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22 people turned up today - a good show, considering that the forecast was for rain, and that there was a fair amount of wind.
Even with this largeish group, we kept up a brisk 20-milers pace of about 9 mph, because we were mostly on cycle paths, meaning that we don't have to pause to wait for people after junctions. Also the route was reasonably flat so we could maintain this pace for a while.
We headed out to the East, to Musselburgh along Route 1, then South along the Esk to Whitecraigs, and then along the old railway line to Dalkeith High School. There's a short section of fairly busy road heading into Dalkeith centre, and then we turned right into the Country Park. We avoided paying for entry as we weren't there to use the facilities or wander in the woodlands, we were just using it as a through-route and were going to buy lunch in the cafe (I don't think that they knew what hit them when 22 hungry cyclists turned up - the chef must have rolled his sleeves up and got down to it though as we had a swift service and everyone seemed to enjoy their lunch. We sat outside at the picnic tables. A bold strategy perhaps given the intermittent rain we'd been having, but we were mostly lucky and the rain held off for most of lunch time (and then we moved under an umbrella).
A few photos:
|To Dalkeith May 2009|
We had asked the ranger if we could get out of the back gate of the estate, which he kindly agreed to, and drove ahead of us to open it for us. From there it was a short ride back to Route 1 in Musselburgh, then back along the Innocent Railway (in a downpour). For once, most people opted for the tunnel route, as the wind was favourable. And also it was dry in there!
Next ride will be Saturday 13th June at 10.30am as usual. Chris will be leading us to the South of the city, with lunch in the Mortonhall area. More details nearer the time.