Saturday, 9 December 2017
For the final [second Saturday of the month] ride of the year, we headed out to the Heriot Watt University campus at Riccarton. Although it was a bitterly cold day, the fact it was dry meant ice was not a big problem. There was a bit on the paths around the campus, but nowhere else.
Map trace: Jim
Sunday, 3 December 2017
We've got no fewer than three rides planned for the coming weeks. Details below.
The first of these rides will be our standard monthly run this coming Saturday. Our route will depend on the conditions on the day, but it's likely that we will be heading out towards Colinton and Currie, returning by way of Edinburgh Park and the Gyle. Our lunch stop will be the spacious canteen at Heriot-Watt's Riccarton campus.
In deference to the short winter days, this will be a short ride and a fairly slow one. We'll aim to finish at around 3 pm. If anyone wants to get home earlier than that, there will be the option of a shortcut back to town via the canal towpath.
As always, we'll meet at 10.30 at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. Sunset on that day is 15:40, so I strongly recommend that you bring lights in case of delay and to see you home.
This will be our traditional Christmas morning ride. This is a popular event which often attracts a large turnout. I don't have any details of the route yet, but the general idea is to take advantage of the lack of traffic in order to visit parts of the city centre that we might otherwise avoid.
We'll leave from our usual spot in Middle Meadow Walk at 10.30, returning to the Meadows by 1 pm at the latest. There will be no café or pub stop, so you might want to bring a little snack to keep your energy levels up.
6th January 2018
For the third of these three runs, Jim will again be organising a Back to Basics ride. If you haven't done much cycling lately, or if you are feeling below your normal fitness level, this ride is for you. It will go a little slower than our normal runs, take slightly longer breaks and try especially hard to avoid nasty hills. This is just a half-day run, finishing around 1 pm. I'll post more details of this event nearer the time.
Cost and booking
All of the above rides are of course completely free and open to all. There's no advance booking, and no need to reply to this message. Just turn up at the appointed time and place.
Saturday, 11 November 2017
It's always good when someone that hasn't led a ride before steps up and volunteers. It often results in
a new approach, new ideas and a new route. It also bodes well for the future of the 20 Milers. Most of
today's route wasn't new, but we have usually done it in the opposite direction - so, different in that
way. The ride took us out to Musselburgh, then on to Dobbies Garden Centre via Dalkeith. We returned to town via Gilmerton and Craigmillar.
We had a fine, dry, sunny, if slightly chilly day. It was beginning to look as if a small turnout was on the cards. But, as the departure time grew closer, more and more riders arrived. Some cut it so fine that they arrived midway through the briefing. By the time we rolled away, there were thirty of us. Very impressive for a November ride. Two stalwarts of the group (who have only missed a handful of rides between them over a number of years) noted how often there has been the situation where a rookie leader has had to contend with a rather large group. Today was no exception. For a number of reasons, we also ended up riding as one group. From the Meadows we headed to the Innocent railway. Through the tunnel and on familiar paths as far as Musselburgh station. We had a stop there in the sunshine for sweets and cake. All replenished, we headed off again. We crossed the main road into Musselburgh. It was easier than usual as the traffic was snarled up and going nowhere due to what looked like a nasty accident. From there the delightful path beside the River Esk took us to Whitecraig and on to Dalkeith. Some twiddling through back streets, through parkland and we found ourselves at a kissing gate that brought us out into a new housing estate. Not sure who thought it would be a good idea to put a kissing gate on a recognised cycle path. It certainly made getting thirty cyclists through quite a chore. After that we negotiated the horrible Eskbank roundabout, crossed the busy A7 and arrived at Dobbies for lunch. The leader told everyone we would be leaving at 1345. Despite how busy the resturant was, we all got served quite quickly. Thirty-five minutes earlier than expected, the leader told us all that we were ready to leave. Alas, one rider had just gone to get a second coffee and a cake. As their bike was locked to two others, that meant at least three of us would not be leaving early. What with that and others wandering round the garden centre, we eventually left at 1345.
Leader: Julia L
Map trace: Jim
Monday, 6 November 2017
We've got our November ride this coming Saturday (11th). This should be a particularly interesting ride because our leader, Julia (Loecherbach), has succeeded in finding a lunch venue which we never visited before as a group (as far as I know). It is the spacious self-service restaurant at Dobbies Garden Centre in Lasswade. They do a good range of soups, sandwiches and snacks, and the service is reasonably fast. There are also seats outside for those of us who want to brave the November temperatures for a picnic.
The route will be fairly straightforward: about 22 miles in total. There will be a couple of moderate hills, just before and after lunch, but nothing else to worry about. We'll head out via the Innocent path, the River Esk walkway and Dalkeith, returning by way of Danderhall and Gilmerton.
The meeting time and place are as constant as the Northern Star: 10:30 at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. And as usual the ride is completely free and open, so there is no need to reply to this post.
Now that the clocks have gone back, this would be a good time for us all to check that our lights are in good order. Sunset on Saturday will be at 16:15. Although the ride should have finished by then, it might well be dark by the time you get home. So be sure to bring your lights on the ride, and check that they have plenty of juice.
Some of you have asked me if our traditional Christmas morning ride will take place this year. Yes, we will definitely have a ride that morning. I don't have any further information just yet, but will post full details here in due course.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Today's ride was billed as an Edinburgh coast to coast. It saw us head to Cramond and follow the coast round as far as Portobello, before heading inland and back to the Meadows. We had another first for a 20 Milers ride today when a cargo bike turned up carrying a family of four. This explains how we managed to have 28 participants, but only 25 bikes.
Map trace: Jim
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
We've got our October ride this coming Saturday (14th).
Verity will be leading us on a tour of Edinburgh's north coast, heading out first to Cramond and then working our way round to Leith and Portobello. We'll be on quiet roads and well-surfaced paths for most of the time, with just a couple of stretches on roads that might be busy with traffic. The total distance will be about 23 miles, with no serious hills to worry about.
For lunch, we'll stop at the Ocean Terminal in Leith. There are several food outlets there, both to sit in or take away. For those of us who like to picnic, there is a particularly nice spot behind the building with good views of the harbour.
The meeting time and place for this ride are the same as ever: 10.30 at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. Remember, all our rides are free and open to all, so feel free to bring your friends. There's no advance booking. Just turn up on the day.
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Today's ride saw us head into uncharted territory. The leader who was leading his second Extra ride in as many months, took us into the depths of Midlothian - to Pathhead and beyond. For most this was somewhere new and unexplored.
Map trace: David.