The exceptionally long line of cyclists made our way through Holyrood Park, through the back streets of Willowbrae (past the site of the recent shooting), through Mountcastle, and onto Portobello Prom via Fishwives Causeway. Out of consideration for pedestrians, we split into two groups along the crowded prom. We then pushed on along the road towards Musselburgh.
We regrouped at Fisherrow Harbour where I took centre stage to tell everyone a little bit about the history of the Honest Toun. We then rode along the prom, up beside the river and took an unfamiliar route through the Stoneyhill estate before joining the more familiar cycle path to Whitecraig before pushing on to the Dalkeith High School campus. It was on this section that Nick came off after hitting a post. Bloodied, but unbowed he carried on and stayed with us until the end. The cuts to his head and knee must have looked worse than they were. He certainly got lots of sympathy. Well done Nick.
We then ran into Dalkeith and turned off for the fast downhill run into Dalkeith Country Park and lunch at the Stables tearoom. Julie made us as welcome as ever and did a great job of ensuring we were all fed and watered. After a group photo courtesey of Logan, we headed towards Musselburgh through the park. All was going well until we encountered the gate out of the estate which was well and truly locked. Fortunately, a very nice lady in a Landrover turned up with a key at just the right moment.
The remainder of the run was relatively uneventful as we returned to Middle Meadow Walk via Musselburgh Station, Brunstane and the Innocent Railway. The Innocent Tunnel felt colder than usual on such a warm day.
After a faltering start, a few adventures, several regrouping stops and six punctures, quite a few of us retired to Peter's Yard for welcome refreshment. Whenever anyone asks what it was like to lead such a large group, my reply will be "have you ever tried herding cats?"
Map trace: Jim
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