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Saturday, 12 September 2015

A damp ride to Roslin

Today's ride to Roslin was a little damp. We ran a police roadblock and had the first unicycle on one of our rides. The weather forecast suggested we would be in for a ride blighted by long spells of heavy rain. Whilst it was grey and damp with some heavy showers; it wasn't as bad as the forecast had suggested. But it had been a while since we had to endure a wet ride. This may have affected the numbers turning up today. Just 22 riders started. It was good to see a few new faces amongst them, including a unicycle rider which was a first for the group. Despite the lower than usual turnout, the leader took the right decision by splitting the ride into two groups to keep things manageable on the several sections of busy road. We left the Meadows and made our way to the new traffic signals and cycle path at Hope Park Crescent. Its nice to have the cycle path there, but they need to hurry up and get the traffic signals switched on. From there we followed a familiar route to join the Innocent Railway. Riding through the Innocent tunnel, one of our regular riders suggested that we use it so often on our rides that perhaps it should be renamed the 20 Milers tunnel. At Bingham, we cut through a tunnel which led us onto the busy Niddrie Mains Road for a short stretch before making our way through Niddrie and Greendykes to emerge beside the Royal Infirmary. From there, we made our way through Moredun and along Gilmerton Road before turning in to Burdiehouse Valley Park. This section was rough and bumpy with exposed tree roots to contend with. But it caused us no problems and we emerged on to Lasswade Road. A few cones and blown over barriers slowed us as we made our way down the soon-to-be-completed cycle path beside the road. We then joined the cycle path that skirts the edge of Loanhead and crosses the Bilston Glen viaduct for our run into Roslin for our lunch stop. The majority of riders went into the pub out of the rain for lunch, with a few hardy souls picnicing outside.

After lunch we retraced our steps along the cycle path to Lasswade Road. But this time we headed towards Gilmerton and through the Drum Estate to come out on Old Dalkeith Road. Through Danderhall and a rough track allowed us to cut through to Millerhill Road. At Hilltown, we were confronted by a police car blocking the road and a "Police road closed" sign. The police car was empty. After weighing up the situation, it was decided to make our way along the closed road as we decided the worst that could happen would be us being sent back. A quarter of a mile later we came across two police officers and a recovery truck hauling a badly damaged minibus back onto its wheels. No one seemed to mind us being there so we had made the right decision and avoided a long detour. When the second group arrived, they took the "road closed" sign at face value and did take a detour. Once clear of the incident, we found ourselves in heavy traffic on the Wisp and Duddingston Park South. It was nice to turn off and get back onto the quiet Innocent Railway for the final stretch back to the start.

Leader: Alan Orr
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael
Map trace: David

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