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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Ride report - October

October's ride to Prestonpans
Today's weather was beautifully sunny, if slightly windy, and we went about 25 miles out to Prestonpans. There were about 20 people on this month's ride, and we made good time through Holyrood Park, some quiet back streets in Willowbrae and Northfield and then onto Route 1 as far as Brunstane, where we joined a muddy track along the Brunstane Burn. There was only 1 bit where the majority vote was to push our bikes (although those that cycled ended up a bit less muddy than those of us who pushed!)

We then joined the Edinburgh road into Musselburgh and mustered at the Promenade (it takes a while to get across the road, by which time the leading group has disappeared round the corner! - no one got lost though which is good).

We followed the coast as far as Prestonpans - this is varied terrain, ranging from roads, tarmac paths and then some grassy paths at the Eastern end, in the Levenhall ash lagoons. These lagoons were made from the spoil from Cockenzie power station, just along the road, and apart from the active dumping areas, are now being converted into some nice nature reserves (and are a quiet place to learn to windsurf too). We stopped off briefly at Prestongrange Museum, an early Industrial Park, it seems. Then on to lunch at the Gothenburg pub, where they coped pretty well with a sudden influx of 20 hungry cyclists.

After lunch we had today's Hill (Falside - only 144m from the Ordnance Survey map, but from sea level I felt every metre). There is a Tower House (Castle) at the summit so it's easy to see how near (or far) you are. After the summit of course there's the payback on the downhill stretch - my top speed was 29.6mph - my new bike has disc brakes which are my favourite feature - makes braking on that sort of hill so much more reliable and it was such fun going whoosh!

Then we wended our way back into town via Musselburgh golf course and the River Esk, then Route 1 all the way back to Middle Meadow Walk. We finished at about 4.30pm and total cycling time was about 3h10mins for me, average speed about 8mph.

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