Porty Profiles – Natalie Barrett

A couple weeks ago I asked folks from Portobello to tell me a bit about their cycling experience.  It’s been great to hear back from people who love their two-wheeled adventures as much as I do.

Thanks to Natalie for sharing her cycling insight with us. Nothing like a Spice Girls’ t-shirt and fake Uggs to pull of the ultimate bikeable style!

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Tell us about your bike

My bike is an Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative Revolution Cadence Sport. I don’t need a mountain bike, and the thick tyres aren’t ideal for the kind of cycling I do, but I feel secure and steady on my bike. She is a girl. She doesn’t have a name, that would be weird. My heart was broken when my last bike (the same make) was stolen in Leith about 6 years ago; I ran like a crazy woman to all the pubs in Leith to see if anyone had come in trying to sell a bike. No joy, unsurprisingly.

How would you describe your bikeable style?

When commuting to work, I can be spied in my 15 year old trakkie bums, husband’s Spice Girls t-shirt (again, about 15 years old), fake Uggs (Aldi), Auld Reekie Roller Girls hoodie and a cycling jacket. For me, it’s all about style…. I do change when I get to work.

Favorite bikeable accessory

My 19 month old son, with his cycling helmet adorned with roller derby team stickers. And his bike seat, you understand. We enjoy pointing things out to each other (“DOG!”, “AEROPLANE!”) and singing The Wheels on the Bus.

Favorite cycling route or trip

The first time my husband and I took our then 11 month old baby out on our bikes, we travelled from Porty for a picnic in Leith with friends and then on to Newhaven for a child’s birthday party. It was cycle path practically all the way; scary for the first time with your precious boy on the back, but so liberating and great fun. This was my favourite trip.

I commute to work from Porty to the centre of Edinburgh. I love that I can go all the way from Brunstane to Lothian Road on the bike paths – but the run up to and through the Innocent tunnel still kills me, especially with my laptop on my back! I also love a family trip out to The Bridge Inn at Ratho.

Scottish weather cycling tip

Brace yourself, and always check whether your face is splattered with mud before you go into a meeting at work…

Remember that a bit of wind and rain is better than being stuck next to the smelly person on the bus in miles of traffic.

Best advice for folks just starting out

Be seen and heard. Be courteous. Claim your space on the road and don’t apologise for it; people often don’t look when they open their car door, so leave plenty of space. Be really careful crossing tram lines. Enjoy your freedom.

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