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Saturday, 11 September 2010

20milers ride to Kirkliston

About 17 (I never counted, for once!) turned up for today's ride - there was a lot of rain last night and the ground was pretty wet, but I optimistically trusted the weather forecast and didn't bring a waterproof jacket.

Our leader for the day, Andy from Storybikes, took us out along the canal to Ratho, then over the hill to Ratho Station and then on an old railway line to Kirkliston. Some bits were fairly wet, although I am assured that it was nowhere near as muddy as the route Andy used last February. We stopped at Kirkliston Kirk for Andy to tell us a story about Lady Stair and her daughter, from the 17th Century, and then went on to the town centre for lunch. Most went to the pub, who opened up a back room (to keep us away from the clean customers?!) - away from the football on the big screen, and we had some extremely cheap food (£1.50 for a baguette or soup, £4 for a burger) and a round of drinks.

After lunch we found ourselves at times on tomorrow's Pedal For Scotland route - which I was on exactly a year ago! I found it quite reassuring to have signs up telling me how far it was to go. I left the group at Craigleith to head back to Leith and saw the preparations for the finish line in Victoria Park (yay! I win!). We were back at about 3.30pm.

View 20milers Sept2010 Kirkliston in a larger map

A few photos to follow...

Saturday, 4 September 2010

30milers ride to Roslin & Dalkeith

12 people showed up for today's longer ride (just over 30 miles) led by Andrew to Roslin.

We set out, earlier than our normal start time, through an interesting set of back streets around Morningside, including a small bridge over the South Suburban railway line that was a surprise to most. We then had to climb quite a lot of hill (or it felt like a lot in the warm summer weather) to get to the hill behind Mortonhall. A short descent to Burdiehouse and then we crossed under the bypass at Straiton and headed to Loanhead. From there, there is an excellent old railway line all the way to Roslin. The Rotary Club had laid on a pipe band and a parade (not just in our honour, probably) so some of us sat and had a view of the parade while we waited (a long time - hmm) for our lunch at the pub on the corner while others went off to explore the gala and others had a picnic by Rosslyn Chapel, which now has its protective double-roof removed.

After lunch we cycled through a back road to Auchendinny and then turned down onto the old Penicuik to Dalkeith railway line, at the old paper mill (now demolished, although it still exists on Google maps satellite view) and then all the way along this route to Dalkeith. At the west end it is untarmaced, and slightly uphill (but if a train can manage, then so can we) and after the summit around Rosewell it became a smoother path, and we had a lovely ride downhill with great views over Midlothian. Some gentle wiggling in Dalkeith and we ended up in the town centre, then headed along Route 1 to Whitecraigs, along the Esk and then back via Queen Margaret's College and Brunstane and ultimately the Innocent Railway back to our start.

30milers to Roslin
A great ride made better by some lovely weather. We will probably do some 30 mile rides again next summer, but that's all for this year.

Next week our normal 20-mile ride is going out to Ratho and then lunch at Kirkliston, led by Storybike Andy. Hope to see you then (start time back to the normal 10.30am)

View 30milers Sept to Roslin in a larger map