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Sunday, 12 February 2012

February's ride to Musselburgh

Despite all the snow in England over recent days, Edinburgh has been remarkably snow-free this winter, and February's ride dawned brighter and warmer than recent days. We had a good turn-out yesterday (21 or so) and Mike led the ride East to Musselburgh. We started by descending into Holyrood Park, then climbing the hill up to Willowbrae (holding up a couple of coaches slightly, but they didn't seem too stressed by this) and then down through Mountcastle to Figgate Park; often this is a park that people have never realised was there before, so it's nice to show people something new! From there we went towards Portobello via the golf course, across the bridge over the Harry Lauder Road and then we turned east through the back streets up the hill from the High Street - a nice quiet route with some good views.

We spotted a lot of roadies (going in the opposite direction, thankfully) - the Edinburgh Road Club groups out for their weekly ride; very much faster than us! They seemed friendly though. We arrived in Musselburgh via the Promenade. When we crossed the Esk we were interested to notice that the Electric Bridge (built in the 60s by the power company to allow transportation of turbines to Cockenzie without going through the centre of the town) was open (as it is on Race Days). Apparently the power company offered it to the town council for a nominal fee, which was turned down, so the gates are normally closed to traffic.

As the route so far had been quite short (and direct - look at the map!) Mike took us on a short loop around Musselburgh race course on a slightly muddy track. I hadn't realised before that the local golf course lies within the race course - an efficient use of space I think. We arrived in the town centre for lunch around 12.20 and split into groups to avoid overburdening the cafes. After lunch we headed back into town via Route 1 (with a short but interesting detour at the beginning after a lapse in concentration!) and had our only puncture of the day in the Bingham area) Frustratingly, the bike shop had sold the rider the wrong size of inner tube (26" tube for a 28" tyre - goes to show that even the "experts" need to pay attention a bit more some times!) - anyway the holey tube was patched and we got back on our way and made it to the city centre around 3.15pm.

View 20Milers Feb12 Musselburgh in a larger map