Saturday 12 March 2016
A canal, a river bank, a university and a shopping centre
Unlike our two previous rides, today's run proceeded according to plan. It was an overcast morning with a fresh breeze, but it was free of the hazardous ice that stymied our January and February outings.
Twenty-four of us – including several newcomers (welcome) - set off under the leadership of Michael Law. We ambled down Middle Meadow Walk, across Bruntsfield Links, and onto the canal at the Leamington bridge. Continuing the gentle pace, we left the canal at Harrison Park, then headed to Russell Road and Roseburn Park. Then came a couple of miles along the river bank towards Slateford. Somewhere on that stretch one of the riders had a puncture; a few of the group stayed to help him fix it, with the whole party re-assembling a short while later at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre.
After leaving the river in Currie, we crossed the Lanark Road, and took a series of back roads to the west gate of Heriot-Watt University, which was our planned lunch stop.
The cafeteria at the university is an ideal venue for a 20-Milers lunch. The staff are used to dealing with large numbers of hungry students and conference delegates, and were not at all put out by the sudden arrival of two dozen cyclists. And given that this was a Saturday and therefore relatively quiet, there was plenty of room for us to spread out.
Lunch finished, we left the campus by Gogar Station Road, and weaved through to Edinburgh Park. With most of the office buildings empty for the weekend, this area was looking particularly bleak, but at least we had the roads and paths to ourselves. By contrast, the Gyle Centre was teaming with Saturday shoppers.
The final leg took us past South Gyle Station and the Carrick Knowe golf course, then onto the Corstorphine railway path and so back to Roseburn and the Meadows. At just a smidgen more than 20 miles, it was another very successful ride.
(A special word of thanks to Neil Miller, who volunteered to stay with one of the group who was afflicted by a debilitating migraine, then helped her find her way home.)
Report and photos: Mike