At 36 miles, this run will be quite a bit longer than our usual trips. We'll cover the extra distance by starting a little earlier, finishing a little later, and pedalling a little faster - but not so fast as to kill conversation or leave people behind. Our aim is always to have a sociable ride, without undue pressure, and with time to stop occasionally to admire the scenery or take photos.
If you find you can easily manage our normal 20-mile outings and you now want to try something a bit more challenging, I suggest you give this week's ride a try. But if you sometimes struggle to keep up on our normal runs, or you find yourself always at the back, you'll probably prefer to give this one a miss.
Julia Richardson will be our leader this time. She will be conducting us over the Forth Road Bridge, and then eastwards through the intricacies of the Fife coastal path. This is a delightful route, with excellent views for most of the way.
Much of the route will be on well-surfaced paths and roads. But there will be several miles on a somewhat rougher track. This is unlikely to cause any difficulties, and I doubt that we'll have to dismount anywhere. We will, however, encounter several hills. These will be fairly gentle, except for one particularly steep climb on the way back.
Our lunch stop will be at the Silver Sands, just beyond Aberdour. This is a beautiful beach with superb views over the Forth. There's a nice cafe there where you can get a sandwich or a bowl of soup. For those of us who prefer to bring our own food, the beach is a good place for a picnic.
If you decide to join the ride but then find it's too much of a struggle, you have the option of taking a train part or all of the way home. There are two trains per hour from Aberdour, but keep in mind that bike space is limited. If more than a couple of people take this option, you might have to wait for a later train.
Time and place
For this ride, we'll forsake our usual meeting point on the Meadows. Instead, we'll gather on the Roseburn Path, by the Sustrans marker at the junction of the Blackhall and Telford paths. If you're not sure where that is, look up South Groathill Avenue on a street map. The access to the bike path is by the toucan crossing near the Sainsbury's petrol station there.
Remember, the ride will start earlier than usual. We'll gather at 09.45, for a 10.00 start. I can't say for sure what time the ride will finish, but we're unlikely to get back to the start point before about 4.30 pm.