well lubricated
- Check the brakes don't rub on the wheel
- Check the tyre pressure. Generally about 5-10psi less than the maximum listed on the tyre at the back, and the front about 10 psi less than the back
Am I fit enough?
Spokes Sunday Rides occur at a slow moderate pace.
If you cycle 3 to 5 days per week for commuting purposes, then you probably are fit enough
That said, we do ask people not to join our rides if they haven't cycled for a long while, or if they have any doubts as to their ability. If that applies to you, we suggest that you get out for some shorter rides on your own first to make sure you will be fit enough. Better still, consider going out with EasyCycle; their rides are specifically aimed at inexperienced and less fit riders. Many people start with Easy Cycle and then move up to 20-Milers after a few outings.
What if the weather is bad?
Weather / Cancellations
This is Scotland. In general, our rides go ahead whatever the weather, although we might opt for a shorter route (and more time in the café at lunch time) if the weather is really bad. The ride will be cancelled if:
- snow / ice that make cycling hazardous.
- persistent rain forecast for the whole day.
- gales force wind that make cycling in a group dangerous.Rain, wind, cold - this is all to be expected (this is Scotland, after all), and doesn't put us off.
The only times when we are likely to cancel a ride is if there is snow or ice on the ground to such an extent as to make cycling dangerous. This has only happened twice in our ten-year history. In those cases, there will be somebody present at the start point to advise people of the cancellation.
Anything else I need to know?
You are responsible for your own safety.
New, Novice, Nervous cyclists
Get out and ride is the only advice we can give.
There are easier bike rides such as 20 Milers and EasyCycle
Are you insured?
Spokes Rides are covered by Event Insurance. The Bike Ride leader also has insurance.
However, you are responsible for your own safety.