The John Muir Way (JMW) is a new 134-mile footpath and cycle route, running from Dunbar to Helensburgh. The ride we are planning is one of several events designed to mark the opening of the route. It is being organised in association with Scottish Natural Heritage. Information about the JMW and other inaugural events can be found here.
For our ride, we will follow part of the JMW out towards South Queensferry, and then through the Hopetoun Estate and along the banks of the Forth to Blackness. We will return to town by an inland route, taking the canal towpath from Philpstoun to Winchburgh, and then by roads and paths via Kirkliston.
Most of the route will be on quiet roads and bike paths, but there will be a couple of short stretches on a busy main road. Some of the paths might be rough in places, and possibly muddy. The route is a fairly level one, but there will be a few moderate hills and one particularly steep one.. The total distance will be about 34 miles.
|Hopetoun House is one of the landmarks on the JMW|
We will aim for a moderate "sociable" pace: a little faster than our normal monthly runs, but not so fast that you can't keep up a conversation.
Food and drink
Please bring your own food and drink for a picnic lunch, which will be at Blackness Castle. There is a small shop near the castle, where you can buy sweets, ice cream and hot drinks. There are also toilets there. But there is no café or pub, so be sure to bring at least a sandwich and some water. Depending on numbers and progress, we might stop at a café near the end of the ride.
Time and place
We will meet in time for a 10.00 start, at the Sustrans marker at the three-way junction of the Roseburn, Blackhall and Telford paths in Craigleith. If you are not sure where that is, make your way to South Groathill Avenue, then look for the sign-posted entrance to the bike paths by the lights-controlled crossing near the back of the Sainsbury's petrol station. Grid reference: NT 223747. Map.
We will aim to return to Edinburgh by about 16.00, although this will depend on the weather, the speed of the group, and other factors.
What to bring
Apart from the aforementioned food and drink, please bring a spare inner tube if at all possible. That way, if you are unfortunate enough to have a puncture, it can be dealt with relatively quickly. If you don't know how to replace an inner tube, don't worry: there are usually willing helpers available. If you're not sure what size or type of tube you need, just ask at your local bike shop.
You should also bring all the obvious things you will need for any bike ride, such as a lightweight waterproof jacket, and perhaps a scarf and/or gloves if the day is chilly. It's also a good idea to bring a bike lock, although this is not essential as you can always double up with someone else. Most of our riders choose to wear a helmet, but we don't insist on that.
Just turn up
|Part of our return route will be via the canal towpath|
There is no need to book in advance for the ride. Just turn up on the day.
Note that the ride will go ahead even if the weather is bad. A few showers or a cold breeze won't put us off. But if the weather is really bad, we might opt for a shorter route, with the possibility of a café stop around lunch time.
For general information about our rides, please see our FAQ. If you still have a question, feel free to email us at the address in the panel on the left of this page.