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Monday, 30 September 2013

Forthcoming rides : October

We've got two rides planned for the next couple of weeks. As always, everyone is welcome on these rides. You don't need to book in advance: just turn up on the day.

20-Milers Extra : 5th October

Our Extra rides are faster and longer than our usual outings, but still aim for a sociable pace, without undue pressure. For this one, Julia will be taking us to the historic town of Linlithgow.

The outward leg will mainly follow quiet roads, with a little bit of climbing, but nothing particularly onerous. This is a very attractive section of route, with fines views to the Forth and beyond. The return hop will be reasonably flat, with a mix of bike paths, quiet roads and canal towpath. The total distance will be about 34 miles.

For lunch, we'll head for the picnic tables by Linlithgow Palace. There are also several cafés nearby where you can pick up a hot drink, a sandwich or a bowl of soup.

Meeting place. We'll meet at the Sustrans marker at the junction of the Roseburn, Telford and Blackhall paths (the same place where we met for our rides to Blackness and Dunfermline earlier in the summer). If you're not sure where it is, head for South Groathill Avenue, and look for the sign-posted entrance to the bike path by the pedestrian crossing.

Time. The ride will start half an hour earlier than usual, at 10.00. We'll aim to be back in town between about 4.00 and 5.00 pm.

A shorter option. If you'd like to come on part of the ride but don't fancy doing the full 34 miles, you have the option of cycling with us to Linlithgow, then taking the train back. There are four trains per hour, with a journey time of about 25 minutes. But bike space is limited on these services, so if more than a couple of you decide to take this option, you might not get on your first choice of train.

Normal 20-Milers ride : 12th October

Our second ride in October will be our normal "second Saturday" run, leaving from Middle Meadow Walk at 10.30, and returning to town between about 3.00 and 4.00 pm.

For this ride, Glenn will be leading us on a tour of some interesting bike routes in East Lothian. This looks like being a particularly pleasant run, with some excellent views. There will be a couple of moderately steep climbs, but we'll take these at our usual unhurried pace. The total distance will be about 22 miles.

We'll stop at a pub for lunch, or, as always, you can bring a picnic if you prefer.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

September's ride to Roslin

Our regular 20miler ride this month managed to land on a day of beautiful sunshine, hardly any wind and comfortable temperatures. The day before rained and the forecast for the following day is wind and rain, so the weather gods smiled on us.

Twenty-six people took advantage of the opportunity and came on the ride, led by Jim. We started with a gentle trundle down Lovers' Loan and through the Astley Ainslie Hospital (with a diversion by a small group to avoid narrow gaps for the recumbent trike rider Samantha). The hospital group had a brief pause to help a passerby carry a wheelchair down some steps. I missed this bit as I was in the diversion group so I may have more details later when I am corrected! We regrouped on Cluny Gardens and started the first climb of the day, up Braid Avenue and side streets to the Braidburn Valley Park.
Braid Burn Valley Park
We had a pause for light refreshments before a second climb, up Cockmylane (a green path, sometimes a bit slippy) and then a wiggle through Fairmile Park and a housing estate and then over the main road using the pedestrian crossings. We had a brief pause to admire the Buck Stane,
The Buck Stane
and then used the woodland track over to Mortonhall - another climb but the views at the top were lovely. 

Stable Bar, a sometimes-lunch destination
We made our way under the bypass at Straiton,
Old Burdiehouse Road
turned left up to Loanhead along the main road, and paused to use the toilets in Loanhead before taking the old railway line out to Roslin.
Bridge over Bilston Glen
Literally as we arrived at the pub, a coachload of tourists was unloading into the same place, so a few extra people decided to find a local sandwich for a picnic rather than overload the pub's resources.
Roslin Castle picnic stop
After lunch most people had a quick look at Rosslyn chapel, unveiled finally (renovations over) for the first time in a long time, and then we returned, partly by the same route but with a few differences. We went all the way along the railway line

Loanhead-Roslin Railway path
to the "smelly pond" at Straiton, and came on the main road all the way to the foot of Liberton Brae
Liberton Brae
 before turning left and heading up the Hermitage path.
Hermitage of Braid
At the east entrance to the Hermitage we split into two groups; one to go back to the centre of town and one to go to the canal basin to find coffee.

View Middle Meadow Walk 20-milers Roslyn in a larger map

Leader: Jim
Report: Livia