After three days of the best weather of the year so far, hopes were high that the June 20 Milers ride to Port Seton and Cockenzie would be blessed with warm sunshine and blue skies. Unfortunately, just as many of us finished our working week at the end of Friday afternoon; the glorious weather disappeared to be replaced by grey skies and lower temperatures. That was what greeted the group of 24 riders that gathered this morning. A few of our regulars were away on the LEPRA ride to St Andrews. Not long ago 24 riders would have been a good turnout. Nowadays it seems quite low. But it was good to see more new faces. We dispensed with the idea of having two groups and after a briefing, we headed off via the little-known St Leonards Bank which afforded us impressive views of Arthur's Seat. Shortly after that we stopped and waited whilst one of the riders had to pump up their tyres. Perhaps we hadn't ridden far enough to justify them, but the sweeties that were passed round were appreciated. We then whizzed through Holyrood Park and on into Duddingston village and past Duddingston golf course. We threaded through the back roads around the Durhams before skirting the bottom side of the Portobello golf course. The bridge over the Craigentinny sidings and Sir Harry Lauder Road led us to the quiet back streets of Portobello. This took us to Eastfield where we joined the main road for our run into Musselburgh and a comfort stop at Fisherrow Harbour. It felt noticably cooler thanks to a breeze off the sea as we made our way along the prom. After crossing the River Esk we encountered snarled up traffic due to Ladies Day at the racecourse leading onto the Electric Bridge. Fortunately, our ride down Goose Green was clear and we were soon off the road and heading for the path beside the racecourse. The lure of the BMX track was too great for a couple of the riders who had a play before racing to catch the group.
We then climbed up past the Drummohr caravan site and onto the road to the top side of Prestonpans. Just past the station a shout of "puncture!" went up. A few complications despite having our best men on the job resulted in a longer than expected delay. All fixed, we crossed the brige over the A1 before turning onto a path that led us down to the Meadowmill Sports Centre. From here, a delightful little path took us past the site of the Battle of Prestonpans. We arrived in Cockenzie to find it much busier than expected due to the children's gala parade. The group split up for lunch with the picnicers making the best of far-from-ideal picnic weather whilst others headed to various cafes. One of the best being Cockenzie House where the mouth-watering cakes were amazing.
Lunch over, it was decidedly cooler as we passed the now decommissioned Cockenzie power station with its distinctive twin chimneys. We were now on the coast road which we stayed on until we cut through to Prestogrange Industrial Museum. Time was getting on and the cool weather meant we didn't linger there. Instead we made our way to the coast skirting the ash lagoons. Back to the Electric Bridge with no sign of the earlier traffic snarl ups. Here we had another delay whilst a damaged mudguard was repaired. On our way again, under the main road bridge (remembering to duck), across the road near Tesco and on up the delightful Grove beside the River Esk. From there we made our way to Musselburgh Station, on to Newcraighall and on to the familiar route via the Innocent Railway back to the start. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the ride; many having been to places they had never been before. So all in all, we can count it as another successful 20 Milers ride. If only the weather felt more like summer.....
Trace: Alan S
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