Saturday, 12 April 2014
A windy ride to South Queensferry
About thirty-four riders turned up, so we once again split into two groups. Claire led the first party, with Ken's group following a few minutes behind.
We took the route that we habitually follow when heading out to the north west: the Roseburn Path, Davidson's Mains and Barnton. But although this a well-worn and familiar path, we did notice three innovations since our last trip this way.
First, there's a new cut-through from the canal to Dundee Street. Instead of going down Gilmore Park and turning left into the busy Fountainbridge, you can now go along the towpath to the first bridge, then cut through the new development of student flats, coming out opposite Cineworld. It only saves a few yards, but it is a decidedly pleasanter route.
At the Sustrans marker in Craigleith, the council are busy with a landscaping project. It's not yet clear how this will look when finished, but it should make the path junction a little less cluttered. Unfortunately, the useful directional signs have been removed in the process. Let's hope someone remembers to put them back.
And finally, the path between the golf courses in Barnton has now re-opened. This has been widened and given a nice new surface - a welcome improvement.
From Cramond Brig, we turned into the Dalmeny Estate. Some of the paths here are rough, and were muddier than usual after the recent rains. But for the most part the estate offers pleasant cycling, away from the traffic and with excellent views over the Firth of Forth.
Our two groups joined up for the lunch break in South Queensferry. Some of us found a sheltered picnic spot overlooking the harbour. For the others, Claire did a good job of dividing them between separate cafés, which meant that we didn't overwhelm any one establishment.
After lunch, we got the benefit of the morning's hard work. With the wind now behind us (well, for part of the time at least), we zipped along the Ferry Glen path (more good views), and then through Dalmeny village and down NCN 1 to Cramond Brig. The two groups met up again at Craigleith. From there, one contingent continued back towards the Meadows; another group headed to the Costa café in the shopping centre, while the remainder of the riders went their separate ways. Despite those 25 mph gusts, it was another excellent ride.
View April 20-Milers to South Queensferry in a larger map
Leaders: Claire and Ken
Report and map: Mike