20th Anniversary Year

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Monday 31 October 2011

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

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