Saturday, 11 April 2015
Following a week of weather that made us all think that spring had finally arrived; today we ended up with another day that suggested otherwise. A good turnout of 32 riders gathered at the start. It was good to see several new faces in amongst them. On her first ride as leader, Verity turned tradition on its head by letting the second group head off first. With Julia leading the second group with typical Teutonic efficiency; this reversal of roles was a good idea and avoided the potential embarassment that would have resulted had the second group caught up with the first.
With the strong wind behind us, we zoomed out of town via the Innocent Railway towards Brunstane. A short stretch on the very busy Milton Road was followed by a more relaxed ride to the edge of Portobello via the cycle path and bridge over Sir Harry Lauder Road. Following a ride along the busy Portobello High Street, we made our way onto the promenade where the wind whipped up a sand storm. It now began to rain and the colour of the sky [in the direction we were heading] looked as if it would be more substantial than a passing shower. With waterproofs on we pressed on along the prom towards Leith. We took the cycle path through Restalrig, snaked around the back streets of Bonnington and came out on the Warriston Path. We went up the Goldenacre Path to Five Ways where we turned back and headed in the direction we had come from. This led to a little confusion in the group with questions of, "isn't this the direction we just came from?" To add to the confusion, the two groups met at one point travelling in opposite directions. We cut through and crossed the very busy Commercial Street and made our way to Ocean Terminal for lunch. Given the cold, wind and hail shower it was little surprise that no one wanted to picnic outside.
We had a couple of mechanical issues, one puncture and a bag that needed extracting from a rear wheel. We also endured cold, wind, rain, hail showers and a sand storm. One of the group blamed the weather on the geostrophic wind. No idea what it means, but it sounds impressive. Let's hope May's ride is blessed with better weather.
Monday, 6 April 2015
For this month's ride, Verity and Julia will be taking us on a circuit of bike paths in the Portobello / Leith area. Our lunch stop will be the Ocean Terminal, where there are some nice picnic tables overlooking the harbour. For those who prefer not to bring their own food, there are several cafés and sandwich shops in the shopping centre where you can pick up a snack.
We'll meet at our habitual starting point, at the top of Middle Meadow Walk, ready to leave by 10.30.
The ride will end mid-afternoon - perhaps between 3 and 4 pm.
Saturday, 14 March 2015
Who would have thought that a dry but chilly and overcast March day would have resulted in an all-time record turnout for a 20 Milers ride? The previous record turnout of 38 in June 2013 was beaten as 43 turned up for today's ride. Other Edinburgh cycle groups must be wondering how we do it. There's no secret formula. We simply arrange interesting rides with good company and make sure everyone feels welcome. The unsung heros of the group are those that put in the effort behind the scenes planning and recce-ing the routes and deciding on suitable lunch stops to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.
You could see the leader, Michael's jaw drop as more and more riders arrived. We split into the customary two groups and headed down to cross the canal at the Leamington bridge, before carrying on down through the Telfer subway. Russell Road was closed to traffic for bridge repairs; but fortunately not to cyclists. We pressed on through Roseburn Park and past Murrayfield Stadium to join the Water of Leith path which we stayed on until Curriehill. The leading five of the second group missed the turning and ended up in Balerno, whilst the remainder of the group were paying attention and took the correct turning. A minor detour via the busy Lanark Road West got them back on the right route and we all headed into the back entrance of the Heriot Watt Riccarton campus for our lunch stop.
Considering the record turnout, the ride went smoothly. The only mechanical issue of the day was a thrown chain which was quickly fixed. Leading a large group is quite a challenge. So all credit to Michael on a job well done. I wonder how long until this record is broken?
Sunday, 8 March 2015
Our March ride will be this coming Saturday (14th). Michael (Law) will be leading us out of town along the Water of Leith, returning by way of Hermiston, the Gyle and Roseburn. This promises to be a pleasant run, with just a few moderate hills and one or two rough paths. The total distance should be about 22 miles.
For lunch, we'll stop at the Heriot-Watt campus, where there is a useful cafeteria as well as seating for those who bring their own food.
As always, we'll set out at 10.30 from the top of Middle Meadow Walk. Remember, there's no need to let us know in advance if you will be coming. Just turn up on the day.
Thursday, 19 February 2015
By Glenn Brearley
The 2015 20-Milers cycling weekend will be to Peebles on 16th - 17th May.
We'll leave Edinburgh on the Saturday morning and head to Peebles via Gladhouse Reservoir, Eddleston, the Meldons and Lyne Station. We'll stay overnight (all meet up for dinner) in Peebles and return to Edinburgh on the Sunday via Innerleithen and Middleton.
The pace will be similar to a usual 20-Milers rides. The distance each day will be about 40 miles.
You will need to book your own accommodation. It's very likely that we'll end up in several different hotels / guest houses / bed & breakfasts. A quick on-line search suggests that you should expect to pay about £50.00 each for accommodation. You may be able to find somewhere cheaper or more expensive. Some may want to have a single room, whilst others will be happy to share.
I'm after an idea of how many might be interested in joining this ride. Please let me know if you are interested. This does not commit you to going. But I do need to know if there is sufficient interest in order for the trip to go ahead.
Please reply to me, Glenn Brearley, at Glenn.BrearleyATTforestry.gsi.gov.uk. (Replace ATT by the usual at-sign.).
Saturday, 14 February 2015
It was good to see a few new faces along with a recumbent rider that had not ridden with the group for several months. We set off with 26 riders split into two groups. Arriving at the canal, it was one of those rare occasions when the Leamington Bridge was raised. Most carried their bikes up the steps, whilst a few (including the recumbent rider) opted to ride down to the canal basin and up the other side.
Saturday, 10 January 2015
Any hopes of a record turnout for the first 20 Milers ride of 2015 seemed to have been dashed by the previous night's strong winds and heavy rain. The forecast for more strong winds and the possibility of snow was not appealing. After an unpromising start, we managed to muster a total of 20, including several new faces
Before we had reached the canal at Leamington Bridge, the group had been buffeted by several strong gusts of wind, one of which blew a rider clean off her bike, fortunately without injury. The weather settled down for a while. Having crossed the tram tracks at Haymarket without incident, we stopped to regroup. At this point the sky went very dark and we were battered by a heavy shower of stinging sleet as we made our way towards the Roseburn Path and on to Silverknowes.
By the time we reached Silverknowes Esplanade the sun was shining down from a cloudless blue sky. This had all the makings of a typical Edinburgh four seasons in one day type of day, except it never got warm. The group had gradually become more and more spread out.
There were now two groups. We had already decided to abandon plans to go along the Western Harbour Breakwater near Newhaven Harbour as it was very exposed and we didn't fancy getting blown into the Forth. The first group stuck quite rigidly to the agreed route. But they were forced to take a diversion due to a path closure. This led them across a wet and slippery wooden boardwalk which resulted in a faller; fortunately without injury. The second group were somewhat lax in sticking to the agreed route and managed to arrive at the lunch stop in Leith first. We split between two venues for lunch.
Suitably warmed and fed, the two groups became one again as we headed back towards town via Portobello, the Magdalenes and the Innocent Railway. The skies became very grey and we finished the ride through sleety snow. Our only respite from it being our ride through the Innocent Tunnel.
Thanks to Mike for leading us on an interesting first ride of 2015; one which could so easily have fallen victim to the weather. Although the weather was far from ideal, it was considerably better than the forecast had suggested.