The final 20 Milers ride of 2015 saw us take a meandering route to the Gallery of Modern Art. This meant we had a longish morning ride, a later lunch and a short afternoon ride back to the finish. After some very wet weekends of late, the forecast suggested we were in for a rather chilly but mainly dry day. It was nice to welcome one new rider amongst the regulars as a total of 18 set off from the Meadows in one group. It was chilly and grey but dry as we made our way to the Innocent Railway via the new cycle track. From there the group made its way through the Magdalenes, across Milton Road and over the big bridge crossing Sir Harry Lauder Road. From the back streets of Portobello we made our way to the promenade. One rider commented on how lovely the view across to Fife was. Those of us not wearing tinted glasses wondered what she was talking about. It just looked dull and grey to us! We pressed on via Seafield to Restalrig. It was here that we were delayed by our only puncture of the day. Being delayed by a puncture is never much fun, especially on a cold grey day. The leader made the decision that the puncturee and two helpers would fix the problem whilst the rest of the group would make their way to Pilrig Park and wait there. Parking up in the deserted children's play park, the group enjoyed the cakes and mulled wine that magically appeared from rider's bags. The puncture repair party joined us. With everyone suitably replenished, we made our way to a comfort stop at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Through Inverleith Park, we went along Carrington Road and through Craigleith. At Craigleith Park we joined the Roseburn Path, climbed some steps and made our way to the Gallery of Modern Art for lunch. The cafe was surprisingly busy. But we split up and all managed to find a seat. Whilst enjoying our lunch, we glanced out of the window to see it raining heavily. We hoped it would be finished by the time we were ready to leave.
The rain had eased, but it was still a bit damp as we departed. Following the recent rain, the water was fast flowing and at quite a high level as we rode beside the Water of Leith. The familiar route through Roseburn, the Telfer subway, Fountainbridge and along the canal to Leamington Bridge took us back to our start point in the Meadows. After lunch various riders peeled off as they got close to home. So only six actually made it to the official finish.
Thanks to Mike for planning a ride that took such a long and meandering route to get us to our lunch stop. Yes, we could have got there much quicker in less miles - but that wasn't the point. A short run back to the finish was also appreciated on a cold and grey December afternoon.
Map trace: Jim
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