Listed as ‘one of the top 10 cycling festivals in Europe’ by the Active Travellers Magazine, Edinburgh Festival of Cycling takes place this year from 7 to 24 June, with an exciting programme of events taking place across the city and beyond.
Edinburgh Festival of Cycling doesn’t just cater to the sports side of cycling, but also explores the many different sides and routes of access to the sport (from transport to competition, from leisure activity to cultural icon) which the festival sets out to celebrate, with a wide range of sporting, cultural and family events for all age groups.
This year is also different, as it sees Scotland’s three UNESCO Creative Cities: Edinburgh (City of Literature), Glasgow (City of Music), and Dundee (City of Design), come together for the first time ever in order to celebrate the benefits that arts and culture can have in promoting and enhancing an active live.
One of the key features of the programme is a screening in each of the creative cities of the Dutch documentary ‘Why We Cycle’. In this thought-provoking film, ordinary cyclists and specialists talk about why there’s a culture of cycling in the Netherlands and what we can learn from it. The screenings are followed by a discussion which will cover many of the issues raised by Glasgow 2018: how can we make an active life a more ingrained part of our communities?
Edinburgh City of Literature is excited to be involved in the coming together of the cities, and is looking forward to the events taking place between them:
- Glasgow – The Festival of Cycling has been working with Bike for Good Glasgow and Cycling UK Scotland to put together a programme for Glasgow City of Music for the first time. A large focus of this will be the Summer Fun day, aimed at those who want to start cycling or cycle more, and don’t know how. There will be UNESCO-led rides telling the story of migration, free safety checks, a chance to make your own pedal-powered smoothie, face-painting and, of course, live music!
- Dundee – As well as a screening of ‘Why We Cycle’, Dundee will also be hosting an event about how we Copenhagenize Scotland. The Festival is delighted that, thanks to the support of Festival 2018, Morten Kabell (CEO of Copenhagenize Design Co) is able to come and talk about his work on urban mobility. There will also be a Bike Curious Family Ride in Dundee, to create a safe environment for cyclists of all ages.
- Edinburgh – As well as the usual packed programme in Festival’s hometown, this year there is an increase in literary events, including talks from Peter Walker (author of Bike Nation) and William Manners, who’ll be discussing Revolution: How the Bicycle Reinvented Modern Britain. Working with Edinburgh City of Literature, a writing competition (Writing & Reading) will be held again, encouraging short fiction and poetry about cycling.
Thanks to the support of Festival 2018, Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is able to go on tour to these Creative Cities, which share a common narrative of sport – specifically of bikes and how they can change the world. From the stories we tell about them, to the way they work, to the fun we can have on them, the Festival of Cycling programme this year is packed with events for all ages bringing out the best of the UNESCO Creative Cities.
Full details of the Art and culture programme of the festival can be found here: www.edfoc.org.uk/events/category/art-and-culture/