In honour of my new home in Portobello, I’m profiling some of the local cyclists. There are some great stories to be told among this crew! I’m asking them all the same questions about their cycling experiences in and around the city. So without further ado, meet Lee Kindness.
For years I was one of the many who suffered using a MTB in the city, with perhaps a once yearly outing to the hills. The MTB frame snapping while riding across the King’s Rd junction (not as scary as it might sound, never really twigged at the time) put paid to that and it was time to get a sensible bike. So these days it is a commuter with hub gears and carbon fibre belt drive. Much cleaner and much less maintenance. I previously went through chains and cassettes far too fast! The “plastic chain” still gets comments from other cyclists and motor bikers.
How would you describe your bikeable style?
“Bikeable style” – as in clothes’n’stuff? Definitely not lycra, but for sure I’m not getting photographed for “Edinburgh Cycle Chic”! Vast majority of my cycling is the daily commute to work, dropping off the little one at nursery on the way. It’s five miles and I can’t do slow – so it’s a change of clothes…
Favorite bikeable accessory
The bike is ever increasing in weight. First was the child seat. Then came the new lock & chain (11mm chain; weighs 2.7kg!) and then the pannier rack bracket broke and was bodged with a external WiFi access point bracket to fix it! (another 2 kg; see photo).
Just got to have a GPS bike computer, don’t you?
Favorite cycling route or trip
I do much less “cycling for fun” in the last three years, since my daughter was born. But before that it’s a sole Saturday morning sort of thing – a cycle to get a photo typically. A lot of the photos on my old photo site are from that. A real blessing to have East Lothian on our doorstep. The Arthur’s Seat loop is also a great ride – but extremely hard with the little one on the back 🙂 (shouting “faster, FASTER, F A S T E R”)
Scottish weather cycling tip
Weather tip: don’t bother with waterproofs, just wear stuff that’ll dry quick – mainly the shoes…
Best advice for folks just starting out
Advice: ca’canny and appreciate where you’re cycling – that means the Prom isn’t a cycle track for bombing along, it’s a shared space where dogs and kids will jump out at you. Eye contact – with drivers and pedestrians, best way to avoid conflict! And buses: maroon (Lothian) are the good guys with good training; the green ones (First) avoid, avoid, avoid…