Saturday, 21 January 2017
Today's ride was something of a one-off. Referred to as a Back to Basics ride; it came about to address comments raised by a number of regular riders that some of our rides were becoming too long, too fast and too arduous. The ethos of the 20 Milers has always been, "most rides are around 20 miles, and are taken at a "sociable" pace (8 - 9 mph over the day, which is not so fast that you can't keep up a conversation). For whatever reasons, we were concerned that this ethos was coming under threat - hence the need for today's ride.
Map trace: Jim
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
We've got an additional ride this coming Saturday (21st) - something of a new venture for the group.
If you haven't done much cycling this winter, or if you are feeling below your normal fitness level, this ride is for you. It will go a little slower than on our normal runs; take slightly longer breaks; and try especially hard to avoid nasty hills.
The route hasn't been finalised yet, but it's likely we'll be heading to Musselburgh. The distance will be approximately 18 miles.
The ride starts at 10.30, from our usual meeting point at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. We should be back in town by early- to mid-afternoon. As always, the ride is free, with no need to book in advance: just turn up on the day.
Thanks to Jim for his initiative in organising this ride. Depending on your feedback, it might become a regular item on our calendar.
Final point: the ride is open to all. Even if you have been cycling all winter, and you are above your normal fitness level, you will still be welcome to join us - provided you are happy with the slower pace.
Saturday, 14 January 2017
Map trace: Jim
Sunday, 8 January 2017
For our first ride of 2017 this coming Saturday (14th), we will be taking a tour of bike paths in the north of the city. Our route will include Holyrood, Lochend Park, Inverleith Park and Craigleith. The ride will be a little shorter than usual, and should end fairly early (probably between 2 pm and 3 pm - but don't hold me that). There will be one steep climb (just before lunch), and a couple of busy main roads to cross, but no other difficulties of any kind.
Our lunch stop will be at the cafe at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Belford Road. The food there is usually very good, but be warned that it can be crowded and we might not all get a seat straight away. For those who prefer to bring their own food, there are places suitable for a picnic.
We will leave from our habitual spot at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk, at 10.30.
The ride is planned to end well before dark, but it would be prudent to bring lights in case we get delayed, and also to see you home if you live some distance from the end point.
As always, please regard the above information as provisional. Depending on various factors, there is always the possibility that we might change the route at the last minute.
Remember, you don't need to tell us in advance that you will, or will not, be joining a ride. Just turn up on the day.
Sunday, 25 December 2016
Under Jim's leadership, we set off from the Meadows, heading first for the Lochrin Basin and Fountainbridge. We weaved though Conference Square, crossed the footbridge over the West Approach Road, then into Rutland Square and Shandwick Place. We paused in Coates Crescent to admire the Gladstone Monument (unveiled in 1917, in honour of William Ewart Gladstone, MP for Midlothian 1880–1895).
Next, Jim took us on a circuit of the West End crescents. One of his reasons for this was to show us the experimental on-street bike lockers which the council have installed in Douglas Crescent. These are part of a city-wide trial to find ways of providing secure bike parking for flats and tenements. The two lockers that we saw certainly looked up to the job, but I suspect you would need an awful lot of them to meet the demand.
The next part of the ride took us back to Shandwick Place, then along the entire length of Princes Street, west to east. Thankfully, there was very little traffic– just a few buses and taxis, no trams. We stopped at the foot of the Mound in the expectation of a comfort stop, but inconveniently the toilets there were closed. Instead, we found we were able to use the facilities in one of the nearby hotels, which was a relief.
Next came the hard work of the day (well, not all that hard): the ascent of Calton Hill. The morning was still bright and sunny, so we lingered on the summit to take in the excellent views of Arthur's Seat and the Firth of Forth. Santa Claus, true to form, produced a flask of mulled wine to share; various items of confectionary were also in evidence.
Our leader eventually got us moving again. The original plan had involved heading to Lochend Park at this point, but the morning was rapidly wearing on and we had promised that the ride would end by 1 pm. So we finished up by taking a quick look at the Stones of Scotland, then headed back towards the Meadows.
Several of the group had peeled off by now, but unfortunately not the afore-mentioned Conor, who gave us more than a little trouble as we pedalled down Regent Road and Waterloo Place. The remnants of the group eventually made it back to Middle Meadow Walk. At just over seven miles, it was definitely one of our shorter rides, but also one of the more interesting.
Report and photos: Mike
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
The great thing about cycling on Christmas Day is that there is very little traffic. We'll take advantage of that to visit parts of the city where we might not otherwise venture. I don't know the exact route that Jim has in mind, but in the past it has included the Castle Esplanade, Princes Street and Calton Hill.
The total distance will be about ten miles, which we'll take at a very relaxed pace. Be warned that there might be a couple of short climbs to negotiate as well as some cobbled streets.
Time and place
We'll leave at 10.30, from our usual meeting spot at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. We'll return to the Meadows by 13.00 at the latest. If you have a pressing lunch date, feel free to peel off earlier.
It's unlikely that we'll find anywhere open to pick up refreshments en route, so you might want to bring a snack to keep the hunger pangs away.
Like all our runs, this one is "just turn up" - no need to book in advance. It's open to all, so feel free to bring your pals or family members.
For those who have better things to do on Christmas morning, our first ride in 2017 will be on 14th January.
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Map trace: Jim