I love this city for loads of reasons.
It’s small and I feel like I’m always running into people I know but at the same time, there are always new ones to meet and new places to discover (preferably with some great Scottish beer). You get the texture and business of the city streets and in a short walk, you can be in complete silence overlooking the city or dipping your toes in the sea. It’s a special place.
But the trails are the absolute best. It connects the city in a way which I’m still trying understand and am convinced is magic. While the Innertube Map does its best to keep you straight – you really need to get lost in order to be found.
I read that you know a city’s cycling structure is top notch when you can comfortably chat with a fellow cyclist while riding. My flatmate Jamie (on his steed the Jazz) and I enjoy this luxury each morning on our commute into the city centre. We pass the same people each day and while I see them more than I see my family, we don’t know their names or anything about them. But still – we like to make up stories about the woman with her small dog who I still can’t get to say ‘good morning’ back, the man with a particular side-to-side cycling rhythm, or the forager who jogs while looking for wild garlic – often without his shirt. On the ride home, I have had countless encounters with the urban fox community (and one bat encounter which still makes me cringe). If you are nearby on the trails at night, guarantee you can hear me singing the Eagles ‘Take it Easy’ as I whizz past. It’s become a bit like my theme song.
These trails have seen me through it all, taken me many places, and brought me safely home night after night. I feel a bit like we are old friends.
I’m soon moving to another part of the city and I will greatly miss my daily dose of the trails and all the people I have grown to see each day. And while my new commute will mainly be on the roads, I’m sure Edinburgh has a few secret routes in store for me.