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Thursday, 25 December 2014

And Santa came too

The 20 Milers annual Christmas Day short ride continues to go from strength to strength. No doubt helped by favourable weather and no sign of the forecasted frost; 25 riders turned up at the start. Michael arrived dressed as Santa which was a great hit with children and adults alike along the route. Usually we would have split into two groups. But as leader Mike was the only one that really knew the route (and because he was making some of it up as he went along) we remained as one group with a leader, mid-marker and back marker. We set off and made our first stop to admire the view from the Castle Esplanade which was crowded with tourists. We made our way round the back of the Usher Hall, across Lothian Road, behind the Sheraton Hotel and beside the canal to Leamington Bridge.

We meandered around quiet backstreets and paths to make our first of two visits to Dean Village. From there we made our way to Princes Street where we had an unfortunate "rider down" incident on the wet and slippery tram tracks. Our mid-marker picked himself up with fortunately nothing more than bumps and bruises. As he sits writing this report in the evening, he feels a bit sore but doesn't expect any lasting damage. Damned tram tracks!

We carried on and climbed up Calton Hill to be met by bright sunshine, glorious views over Edinburgh and throngs of tourists. This was also our refreshment stop. As is now the norm on these Christmas Day rides; many riders had brought cake, sweets, hot drinks, mince pies and mulled wine to sustain us for the remainder of the ride.

As we walked down the steps off Calton Hill the first riders began to head home. Others peeled off as they got close to home. With the numbers depleting we headed back to Stockbridge via McDonald Road, St Marks Park and Dean Village again.

Another successful Christmas Day ride came to an end with us all heading home. Thanks to Mike for leading an interesting and enjoyable ride. Thanks to those that kept us sustained with Christmas food and drink. It was good to see so many new faces; many of whom we hope will join us on our monthly rides next year. Was also good to see a number of regular CTC riders join us.

Leader: Mike
Report: Glenn
Photos: Glenn, Mike and Yaz

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