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Monday, 22 June 2009

July's ride

Today's route will explore some interesting bike paths in the Balerno, Ratho and Riccarton areas, with lunch at the Bridge Inn, Ratho, or a canal-side picnic spot. At 24 miles, this will be slightly longer than normal, but will be taken at the usual gentle pace.
Meet: 10.30, at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (junction of Lauriston Place).
Cost and booking:
Free; just turn up.
Further information:
Mike Lewis (0131 343 2520) or Livia Dyckhoff (0131 554 0577), or email (See side panel)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

West and South Edinburgh Tour: 13th June

One of the aims of the 20-Milers is to show you some of the lesser-known cycle routes throughout the city. This month's ride was no exception. Chris Pearson led us on a fascinating tour of west and south Edinburgh, using paths that were new to even our regular riders, and featuring four particular points of interest along the way.

Eighteen of us set off from the Meadows in bright sunshine, heading to the Leamington Bridge, Telfer Subway and Roseburn Park. We cycled westward along the Corstorphine railway path, where we had the only puncture of the day - speedily remedied, thank to Neil. In Dovecote Road, we paused to admire the 16th Century doocot, the first of the promised points of interest. The doocot is the only visible remnant of Corstorphine Caste, built in the 14th Century by the Forrester family.

Our next stop was Edinburgh Park, where we encountered "Einstein's feet", the second of the points of interest. This turned out to be the magnificent Paolozzi sculpture depicting two recumbent feet; the feet don't belong to Einstein, but the structure does sport a quotation by the great man: "Knowledge is wonderful, but imagination is even better ".

Edinburgh Park also offered us interest point no. 3: a series of herms. No, I didn't know what a herm was either, but I do now. It's a statue of a person's head (originally of the Greek god, Hermes) mounted on a square, tapering pillar, the overall shape suggesting that of the human body. We found several of these on Lochside Way, all commemorating Scots poets.

On leaving the park, we reached the canal towpath at Hermiston. After a pause to note the last of the four points of interest - a wooden sculpture of a pair of otters, one of several similar sculptures on the towpath - we cycled eastward, leaving the canal at the Lanark Road footbridge. In Colinton Dell, the rain arrived and we stopped to don waterproofs. We left the Dell at Redhall House Drive, then continued along an ingenious combination of roads and paths which eventually took us across Comiston Road and into Mortonhall.

For our lunch break, we sat at the tables outside the Stables Bar, this being carefully timed to coincide with another sunny spell. But as we were preparing to leave, the clouds were gathering again. Several riders from the Liberton and Gracemount areas wisely decided to go straight home. By now it was quite late, so the rest of decided to head straight back to the city. We shot down Liberton Brae and Mayfield Road, reaching the Meadows in about half an hour, in heavy rain. Total distance for the day was 19 miles.

View Mortonhall.kml in a larger map

Monday, 1 June 2009

Ride on Saturday June 13

June's ride will offer a chance to explore some lesser-known bike routes in the south and west of the city, with a late-ish lunch stop at a cafe (or picnic spot for those who prefer to bring their own food).

Meet: 10.30, at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (junction of Lauriston Place).
Cost and booking:
Free; just turn up.
Further information: Mike Lewis (0131 343 2520) or Livia Dyckhoff (0131 554 0577)