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Monday, 26 December 2011

Half-Day Ride for Christmas Morning (25th December 2011)

As an experiment, we thought we'd have a short run on Christmas Day this year. Seven people turned up - a very respectable turnout, all things considered. The weather was reasonable, apart from a fierce wind from the west.

The route took us down the Mound and along Princes Street, which was at its all-time best: no road works (the current tram works have been suspended for the month), and the street completely closed to motorised traffic. If only it could always be like that.

We then cut through the West End and into Haymarket Yards, where the tram lines are finally taking shape. We joined the Roseburn Path in Balbirnie Place (the usual Russel Road entrance being closed until the summer), then on to Groathill, Craigleath Hill Avenue and across Inverleith Park to Warriston, where we joined the Goldenacre Path.

At Victoria Park, we paused for cake, kindly provided by some of the group. Then we headed back to town by way of the Warriston Path, through the Rodney Street Tunnel, and the steep climb up Scotland Street and Dublin Street to St Andrews Square, where we went our separate ways.

In summary: a very pleasant two-hour ride - and a successful experiment. All being well, we'll try something similar next year.

Leader, and report by: Mike

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

January's ride

The next ride will be Saturday 14th January, where, weather permitting, Alan will be taking us on the route that he intended to lead this month, through North Edinburgh and with lunch in Cramond.

Friday, 9 December 2011

December's ride

Tomorrow's ride (Saturday 10th) will take in some interesting bike paths in the north of the city and along the waterfront, with a lunch stop at Cramond Brig. The total distance will be 19 miles (or shorter if the weather's bad).

Update (Sunday 11 December): We decided to cancel yesterday's ride because of an overnight fall of snow which was covering the city. Apologies for anyone hoping to do the ride, and thanks to Alan for taking the trouble to turn up at the Meadows to advise people of the cancellation.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

November's Muddy Ride

Andy from Storybikes led today's ride. There were around 25 people (great for a November day that had started with rain, although the weather forecast held true and most of the day was beautifully sunny) on today's ride and only about 10 made it back to the end (the rest were presumed lost with all hands in the mud swamps of Niddrie). Jim kindly tracked the route (ignore the first bit, we started from Middle Meadow Walk) which took us out of town up Kirk Brae (HILL), into Loanhead where we mustered around a statue expecting a story (it came later) and then down into Polton glen with another big HILL up. We then found our way onto the Penicuik-Dalkeith cycle path and thence to lunch at the Retreat (which had plenty of space and good food - our large group challenged the kitchen staff to deliver food to hungry cyclists, but no one went hungry) which also had peacocks, just for variety.
View 2011-11-12 09:24 in a larger map After lunch we carried on down the old railway line to Dalkeith, across the Sheriffhall roundabout (no losses) and then wiggled along a couple of rather muddy tracks to eventually take us down to Niddrie and onto the Innocent Railway path and back to the start. We had some issues of balance on the mud, and then we went into a wood and all our muddy tyres started accumulating leaves, causing some bikes with mudguards to become rather clogged up.

Next ride is Saturday December 10th at 10.30am as usual.

Monday, 31 October 2011

November's ride - Sat 12th

A provisional route has been planned taking in some interesting bike routes in the south of the city and into Midlothian. Normal time / place / details - see the Frequently Asked Questions for details.

Long ride to Almondell (30th October)

Sixteen intrepid cyclists turned up on a beautiful morning for the re-run of the ride that was originally planned for 20th August. The route took us westward from the Water of Leith Visitor Centre up Lanark Road. We turned off just after Redhall Garden for the canal where we stayed for a few miles, then exited at Hermiston House Road to cross the busy A71 and head through the Heriot Watt campus.

From there we took Long Dalmahoy Road, turned off at Gowanhill Farm Road and headed for the railway crossing. With everyone across the railway safely (we managed to avoid a Virgin Voyager) we proceeded up the steep hill (some veterans even managed the whole hill without stopping). At the top we had a break to admire the fabulous view and take on refreshments before heading for Lanark Road West – another busy road.

Once safely across we headed down to the Water of Leith towards Balerno and on to Cockburnhill Road. It may have been the effect of the time change but several riders were experiencing hunger pangs by this time (12 noon).No lunch yet I’m afraid.

A strong headwind challenged us for a couple of miles on the A70. It was all worth it though when we turned right into Leyden Road and a fabulous long descent to Kirknewton and Almondell, where we split into two groups. Eight of us opted to picnic at the visitor centre while the remaining eight headed for hot food at the nearby garden centre.

After lunch we headed past the TA Centre to the canal. We turned off at “Junction 16” to face the headwind for half a mile, then a tailwind through Ratho, with a small hill en route. It was here that four riders decided to give in to the lure of the canal, while the remaining 12 went on by way of yet another (small) hill to Hermiston Village, Edinburgh Park, Corstorphine and Murrayfield.

The total distance was somewhere between 30 and 35 miles. Well done everyone, and thanks to the back markers, to Jim for plotting the route (see below), and everyone else for a great day out.

Leader and report: Jenny Meek

View 2011-10-30 09:26 30-milers in a larger map

Sunday, 9 October 2011

8th October ride to Prestonpans

For today's ride, we were promised "three historic houses, some superb views, and a historic pub for lunch". We got the houses and the pub. The views were no doubt there too - somewhere behind the curtain of rain that accompanied us all day.

To my surprise, 17 riders turned up, which was impressive, given the poor weather. Our leader, Chris, conducted us through Newington and Holyrood Park, and then to our first test of the day: the long climb up Queen's Drive (the "behind Arthur's Seat" road). We cycled almost to the summit, before slipping through a gate into Paisley Terrace and the nice swoop down Meadowfield Drive to Duddingston.

Our first stop gave us a chance to view Duddingston House, built in the 1760s for the Earl of Abercorn, and now housing offices and a conference centre.

We then went on to Bingham, where we joined NCN 1 as far as Brunstane Station and the Brunstane Burn path, which has been partly paved since our last visit. This was followed by a muddy stretch to Newhailes House. This fine 18th Century building was home to the Dalrymple family for nearly three centuries. It was acquired by the National Trust for Scotland in 1997.

From Newhailes, we took a path alongside the railway line to Musselburgh Station, and then back on NCN 1 to the River Esk. After a short stretch on main roads, we faced the real work of the day: Falside Hill. This killer hill, which seems longer and steeper every time I do it, took us to the 15th-Century Falside Castle and what would have been superb views if the weather had been better. Never mind. We all enjoyed the excellent freewheel down to our lunch stop at the Gothenburgh in Prestonpans.

By now, we were so wet and cold that even the hardy picnickers amongst us (of which I am one) decided to forego our usual al fresco meal in favour of the warm hostelry. The staff, who were friendly and welcoming, gave us a private dining room, which was fortunate because it had plenty of space for us to hang up our wet clothing. Unfortunately, when we set out to leave, we found that the aforementioned clothing was still as wet as ever. What can be worse then having to put on a soaking cycling jacket, gloves and helmet after a warm, comforting meal?

For the return journey, we followed the coast path into Musselburgh. This route includes a welcome new stretch of bike path that avoid the churned-up track used by lorries serving the ash lagoons. This part of the ride was interrupted by a puncture break - the only one of the day. Fortunately, the rider in question was well-equipped with tools and a spare tube, so the problem was quickly dealt with.

At Musselburgh, we decided to retrace our earlier route along the Brunstane Burn, and then onto the Innocent Railway for home. We split up at East Parkside, 25 miles from the start point, at the end of what turned out to be a very enjoyable ride (but perhaps not as enjoyable as the warming drinks, hot baths and dry clothing that were waiting at home).

Leader: Chris Pearson
Report by: Mike Lewis

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Upcoming rides

Sunday 25th September : EasyCycle Short Ride
A short informal ride of about 12 miles, which will be taken at a gentle pace. These rides are especially suitable for less experienced adult riders and those who haven't cycled for a while (16- and 17-year olds are also welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult, but no under-16s please). Today's route will take in Stockbridge, Dean Village and Inverleith, with a couple of short sight-seeing stops along the way. The route will mainly be on bike paths and quiet roads, and will include just one or two moderate hills. There will be a café stop at lunchtime, or bring a picnic if you prefer. The ride should end about 3 pm. Meet: 10.30, outside the Coffee Angel, Brandon Terrace, Canonmills. Cost and booking: Free. No need to book; just turn up. Further information: Logan Strang (0131 346 7786, GLS@seonamara.demon.co.uk).

Saturday 8th October : 20-Milers
We have our usual ride this Saturday (8th October). Chris Pearson will be leading us on what looks like a splendid route, taking in three historic houses, some superb views, and a historic pub for lunch.
We'll be heading east by way of Holyrood Park, Duddingston House, the newly paved Brunstane Burn path and Newhailes House, then on past Musselburgh station and a climb up to Fala Castle. Although this is steep, it is not too long, and the views from the top are excellent. We'll then have a nice freewheel down into Prestonpans for lunch at the Gothenburgh. For those who prefer to bring their own food, there are some nice picnic spots overlooking the firth.
In the afternoon, we'll have a pleasant ride along the coastal path back into Musselburgh. Depending on the weather and how we feel, we'll then either head straight back along NCN 1, or take a more interesting route through Portobello, Figgate Park and Holyrood Park. The total distance will be 22 to 25 miles, depending on which of these options we take.
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 20milers@gmail.com

Saturday, 10 September 2011

10th September Ride to Red Moss

Today's ride was to one of our usual destinations - Balerno - but by a most unusual route. Instead of simply following the well-worn path along the canal to the Water of Leith, our leader, Logan, conducted us on an interesting itinerary on quiet roads and back doubles through the south and west of the city.

Sixteen of us set out from the Meadows on a grey morning in a light drizzle. After crossing Bruntsfield Links, we headed through Merchiston, Polwarth and Shandon, eventually joining Slateford Road. At Redhill Bank, Logan showed us a cunning cut-through to the Water of Leith path that avoided the climb up to the Hailes Gate footbridge.

By the time we reached the end of the path at Balerno High School, the rain had stopped and the sky was doing its best to turn blue - just in time for the real work of the day, which was the slow climb up Cockburnhill Road to Red Moss. That was followed by a superb freewheel past East Riggs and along Mansfield Road back down to Balerno. The Pentland Hills were looking their best along this part of the route.

After lunch in the Grey Horse, we made a half-hearted attempt to visit Malleny Gardens. But the afternoon was wearing away. Because of that - and the admission charge to the gardens - we contented ourselves with peering through the gate.

We then negotiated a section of the route which was completely new to most of the group (including myself). Running north east from Malleny House, this was a rough-ish track which eventually joined the Kirkgate in Currie - a very pleasant alternative to the usual route.

From Currie Church, we continued through Blinkbonny and Woodhall Road, and so into Colinton to view (and use) the excellent new public conveniences there.

The final leg took us along Colinton Road, then through Craighlockhart, Harrison Park and Merchiston - and so back to Bruntsfield and the Meadows. The total distance was 23 miles. Another excellent ride.

View 20milers to Red Moss Sept11 in a larger map

Leader: Logan Strang
Report by: Mike Lewis 

Friday, 2 September 2011

September's ride

Our ride this Saturday will be to the south west of the city, and will include a short visit to Malleney Gardens (famous for its 400 year-old yew trees) and the nature reserve at Red Moss. Most of the route will be on paths and quiet roads. There will be a steep climb up to Red Moss, but no other serious hills or difficulties. Logan will be leading us.

For our lunch break, we'll aim for Balerno, where food is available at the pub and the community café. Depending on our arrival time, it might also be possible to buy food for a picnic from the farmers' market (but not if we get delayed).
The arrangements
The arrangements are as constant as the northern star. We meet at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk, in time for a 10.30 departure. The ride is free and open to all, with no need to book.
We can't say for sure what time the ride will end. It's likely to be between 3.00 and 4.00 pm, but it might be a little earlier or later.

If you've not been on a 20milers ride before, why not have a look at these Frequently Asked Questions.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

20th August Ride

This week's 20-Milers Extra ride was marred by an unfortunate accident.

Nineteen of us had set off from the Meadows to cycle to Almondell Country Park in West Lothian. We were approaching Balerno on the Lanark Road when one of the cyclists lost control of her bike, went head-first over the handlebars, and was knocked unconscious.

By good fortune, one of the group was a nurse with A&E experience. He was able to give the victim valuable first aid while we waiting for the ambulance. He then went with her to the Infirmary, and later told me that she was recovering well. She has some minor lacerations, but no broken bones or other lasting damage.

The most recent news is that she was kept in hospital overnight, but was due to be released today (Sunday).

After the ambulance had left, none of us felt like continuing with the ride, so by unanimous agreement we cycled into Balerno for an early lunch, and then drifted home.

This was the most serious accident that the group has had, and it left us all anxious and shocked. It's a great relief that the outcome wasn't as bad as we had feared at the time. I would add that the group reacted in a most commendable way: directing the traffic, taking contact details, arranging for the storage and transport of the bikes, etc. Jenny (who was leading the ride) sends her thanks to everyone for their patience and support.

Our next ride will be on 10th September. This will be our usual 20-mile format, the destination to be announced nearer the time.


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Next rides - August & September

Next week there is a longer ride on Saturday (20th), starting at 10am (note earlier start time) from the usual place. Jenny will be leading the group out to Almondell Country Park, approximately 35 miles, but at the usual pace.

September's ride will be led by Logan, on the 10th at the normal time of 10.30am. A small reminder that the annual Pedal for Scotland (Glasgow to Edinburgh) ride is on Sunday 11th so you could use the 20milers as a warm-up!

August's ride to Musselburgh

Today Jim led 17 of us (including about 5 new people - welcome!) on a route that out-wiggled even my best effort! I can't begin to describe most of it - you can have a look at the map. We went out East, via Figgate Park (which was flooded yesterday, apparently! - looked OK today though) and then to the Craigentinny Marbles that we encountered on June's soggy ride. Back from there to Portobello, and Jim showed us the pottery bottle kilns just behind the promenade, then some impressive pressed-stone pillars just beyond Portobello baths.

Then we made our way to Musselburgh via the Brunstane burn (which has been upgraded with some tarmac and better hardcore since the last time we used it) and the Musselburgh promenade to our lunch stop at the Birdcage (not very welcoming - 7 of us decided to opt out and go to get sandwiches at Tesco and sit on the grass near the river instead).

After lunch we headed back into town along the "normal" route 1 although Jim had put in a couple of interesting side-routes that gave it a bit of interesting variety - thank you for a most involving ride!

View 20milers to Musselburgh Aug11 in a larger map

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

July's ride to Dalkeith

View 2011-07-09 10:31 20_milers in a larger map

Fifteen 20-milers braved the climate for Ken's outing. Their courage and/or foolhardiness was well rewarded - the sun broke through and shone down on the whole run. From the usual starting place at Middle Meadow Walks, we ran down Queen's park past Dynamic Earth, then a quick uphill puff to Willowbrae Road and the Piershill cemetery.

Pausing to honour the Craigentinny marbles, we then returned to the Fishwives Causeway and on to Portobello promenade and so to Musselburgh, where a quick whizz along the West bank of the Esk took us along the Inveresk paths behind Mus. Golf club. From there we spun along Cowpits Road to Whitecraigs and then on into the Dalkieth Country park.

A very pleasant Lunch ensued in the Stables Bistro in the Park, after which Ken took us past the famous play area and along some rarely trodden tracks around the interior of the Park, emerging to rejoin the Innocent near Old Craighall and a breezy return ride back to the tunnel, where folk went their separate ways.

No punctures, and sunshine throughout, provided that is that you cycled home reasonably quickly, unlike your scribe who spent too long at the Canal Festival afterwards and had to dodge the lightning bolts on the way home.

Cheers and hope to see you all next run (13Aug)

Ride led by Ken
Report by Jim

Saturday, 2 July 2011

30milers to Jupiter Artland

A dozen people decided they didn't have anything better to do this fine sunny day (so different to June's weather!) and came along on the 30 mile ride to Jupiter Artland, near Ratho.

We started off heading out of town along a novel route - not involving the canal - to Harrison Park and Shandon, then wiggled our way through Stenhouse to the cycle path along the new tram route (lots of rusting rails...), into Edinburgh Park briefly and under the bypass then out to Ratho and beyond along the canal. We got as far as an aqueduct then carried our bike down some steps and then cycled up the first hill of the day, through some quiet country roads and arrived at Jupiter Artland around 12 - superspeed!

View Jul11 30milers to Jupiter Artland in a larger map
We enjoyed an excellent lunch in the sun, and some people took a few minutes to wander around the "public" areas (i.e. the bits by the road you don't pay to see!) and enjoy the sculptures.
After lunch we headed back to town, along route 75 for a fair distance (Long Dalmahoy Road) - we had to climb hill 2 to get there though, through Heriot Watt and then along Donkey Lane and across the West Coast main line (not something I'd want to do with a much bigger group - although we had it fairly swift and efficient, people did get bunched up on the "railway" side a couple of times and we had to slow the flow). Then up the third (and trickiest) hill of the day - it was quite a rough surface and we were tired (well I was anyway)! and then it was downhill all the way by the Water of Leith and the canal.
We were back in the centre around 3pm - just goes to show that smaller groups move faster - we've been considerably later than that on a 20miler ride.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

June just rains and never stops...

It rained all day today, pretty much from the moment I stepped outside my flat. I failed to bring waterproof trousers or spare gloves, so by the end of 20 miles of rain I was well and truly soaked. Well done to all the 13 other brave souls who turned up today. We all got rather cold and wet!

Our route today (I was leading) went down the Mound and along George Street, then onto quieter roads down Dublin Street and from there to the "Tesco Tunnel" - officially the Rodney Street Tunnel of course. Apart from our short ride in March when it was snowing, this was the first time we'd been through on a proper ride - and its shelter was much appreciated! From there we went on down the Warriston Path to Leith's Shore, and then across the Links (the festival was on today and probably suffered with the weather too) and up Easter Road to the Lochend railway path which has recently been resurfaced - and a great improvement it is. We lost one person at Seafield (but found him again) and then wended our way through Craigentinny, along the Fishwives' Causway (another 20milers first I think) and through an industrial estate to Portobello golf course. More wiggling took us to Route 1 at Brunstane, then on via Newhailes, Stoneybank Estate and into Musselburgh for lunch. Most of us found our lunch at the Burgh Cafe which coped remarkably well with an unannounced group of soggy cyclists.

After lunch our route was more straightforward: back along the River Esk (along Route 1), past Musselburgh station (where a couple of cyclists had a minor collision with another cyclist - bruises all round tomorrow I fear) and then we turned under the bypass up Whitehill Road and past Kinnaird Fort, Asda and then back onto Route 1 and all the way back to the start.

View June 2011 to Musselburgh in a larger map

Friday, 3 June 2011

June's ride

This month's ride is on Saturday 11th June at 10.30am from the top of Middle Meadow Walk, as usual. I'll be leading the ride out to Musselburgh, via Leith & Portobello. The total distance is about 21 miles.

I'm hoping there won't be any snow, like the last ride I was due to lead, in March! In this warmer (hopefully) weather, it's important to bring some water or juice to keep hydrated. We won't be going fast but even a little bit of exercise causes you to perspire and lose fluid. You'll feel much better if you have some liquid refreshment on the way!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

May's ride to South Queensferry

Today's ride was to South Queensferry. We had some new participants this time - always welcome - and Logan led us out West along the canal, turning off just after the bypass and going through Roddinglaw and down to the A8, where we used the shared path along the main road out to Newbridge (crossing over on the bridge at Ratho Station) and then along the old railway line to Kirkliston, and followed this on to Dalmeny. From there we had a short trip on the road downhill into South Queensferry for lunch.

View 20milers May11 to SQueensferry in a larger map

After lunch we headed West for a short distance before finding our way onto the old railway line at Scotmid, which after a short hill to get to the supermarket leads to a gentle gradient out of town (much appreciated, given all the other routes out of SQ are generally big hills!) and then out of town past the oil tanks and back along the road to Craigiehall (past Craigie Farm) and into Edinburgh via route 1.

Next month's ride is on Saturday 11th June and I'll be leading it. Route TBC!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

April's ride

What happened? We missed a month? Yes. On the day of the March ride, it was snowing. Well, slushing/sleeting/snowing. Eight intrepid (foolhardy) people turned up anyway, and with my self-interest plain to see I re-planned the route to be short (about 4 miles) and include Mimi's Bakehouse in Leith again. I was the coldest and wettest and least-keen on cycling that I'd been for a good while, so after cake the group broke up and we all went home.

Today however the weather couldn't hardly have been nicer. Warm, sunny, not too windy - just perfect spring weather.

Chris led the route today out to Cammo via Corstorphine Hill and back via Cramond. Actually fairly similar to the route planned for last month, so it's good that that one was cancelled or we'd have got bored seeing the same sights again!

View 20milers to Cammo Apr11 in a larger map

April 2011 to Cammo and Cramond

It was great to see new members coming along and hope that the hills weren't too much of a deterrent to coming back again next month (14th May), when Logan will be leading the ride out to South Queensferry.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

March's ride

Next Saturday (12th) I'll be leading the group ride - we'll be going out to Cammo via South Gyle, then along some rough & potentially muddy tracks to Cramond, where we'll have lunch at a local cafe (or bring a picnic), and then will return via the Waterfront and Leith, where we'll say hello to Cliff (man with a seagull on his head...) before returning to the start via the "Tesco Tunnel" and Route 1.

Most of the route will be on very quiet roads, cycle paths and tracks, however there are some short stretches on busy roads. There are a few small hills (plus we have to get from sea level back to the Meadows at the end of the ride, which is a fair amount of climb; mostly done gently though!)

A few tips about riding in large groups on busy roads:
  • never ride more than two abreast
  • "clump" into groups of about 8, leaving a gap before the next group: this allows other vehicles to pass safely and reduces frustration
  • clearly indicate any turns
  • don't assume that because the person in front of you has carried out a manoeuver that it is safe for you to follow
  • don't feel you have to rush or dash - this will just make you more stressed and more likely to make mistakes
  • keep an eye out for potholes, doors opening on parked cars and other hazards

Monday, 14 February 2011

February's ride to the Reservoirs

We had a large turn-out for this ride - 26 people despite the February chill and slight drizzle.

Feb 2011 ride to Reservoirs

Alan led us on a fairly direct route out of Edinburgh, up Colinton Road (quite busy when there are parked cars in the bus lane) and then up through Bonaly to the reservoirs: Torduff, Clubbiedean, Harlow and Thriepmuir. It felt like a lot of climbing! (Someone calculated about 1000ft of climb overall). And some of this track is quite rough, however even those who came on bikes with thinner tyres seemed to manage all right and made it to lunch without incident.

After a nice lunch in the pub in Balerno (they had soup-and-sandwiches on the menu for us), we headed back into town along a Very Muddy Water of Leith path, then along the canal. My white bike turned black! It was almost all downhill though, which was a welcome relief after the morning's uphill sections.

View 20milers Feb11 to the Reservoirs in a larger map

Next month (12th March) I (Livia) will be leading the group out to Cammo with lunch in Cramond, then return along the Waterfront and back through Leith. Not nearly as much hill climbing, except at the very end when we have to get back to the middle of town. There will be a couple of very short stretches of busy road, but most will be on quiet roads and tracks.

Monday, 7 February 2011

February's route

Our leader this month will be Alan. His current plan is to take us out towards Colinton and Bonaly, and then alongside the Pentland reservoirs, and down to Balerno for lunch. We'll then have a nice easy return trip to town by the Water of Leith path and the Union Canal.
The route involves some short stretches on main roads, and a couple of moderate climbs, both of which will be out of the way early in the day. After that, we can expect some excellent cycling along quiet lanes and paths, with fine views of the Pentland Hills for part of the way.
The total distance will just about 20 miles, which we'll take out our usual gentle pace.
As always, the route should be regarded as provisional. If the weather turns bad, we might choose a shorter route, as we did in January.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The next rides

The next ride is Saturday 12th February, led by Alan.
The March ride is Saturday 12th, led by Livia.
The April ride is Saturday 9th April, led by Chris.

Details / destinations to be confirmed, check http://www.cycling-edinburgh.org.uk/ nearer the time.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Snowy January Ride

It just goes to show that you can't keep a cyclist inside on a lovely sunny January day, even if there's an inch of snow on the ground and the temperature is hovering around freezing. Nine of us turned up for today's ride (although one dropped out with brake problems early on). We changed our original intended route (out to Riccarton and Colinton) in favour of a short ride mainly on roads (which were generally snow-free) down for coffee etc. in Leith.

Snowy January ride to Leith

Andy Hunter led us down Chambers Street and down the Royal Mile, pausing in front of Canongate Kirk to view the stag's head with a cross between the antlers on top of the church. We then detoured slightly into Holyrood Park, where the Bupa Great Winter Run championship was going on (which mainly seemed to consist of an amplified keep-fit class (or perhaps keep-warm class, given the conditions) and lots of banners. We stopped outside Holyrood Abbey for a quick story (King David and the Stag) before carrying on to London Road and Easter Road to Leith Links and then to the Shore, where we found Mimi's Bakehouse (newly opened and full of very yummy cakes). The party then headed back up Leith Walk - a very short ride in total but in glorious sunshine, and leaves us with daylight still to enjoy the snow.


It looks a bit snowy (and I'm in Leith, so presumably there will be more further South) but I'm just about to head up to Middle Meadow Walk. Once we've seen what the paths and roads are like we might decide to go for a ride or we might find a coffee and cake shop.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Tomorrow's ride

The weather forecast is a bit borderline for tomorrow: Metcheck for example are currently promising a nice sunny day around 0degrees, however other places are suggesting that there might be a fair amount of snow falling before then.

Mike & I aim to be at Middle Meadow Walk as normal for 10.30 tomorrow, however we may decide to cancel on the spot if the weather is bad.

So the upshot of it is... the ride isn't cancelled at the moment but if the weather's nasty then it doesn't make sense to go for a fun ride: no one wants to get hurt! The general principle of 20-milers applies, in that you are responsible for your own safety and wellbeing and if you don't feel that it's safe, then don't come.

However I really hope that the snow holds off and we all have a glorious ride tomorrow. Andy (Storybikes) is planning to take us out to Riccarton and Colinton, about 17 miles in total.