10th January 2020

Cycle Routes around Edinburgh ideal for Electric Bikes

Cycle Routes in Edinburgh ideal for ebikesEuan from our Canonmills shop has come up with a few cycle routes in Edinburgh and surrounding areas for all cyclists, but especially good for electric bikes.

Forth road bridge & North Queensferry

Distance: 24 miles (2-3 hours)
The national cycle network route 1 (NCN1) can be picked up from just West of Haymarket Station, initially utilising old railway lines to provide a wide, pleasant, traffic free route as it heads North-West out the city. Around Craigiehall, there is the option to stay on the NCN1, the most direct route to Queensferry, or to take the longer, more scenic route along the NCN76, which goes along the coast. Or head directly out and detour home. The Forth road bridge offers a fantastic segregated cycle path across it, with great views of the Forth rail bridge and the new Queensferry crossing. North Queensferry offers refreshments before the return leg, and for those that haven’t had call to visit before, it offers a fascinating up-close view of the Forth rail bridge that you really don’t get to see from anywhere else. Normally you have a post-cake price to pay for your descent down from the bridge, but an ebike will make short work of the steep climb back out of North Queensferry.

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Tantallon Castle

Distance: 50 miles (4-5 hours)
The ride can be started as far east as Seafiled, at the Edinburgh Dog and Cat home, heading along the coast to Portobello prom on the cycling and walking path, but really you can start anywhere on the prom. Enjoy views of the beach and out across the Firth. At the end of the prom, you continue along Edinburgh road and join the John Muir Way / NCN76, which takes you along scenic paths by the coast, through Musselburgh and Prestonpans – here the John Muir Way officially finishes, but you can continue to follow NCN76. At Longniddry the NCN76 swing south to Haddington and then on to East Linton before you turn off on the A198 back north to Tantallon Castle. Those looking for a more direct route can just continue along the coast on the NCN76 from Longniddry, rather than swinging south, which will take you to the castle as the crow flys. It’s a very pretty route, but on main roads with traffic that can come round corners quite quickly, so the NCN76 will offer a more relaxed ride. The castle itself is fascinating, and there’s a small shop that will sell you snacks and ice-cream to keep you going, however I’d recommend stopping at North Berwick for lunch either on the way out or back.

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Arthur’s Seat

Distance: 5 miles (30-45 minutes)
For those wanting to try out the potential of their new electric bike, and get great views of Edinburgh, a trip around Arthur’s seat on the Queen’s Drive is a perfect way to demonstrate the difference an ebike makes. The steep climb to the top reserves the rewarding view for those willing to pay the price with their thighs and lungs – usually roadies on training rides. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet a group of them on the climb. Offer them a sandwich, or ask them how come they are working so hard but going so slow. They will appreciate this. The road is circular, and closed to cars on Sundays. The loop can easily be accessed from the Meadows on mostly-segregated cycle paths to the start of the Innocent Railway (also worth checking out) before taking Holyrood park road to the Queen’s drive. The meadows in turn can be accessed very easily via a quiet road from the Union Canal cycle path (NCN75), so in this way Arthurs seat can be accessed from any point along the length of the Union Canal cycle path.

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The Three Reservoir Ride

Distance: 11.5 miles
Just a couple of miles south of city lies the wilds of the Pentland hills. This regional park allows you an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of city and offers many miles of stunning scenery and off-road cycling tracks. The distance and difficulty of many trails vary, but one route in particular stands above the rest, offering fun for all the family – ‘The Three Reservoir Ride’.

The route follows a mixture of private tarmac roads and gravel tracks, making it suitable for many and most hybrid e-bikes. As you’d expect of a route in the Pentland hills the elevation is varied. While the paths which follows alongside the reservoirs is relatively level and sedate, the elevation does kick up a bit as your cross the park from east to west and west to east – but overcoming those elevations is exactly what turbo mode on your E-bike was created for!

The route can be accessed from three mains point, each of which has free parking. The Harlow visitor centre and Threipmuir Car Park on the eastern side of the route. And most popular, from the Flottersotne inn on the western side of the route. Starting and Finishing on the Flotterstone Inn side of route has the added advantage, and motivation, of a nice drink or bite to eat to celebrate your completion of the Three Reservoir Ride.

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