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Saturday, 11 May 2013

May ride to South Queensferry

For today's ride, we had originally intended to take a long-ish route to South Queensferry and the Dundas Estate, similar to the one that Ken led us on last October. But in deference to the weather and the turnout, today's leader, Claire, wisely decided on a slightly shorter option. It was nevertheless a very enjoyable run.

Twenty four of us set out from the Meadows, taking the familiar route to Russell Road and onto the Roseburn Path. We then headed north through Davidson's Mains and Barnton. After Cramond Brig we turned onto the Kirkliston Road, and then onto the railway path into Dalmeny. The final leg of the morning was the delightful (and delightfully flat) Ferry Glen path, which ends at the Co-op in South Queensferry.

As well as being an interesting destination in its own right, South Queensferry offers an excellent choice of eating places. About a third of the group opted to eat their own food on the steps overlooking the harbour. Most of the others headed for the Picnic Café, which, as always, served us efficiently and without fuss.

It had been raining steadily for most of the morning, but happily the skies started to clear for our return leg. This took us along Queensferry's cobbled main street, under the Forth Bridge and into the Dalmeny Estate. After a couple of pleasant off-road miles, we emerged at Cramond Brig, and then re-traced our outward route as far as the Sustrans marker at Craigleath, where we went our separate ways.

View 20-milers to South Queensferry in a larger map

Leader: Claire
Report: Mike
Map trace: Jim

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Extra May ride to Blackness

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, we add in a few extra, longer rides to take advantage of the opportunity. This month, Logan led 24 cyclists on a very pleasant ride out to the West. We left from Craigleith, headed out on Route 1 to Dalmeny, cut down under the Forth Road Bridge and went West along the sea front towards Hopetoun House, pausing for a couple of scenic views and jelly babies en route.

We cut through the estate, following Route 76 (I'd not been along the new bit through the woods to Blackness before, but it works very well although not ideal for skinny tyres - better with something a bit chunkier). After a troublesome puncture in this area, we decided that we didn't have time to detour to see Blackness Castle, and instead turned inland and headed up the only real hill of the day (small really, but it was getting windy and cloudy and a bit colder at this point) and after a very short stretch on a main road we descended on the Rouken Glen Garden Centre for lunch - who coped with us admirably and had lots of delicious home made cakes as well as other food.

View 30milers to Blackness May-13 in a larger map
After lunch we headed south to Philipstoun where we wiggled through a housing estate's garage lot and found the canal access, from where we had a few miles of flat cycling with the wind behind us. A short break for another puncture, in the middle of acres of wild garlic, and we left the canal at Winchburgh and had a super whoosh down with tailwind into Kirkliston. A short stretch on the old railway line (slightly uphill but still wind-assisted) and then onto the road past Craigie Farm and to rejoin Route 1 near Cramond. From there we made it back to Craigleith in good order and many people celebrated (and warmed up) in Costa coffee before heading their separate ways. Thanks to Logan for a very good route.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

30miler ride to Blackness - Saturday 4th

For this Saturday's ride, we will be meeting at 10.00, at the Sustrans marker at the junction of the Roseburn, Blackhall and Telford paths. If you're not sure where that is, head for the Sainsbury's petrol station in South Groathill Avenue, and look for the sign pointing onto the bike path.
Logan will be leading us on a very pleasant route - similar to the one he led last May. We'll be heading out to South Queensferry, and then following a path through the Hopetoun Estate and along the Firth of Forth to Blackness Castle. This part of the route will be reasonably level but with a few rough patches.  After Blackness, we'll have a steep climb, followed by a short section along a main road to reach our lunch stop at the Rouken Glen Garden Centre. This has a spacious cafeteria which serves soup, sandwiches and light meals.
Our return route will be partly on roads and partly on the canal towpath, with only a few moderate hills. We'll aim to get back to town about 4 pm, but this might vary, depending on conditions, punctures, etc.
If you feel comfortable with the speed of our usual Saturday runs, and you now want something a little more challenging, give this Extra ride a try. As with all our rides, it's free of charge, and you don't need to tell us in advance that you're coming. Just turn up at the meeting point (but do remember that earlier start time).