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Saturday, 13 April 2013

April 13th's sunny ride to Ratho

More photos from today's ride
After weeks of frequent rain and freezing winds, the weather changed just in time for today's ride. About 20 of us headed out to Ratho, under a warmish sun and with only a slight breeze in our face.

Rather than taking the obvious (and somewhat boring) out-and-back route along the Union Canal, our leader, Alan Orr, conducted us through the streets of Morningside and across the northern slopes of Easter Craiglockhart Hill. After crossing Colinton Road, we took a handy cut-through to reach the canal at Allan Park.

After a fast three miles along the towpath, we left the canal at Hermiston House Road (see photo). A couple more road miles took us into Ratho. Then came the only hard work of the day: hauling our bikes up the double flight of steps to our lunch stop at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.

The EICA is always a good choice for lunch. The café has a spectacular view of the 30-metre high climbing wall, which is built right into the face of an old quarry - the largest facility of its kind in the world. There are also plenty of picnic tables; these have a somewhat less spectacular view of the Union Canal.

For the return leg, Alan led us back through Ratho village and then across the Ratho Park Golf Club. I don't know if this is an official bike route (were those golfers shouting at us, or were they just being exuberant?), but it certainly makes for pleasant cycling. After a nice freewheel down Gogar Station Road, we passed under the City Bypass into Edinburgh Park, and then headed for home via South Gyle, Corstorphine and Roseburn.

View 2013 04 Ratho Twenty Milers in a larger map

Leader: Alan
Report and photo: Mike
Map: Jim

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Forthcoming rides

We've got our usual monthly ride this coming Saturday (13th). We'll be heading out to one of our more popular destinations: the International Climbing Arena near Ratho. This is an interesting place, where you can watch rock climbing on the quarry wall or peruse the large outdoor shop. Most importantly, the centre has a good cafe which serves a range of light meals and snacks.
Alan (Orr) will be leading the ride. I don't have any information about the route at present, but I can tell you that we won't simply be going straight out and back along the canal: it will be much more interesting than that.
Meet at the usual place (the north end of Middle Meadow Walk) in time for a 10.30 kick-off. Expect to be back in town by mid afternoon.
Extra ride to Blackness
In the hope of finally getting some reasonable weather, we've started planning some Extra rides for the summer. These runs are a little longer and faster than our normal second-Saturday outings - but not much. They're typically around 30 miles, which allows us to reach places that would otherwise be outside our range.
The first of this year's Extras will be on 4th May. Logan will be leading us through the Hopetoun Estate to Blackness Castle. I'll send you more details of this ride nearer the time.