Sharing Skills for Everyday Cycling

By Lisa Heywood, posted 10/11/20

Keen cyclist and SHRUB volunteer Lisa shares her tips for embracing everyday cycling in Edinburgh


It’s great to see so many people embracing cycling as a way of getting around recently. Cycling has a bit of a reputation in the UK for being the reserve of sports enthusiasts, wearing the distinctive lycra outfits that we see on TV in sports events. However, in other parts of the world cycling is much more part of the day-to-day fabric of life - just another transport option that can be much cheaper and more convenient than public transport or a private car.

This second view of cycling is how I have always related to it – something I think of as “everyday cycling”. I’m not really a competitive person, so the idea of getting a new best time doesn’t make my heart race. For me cycling is a great way to get around the city as well as weaving some outdoor time and physical activity into my day without it seeming like a chore.

I used to cycle to secondary school when I was younger but after moving to a hilly city I had a break of several years. Later I moved to Bristol, which has great cycling infrastructure, and picked it back up again as a cheap and quick way to get to work. I found it took me a little while to find the best route, and where to find out information about how to store and maintain my bike. Later I moved to Edinburgh and the same questions came up once again. I didn’t know who to ask so I ended up working it out from scratch!

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to find information and resources about cycling, and not everyone knows someone who they can ask…but what if there was a place you could go to meet other “everyday cyclists” to ask all those questions? Well, we’ve created a space to do just that! We are welcoming new and everyday cyclists to join us in a fortnightly skill-share where we can help you find the information you need to get where you want to go on two wheels!

Join us online for our new “Everyday Cycling Skill-share” at 5:30-6:30pm on Mondays on the following dates:

  • 30th November – Cycling in the winter: don’t let the weather get you down! Here’s the link to the Facebook event with the Zoom link to join
  • 14th December – Bike maintenance: things to watch out for in the winter
  • 18th January 2021 - Edinburgh’s cycle secrets: how to find bike paths and routes near you

Keep an eye on the SHRUB Facebook events page for details of the 14th December and 18th January sessions!

If you’re a regular cyclist and want to share your knowledge and enthusiasm, then why not get involved as a volunteer? Get in touch with us to find out how: volunteering@shrubcoop.org. You can also join the dedicated Everyday Cycling Facebook group to be part of our community!

Free bike repairs

We also have some exciting news to share about our cycle repair workshop. In September 2020 we were awarded a grant from Cycling UK to offer FREE cycle repairs up to the value of £50, aimed particularly at those who would otherwise not be able to afford repairs. So, if you’d like to get on your bike but are not sure if it’s roadworthy, you can get in touch with our qualified mechanic to book a repair slot.

Simply email weespokehub@shrubcoop.org with a description of what state your bike is in and giving your contact details. Our mechanic will then email you a date & time to drop your bike off at our workshop at The Wee Spoke Hub, 13 Guthrie St, Edinburgh EH1 1JG. When repairs are done we’ll email you to arrange a pick up time.

We hope to see you (virtually or in person!) very soon – happy cycling!

SHRUB Coop is supported through a combination of grant funding and generous donations from our community. We’re grateful for all their support. Find out more about our grant funders by clicking on the logos above.