Edinburgh Cycle Hire
Cycling has never been more accessible.
I walk a lot and have a beard.
So I know this blog is titled ‘a beard walks’, and it’s true, I walk a lot and have a beard. However, sometimes I cycle too and really this blog is about all things active travel and the environment anyway! There will be lots more on walking in the future, but in this post today we’re talking bikes. Specifically, we’re talking about the bikes of Edinburgh’s Just Eat Cycle hire scheme. Launched back in September 2018, Edinburgh’s cycle hire scheme gives people the opportunity to hire bikes for up to an hour and nip about the city with relative ease. For me, these bikes give me the ability to adapt my city travel without having to worry myself about my own bike, lugging a lock around, where I’m going to park it, keeping my lights charged, and so on. All these worries go away when hiring a bike from a city hire cycle scheme like Edinburgh has.
At the time I’m writing this, Edinburgh has 51 hire points or stations as they’re called by the just eat hire co. They’re mainly located around the centre of Edinburgh, covering key locations e.g. Edinburgh Waverley Station. The process is pretty slick, download the app, pay for a hire (or a membership), approach one of the bike stations and hit the unlock button. Pootle about, run your errands, get your commute done, enjoy the freedom, and when you’re done return it to the station most convenient to you! Simple!
The other week, my wife and I were sitting on the couch, when suddenly she got excited and asked: “have you seen it?” She was excited because the Kirkgate had just had a Just Eat bike station installed! We were now both excited as this was a lot closer to our flat than the next nearest one and then it hit me. There are 51 stations in Edinburgh, and I need blog post ideas.
A 51 Part Series
I’m going to visit all 51 stations.
I’ve decided I’m going to visit all 51 stations over the next 12 months. It’s not a ridiculously hard challenge, I’ve used a number of them already, but I’ve never taken the time to explore around them. So to make it more interesting, I’m going to visit each station and take the time to explore the area around them. I’m going to photograph them, write about them, and share with you my experience exploring each location along the way.
It's a good question, there are a few answers. 51 stations means I can write up to 51 blog posts, that’s a lot of content. You see, I’ve made attempts at this blog thing a few times, and it’s never lasted. I’ve tried a bunch of topics from movie reviews to software development, and none of them has really excited me enough to keep writing. This challenge does, and it will be something to work on for a long time while I develop my other post ideas. Which brings me on to my motivation for this blog. I'm sick of the rush, the chase, the constant need for more. I mentioned in my previous post that time for whatever reason seems scarce. I think this is because most of us, and I'll include me in this bucket, are moving way too fast. I don't just mean physically through space, we're moving too fast through life. Chasing the next success, the next win, the next thing to consume.
I think collectively we people in the west are sick with an illness of consumption-and no I don't mean the dated definition for wasting disease, though that is fitting imagery-that is destroying our relationships with each other and the planet. I want to promote a slower, more active, and more appreciative lifestyle that harmonises with the world around us less greedily and destructively. Active travel is a fantastic way to slow down and appreciate things more. I hope this series helps to demonstrate that.
It's going to take me time to visit each one, explore, and take photos. I want to give each station the time it deserves, after all, rushing it would be counter to my primary goal! Not only that, 51 posts in a row on bike hire stations might get a bit boring for all of us. So this is actually going to be a 51 part challenge, spread over 102 weeks, over the next 2 years, starting on April 24th. I do want to post weekly though, so for the other 51 weeks, I'm going to bring you articles on a wealth of other topics, all focussed around active travel, slowing down, and the challenge of climate change. I'm really excited.
In a fortnight I’ll publish my first post in the series, to start I’m going to explore around the St Andrew’s House station on Calton Hill. I’ve been using it a lot lately. Next week though, I'm going to share with you my experience managing my mental health through walking.
Thanks for reading.