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Calling all cyclists!

Dear Families,

Going into lockdown has meant that our P1-7 pupils have missed out on many activities including our Cycle to School days, which were due to take place in March, May and June. With the end of term fast approaching and the weather improving we thought what better time to set a little cycling challenge for any budding cyclists within our Sciennes community!

When former Business Manager Angela Christie first started the Cycle to School days, she did so in a bid to encourage active travel and to help to build pupils’ and families’ confidence levels cycling on the road. We would like to continue this message by encouraging you all to get out on your bikes and to explore the local area.

The distance from Kings Buildings to Sciennes is 1.2 miles, which would be an excellent starting point, especially for some of our younger cyclists. Where can you get to in a 2.5-mile round trip? Perhaps this is your target for the week or perhaps this is your target per day. We have no doubt that many of you are used to venturing further. Where would you recommend for other families keen to explore the city by bike? Throughout the week we would like you to keep a note of how far you have travelled and the places you have adventured to by bike, which we will then collate and total the miles travelled as a school. We will send out a link to an online form for you to complete next week.

Throughout the week we will update this blog with recommendations from staff and with any photos from your adventures that you wish to share with us. These should be emailed to me along with a brief description of where you have been or where you would recommend for any families looking for suggestions.

Before travelling we strongly recommend that you make yourselves aware of government guidelines relating to cycling during lockdown and stick to routes within the local area.

https://www.cycling.scot/covid19-information

https://www.cycling.scot/covid19-information/resources – there is some good advice here for families cycling together.

https://www.cyclinguk.org

Hopefully this is a fun activity for the family to get involved with. We look forward to hearing about your adventures. Stay safe, everyone.

 

Jenni McGrouther

jennifer.mcgrouther@sciennes.edin.sch.uk

On Fridays we cycle!

#1 – Wee Braids Golf Course from Joel and Amelia Hather

“Our favourite family cycle is along by the Wee Braids Golf Course to see the Llamas (or maybe Alpacas!) in the fields opposite and the views. That cycle is about 3 miles in a loop from where we live.

 

#2 –  Arthurs Seat & Portobello Beach from Finlay Glass (5C) 

“Arthur’s seat – Road over the shoulder of the hill is currently closed to traffic so ideal for a bit of training. After a few laps Finlay stopped at the tops to watch the family of swans and signets.
Portobello beach. Following the bike route from the meadows and down the innocent railway, Finlay led his little brother, Nathan, who’ll be joining P1C after the summer down to Portobello for a well earned ice cream. Unfortunately the sun had other ideas and hid behind the sea fog!”
What’s more, Finlay, Nathan and their big brother Kieran (S1) managed to venture a bit further over the weekend and made it all the way to South Queensferry via the cycle path and a wee detour home via Dalmeny Estate. The photo you can see below is taken from the other side of the bridge.
You look very professional, Finlay! Great to see you getting some training in and enjoying closed roads. We’re excited to meet you, Nathan, in August. Thanks for sharing.

#3 – Portobello from Milo and Ellis

“On Sunday Milo (P2A) and his little brother Ellis who will start in P1 after the summer cycled to Portobello. We live off Craigmillar Park but went through the Meadows by the school to avoid the main roads, and joined the Innocent Railway path from where it starts. We followed it to the Bingham estate, and then joined the roads to go into Portobello.
We got chocolate bread from Twelve Triangles as we do every Sunday (we don’t usually all cycle though!), had a play on the beach and looked at the fantastic Studio Ghibli chalk drawing someone’s spent their lockdown drawing. We watched Totoro when we got home!
It was a 10.3 mile round trip which was longer than we expected. We were out for 2.5 hours altogether and the cycling took just under an hour each way.”
Fab effort Milo and Ellis. 10.3 miles is very impressive. I hope the chocolate bread gave you the energy needed to make it back home again! We look forward to meeting you, Ellis, in August.

 

Wednesday’s Adventurers

#1 – Cycling adventures from Oscar Hamer

Oscar has been enjoying bike rides during lockdown having started with the exercise bike and a few short bike rides around the Grange area with the family. As lockdown restrictions were lifted Oscar and I have ventured further a field having cycled around Arthur’s Seat, up Blackford Hill and out to South Queensferry and back through the Dalmeny Estate using the cycle paths to get out and back into town.

The cycle paths at the weekend are really busy and quite difficult to maintain social distancing but more manageable during the week. Arthur’s Seat on Sundays when the park is closed was full of cyclists and pedestrians and was also quite difficult to maintain social distancing.

We have continued to enjoy cycling and plan to do more during the coming months weather permitting.

Wow, Oscar, this is so impressive. I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve been out and about adventuring with your dad and look forward to hearing about your summer on the bike.

Oscar 1Oscar 2Oscar 3

 

#2 – Cycle to School from Sophie Cobb (P1)

“This is Sophie Cobb, P1C, who cycled from home to see her school and check her ribbon was still on the gate.  We live opposite the Cameron Toll Travel Lodge, so round trip is approx. 2.5 miles.”

Well done, Sophie. This is a great cycle and a lovely photo of you and the ribbons. Thank you for sharing.

Sophie

 

#3 – Threipmuir and Harlaw Reservoir from Mrs Berry

“We live close to the Pentland hills and this is one of us cycling round Threipmuir and Harlaw Reservoir’s.
Starting near Colinton, up into Bonaly, through Campbell Park, past JK Rowling’s stables and continue along path which eventually takes you up above Currie, continue up a steep hill before following the road along towards the reserviors.  Turn left into reservior and follow path round both reserviors.  Then, follow the road down and back through Balerno or if you wish you can head down towards Heriot Watt University, through the University grounds and back along the Canal towpath into Tollcross.  Leave 3 hours (at least) for this cycle, my husband did it on his road bike, I have a cross bike and both my kids were on mountain bikes, there is a combination of road and rough tracks.
For an easier challenge try the disused railway that starts at the back of the Tynecastle Staduim on Russell Road and is a lovely fairly flat cycle that takes you down to the seaside at Crammond and Silverknowes and is a loop coming back along either the water of Leith walkway or back along the disused railway path. “
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#4 – Colinton from Cara and Alex Harkins 

“Hi this evening we ventured out to the Colinton Tunnel – a mix of road and cycle path 17km in all. The murals on the tunnel are stunning and maybe a future trip on the bikes there for Sciennes!!”

I hope you’re keeping a total of your miles, Cara. I’m very excited to find out your total for the week.

Tuesday’s Cycling Adventures

#1 Portobello Beach from Freya and Cara (P7C)

“Today we went to portobello beach along the innocent railway path. It was a nice cycle because it was almost all on cycle path so we didn’t have to worry about cars and traffic. There is a hill on the way back but it is pretty gradual. I would recommend this cycle because half way there is a beach stop which is a good refuelling stop. If you want to know the way you can look at the map that I have attached.”

Thank you, Freya, for sharing. I’ll miss having you to help when the Cycle to School days resume. You were such a fab support. x

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Cara and her dad also cycled down to Portobello on Tuesday : “Hi this pm we had a trip to the beach! A mixture of cycle path and open road taking about 30 mins to Portobello. Nice dry weather but no ice cream for us!! ”

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# 2 Edinburgh Castle from Arlo (P2A)

“Arlo would like to share his bike ride to the castle one sunny morning a couple of weeks ago.  On the way he pedalled up middle meadow walk in 6th gear all the way to the top! We also explored the streets near the castle – it was a fun ride!”

Well done, Arlo. I’m especially impressed that you managed to take on Middle Meadow Walk in 6th gear- that’s brilliant. Thank you for sharing your cycling adventures.

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Oh the places you’ll go. Monday’s recommendations.

#1 : Craigmillar Castle from Catie and Andrew McKendrick (P7)

Route 1:  Go down the Innocent Railway, follow the cycle path/road round the back of the Peffermill Industrial estate, cross Peffermill Road at the cycle crossing and cycle along the pavement cycle path for a short distance just after you cross the railway, you can get cycle into Craigmillar Castle Park. There are lots of paths through the forest to explore; the spider is up the hill towards the castle.

Route 2: cycle through Inch Park, carefully cross over Old Dalkeith Road and go into the Craigmillar Castle Park area at Bridgend Farm (there’s a map at the entrance).

Thank you for sharing, Andrew and Catie. I hope you get to explore the Craigmillar spider soon!

#2 : South Edinburgh duathlon (biking & orienteering) from Cyrus Salman & Josh Daunt (P6)

Below are the details of Cyrus’s (P6C) short cycle ride through south Edinburgh (3.80km, 48m elevation, 16mins), to collect Josh Daunt (P6A), who kept at a 2m distance as they rode to Midmar Paddock, where they set off on course 2 of the Blackford Hill orienteering course that the school sent around last week.
Well done, boys. We’re very impressed by your cycling AND running adventures!
#3 : Edinburgh Castle, Prestonfield House and Calton Hill from Cara Harkins (P7)
Cara started off this week with a cycle from KB with a trip to the Castle – this has been a good cycle due to the quieter roads and then also up to the Espslanade which again is much quieter. We have also loved cycling to Prestonfield House as there is a chance to see the Peacocks with their tails out but I think our favourite is up to Calton Hill due to the views.
So great to see you adventuring on your bike, Cara. Thank you for sharing.
#4 : Arthur’s Seat from Dylan Daunt & Ben Wilson (S1)
This weekend, Sciennes alumni Dylan and Ben achieved a very impressive (and socially distant) 3 laps of Arthur’s Seat, which is no easy feat if you are familiar with the climb to the top!
Well done boys- you have given us all something to work towards! Thank you for sharing.
I have also been taking on Mrs Berry’s Arthur’s Seat challenge and did a couple of drizzly laps before school this morning. If you can grin and bear it up the climb, the views (albeit not today’s) and the wee cygnets in the loch are definitely worth it!

Cycle to School: Friday 30 August

Dear Families,

Starting as we mean to go on, the first Cycle to School of this academic year will be on Friday 30 August. As before, we will be meeting at Kings Buildings at 8:15 for an 8:20 departure. We will aim to stick to the last Friday of each month for the next few months at least.

For any families who are new to the school or are thinking about joining us for the first time, we travel as a group down Mayfield Road and collect pupils and families on the way, before turning onto Sciennes House Place and along Sciennes Road. I have attached a picture below of the route. We aim to keep together as far as possible but have staff and qualified cycle leaders at either end of the peloton in the event that we become separated at the lights. All adults are encouraged to make their way to the left hand side of the group where possible to keep the pupils on the inside.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch will the school.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Ms Jenni McGrouther

P7C Class Teacher

A sunny Cycle to School 🤩

Thank you to everybody who turned up for today’s Cycle to School, and to those who supported from the side lines! Thankfully the sun came out for us so we had a lovely wee run in to school. A special shout out to the fabby P7s who showed up for their last ever Cycle to School- especially after the excitement of their amazing show yesterday.

Thank you to the parents and families for the support through the year. We really couldn’t run the cycles without you all.

We’ll resume in August and will confirm the date in the new term. Happy holidays when they come. 😊