Looking Out To Sea

Cycling like your granny

At the weekend I ventured out into some pretty foul weather for a trip to Hermiston Gait1. According to Google Maps I could follow the NEPN for a chunk and get there in forty minutes. I set off at a relaxed pace and got lost. (I see now that I followed my nose and headed west along the Water of Leith at one point when I should have headed east and curved back on the cycle path.) But I had a successful shopping trip and was largely stress free while doing it.

It was my first visit to Hermiston Gait and Edinburgh Park station. In the summer I can definitely see myself hopping off the train there for a gentle ride back into town. The new shared path that runs alongside the tram is really relaxing compared to the stress of road travel. Cycling as it should be.

On my return journey I came a more direct route — past Haymarket, along Shandwick Place and into George Street before home. It was still raining and I was passed several times by cyclists in a hurry. I was trying my best to remain at a sedate pace; all the off-road travel I was doing certainly helped.

There’s a phrase on the City Cycling Edinburgh forums about “cycling like your granny”. This amounts to not battling with traffic and seeing how you travel. Limiting yourself to 10mph or coasting otherwise. The weekend’s trip on quiet segregated routes helped bring me closer to the relaxed mood I would have to be in to ride like that all the time.

  1. I can assure you that it’s no more exciting than you imagine it is.