Sunday, 12 January 2020
… our January ride went ahead. And what atrocious weather it was. Heavy rain, getting steadily worse throughout the morning, and winds gusting to 40 mph and more. Four riders turned up for the run, our first of 2020. All things considered, that was a surprisingly good turnout.
The original plan had been to follow a circuitous route through the west of the city, taking in Hermiston, Gogar, Turnhouse and Cammo, with a lunch stop at Craigie's Farm. After some discussion, our leader, Alan, decided that we would go ahead with the ride, but we would take a more direct and less exposed route to Craigie's. This was a sensible decision, given the conditions.
But even that curtailed route proved too much for your scribe, who bailed out soon after passing the Craigleith path junction. The other three bravely continued for a while. By Cramond Brig the rain had turned into a deluge, forcing the riders to take shelter in the tunnel under the Queenferry Road. At that point, the leader decided to head for home.
With just two riders remaining, Graham takes up the story:
"Exiting the tunnel, the rain was still falling, but not as intensely as ten minutes earlier. Out along the Kirkliston road, there were streams of water criss-crossing the road and at one point, the whole width of the road was at bottom bracket depth. Up the hill, we reached the sanctuary of Craigie's Farm. After a nice lunch, we re-dressed in our dripping jackets, wrung out our gloves and headed for home, retracing our earlier route. We were now at a point where we couldn't possibly get any wetter, and with the weather slightly improving, we decided to extend the ride. We turned left at Whitehouse Road and headed for Cramond. A whiz down School Brae took us to the waterfall, whose normally sharp edge was radiused with the huge volume of water. We then cycled downstream to the estuary, took in vistas of Cramond Island and Fife before heading along the esplanade to Granton. Here we climbed up through Forth Quarter and back on to the cycle path to return to Craigleith, where we parted company."
We can now look forward to some good rides in the coming year. Surely the weather cannot be this bad again?
Report: Mike, with help from Graham
Monday, 6 January 2020
We've got our first ride of 2020 coming up on Saturday (11th). Alan will be leading us on a route that takes in bike paths and quiet roads in the west of the city, with a lunch stop at one of our more popular eating places, Craigie's Farm.
The route is likely to be little over 20 miles. It will include a few short stretches on rough paths that might be muddy in places. The only serious hill to worry about will be the climb up to Craigie's from the Kirkliston Road, which we'll reach just before lunch. Lunch will probably be on the late side, with a quick return to the Meadows in the afternoon. The ride should finish well before dark but it would be wise to bring lights in case we get delayed or if you want to go for a post-ride coffee (sunset on Saturday is just after 4 pm).
Craigie's Farm has both a cafe and a picnic area. The cafe does a good range of hot dishes, salads, sandwiches and the like.
We'll meet as always at 10:30 at our usual spot on Middle Meadow Walk. Remember, there is no advance booking for our rides. Just turn up on th day.
Please keep in mind that the above information is provisional. The meeting place and time are fixed, but, as with all our rides, we reserve the right to change the route or destination at short notice, depending on conditions on the day. This doesn't happen very often, but we might need to do it, for example if some of the paths are icy or if particularly bad weather is expected later in the day.
Wednesday, 25 December 2019
Christmas Day this year was one of those rare Edinburgh days that help make our winters tolerable: crisp and cold, with a clear blue sky and no hint of a breeze. It was an ideal morning for our ninth Christmas ride. Around eighteen riders turned up: a mixed group, with ages ranging from Primary One to Bus Pass.
Next came our traditional traverse of Princes Street, which was very quiet, with only an occasional bus and taxi. After weaving through St Andrew Square and York Place, we hit Leith Walk. We took advantage of the segregated bike lane as far as Balfour Street, from where we headed into Pilrig Park for a longer stop in front of Pilrig House. Here various treats were produced, not least of which was some warming mulled wine – very welcome.
|Our youngest member|
Report and photos: Mike
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
This is to remind you that we have our traditional Christmas morning ride coming up next week (Wednesday 25th). As always, it will be free and open to all, so feel free to tell your pals.
Like all our Christmas rides, this will be a leisurely affair. We'll take a gentle saunter around town with plenty of stops along the way. There will be one or two hills but we'll take these slowly and we'll cheerfully wait for stragglers.
One of the nice things about cycling on Christmas day is that the roads are much quieter than usual. We'll take advantage of that to take in parts of the city where we might not otherwise ride.
We'll set out at 10:30 from our usual meeting point at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. The ride will end back at the Meadows at 13:00 at the latest (possibly a bit earlier). Of course, you can always peel off earlier if you need to be somewhere else for lunch.
Note that there will be no cafe or pub stop of any kind. That said, people often bring a snack or a treat to share on these rides. You might want to do the same.
There's no need to let us know if you are planning to join us. Just turn up on the day.
Saturday, 14 December 2019
Today's weather forecast was for low single figure (degrees C) temperatures, showers and the possibility of strong gusty winds by the afternoon. Fortunately, the gusty winds held off until the ride was over. That and the fact that Christmas is just around the corner could have led to a very low turnout. So to get fifteen starters was quite impressive including two first-timers. Following the customary briefing from the leader, we headed away from the Meadows by a distinctly unfamiliar route through Marchmont, the Grange, the foot of Blackford Hill and Cluny Gardens. From there we climbed the hill of Midmar Avenue and Midmar Drive past the large impressive houses. Along Hermitage Drive and Braidburn Terrace saw us back to familiar territory heading through Braidburn Valley Park and the route past Colinton Mains Park to arrive at the entrance to the woodland known as Covenanters Wood or Dreghorn Woods. The plan had been to take the path that wound through the Giant sequoia trees, but a quick inspection by the leader suggested that path was waterlogged.
Despite the slight hiccup, everyone got some lunch and we were ready to head off again. The showers continued and the wind speed was beginning to rise, but nothing too serious and we were now on the homeward leg. The route home was more familiar than the one out - Edinburgh Park, South Gyle station via The Gyle Park, through Broomhouse and Carrick Knowe to Murrayfield. From there we made our way back towards town via Roseburn Park, Russell Road, the Telfer subway, Fountain Park and the canal. At the Leamington Bridge, the leader declared the ride over.
Thanks to Mike for leading an interesting ride with a good mix of familiar and less familiar route sections. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the ride, we survived the minor hiccup at lunch and the weather had been better than expected. Finally, thanks to Yaz for doing a great job of back marking for the second time this year. If the phrase, "final standard 20 Milers ride of the year" confused anyone, don't forget the final ride of 2019 will be the half day one on Christmas Day.
Monday, 9 December 2019
We've got two rides coming up this month. I hope we'll see you on one or both of them.
December 20-Milers: Saturday 14th
Our main December run takes place this coming Saturday. The route is one that Jim pioneered last winter but which we had to curtail because of bad weather. We will be heading to the delightful Covenanters Wood in Dreghorn, where we will have another chance to see the giant sequoia trees: something more usually associated with the redwood forests of California than the south west of Edinburgh.
We will then head out along paths and quiet roads to our lunch stop, which will be at the Heriot-Watt campus at Riccarton. The cafeteria there serves a range of sandwiches and snacks, usually with at least one hot dish on offer. There is plenty of indoor seating there, so those of us who prefer to bring a packed lunch won't have to huddle in the cold for once.
In deference to the short daylight hours, this won't be a long ride: about 19 miles in all. There will be a steep climb near the start and a couple of other moderate hills along the way, but the rest of the route should be reasonably flat. Most of the route will be on firm surfaces except for a few short sections that might be a little rough and possibly muddy.
The logistics are the same as always. We'll meet at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk in time for a 10.30 departure. It will be dark at about 4 pm on Saturday, and although we should be back in town before that, you will almost certainly need lights to see you home after the ride.
Christmas morning ride: Wednesday 25th
For the ninth year running, we will be having what has become a traditional event for our group: a half-day ride in and around the city centre on Christmas morning. This will be a leisurely ride with several interesting stops, starting at 10.30 and ending at 13:00 at the latest. I'll post more details nearer the time.
Needless to say, both the above runs are free and open to all, so feel free to tell your pals. And, of course, there is no advance booking for any of our runs.
Saturday, 9 November 2019
A frosty start gave way to chilly, but bright and sunny weather for today's ride to Dalkeith via a circuitous and unfamiliar route. The last few rides seem to have followed the pattern of a familiar destination being reached by a new and interesting route. Today's ride continued in that vein. The good weather linked with some lovely paths leading us through trees resplendent in their glorious autumn colours made for a great day to be out cycling. A great advert for keeping cycling despite the arrival of winter.
Thanks to Graham for making this, his first ride as leader so successful. Everyone enjoyed the ride and it was good to reach a familiar destination by a new, interesting and unfamiliar route. Most of us could say we had been somewhere new today. Thanks also to Rob for fixing the problem with the rider's chain and allowing him to continue the ride. As the backmarker said, "it is good when someone has the right tools, and even better when they know how to use them".
Photos: Graham and Glenn