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Saturday, 9 July 2016

Reservoir Slogs

This was the fourth year running that we had a ride up to the Harlaw Reservoir. And for the fourth year running, the weather was good to us. Actually, it was not that good. The day was overcast and decidedly muggy. But it did stay dry, which is what you want for a picnic.

Around 24 of us set off from the Meadows. Given that we were heading for the Pentland Hills, there was predictably a lot of climbing. The first ascent of the day took us up to the Braids and Comiston Road. Then came a couple of pleasant miles through Braidburn Valley Park and Colinton Mains, then into Colinton Village for a comfort break.

We then proceeded up Woodhall Road, under the City Bypass, and along a rough track to Blinkbonny. Then came the real work of the day: the long grind up the Currie Kirkgate. Inevitably the group got somewhat spread out on this section, with even some of our fitter members admitting to it being hard going. But we all made it to the top, without any heart attacks or cases of exhaustion (as far as I was made aware).

We then had a lovely mile or so along the high Harlaw Road, with excellent views in all directions. We soon arrived at the reservoir, where we spread ourselves out among the various benches and picnic tables.

We lingered at this delightful lunch spot for nearly an hour. After that, as it was still quite early, we decided to do an extra circuit of the reservoir. We then stopped for an additional toilet break at the visitor centre before heading home.

Now it was pay-back time. In return for the hard slogs of the morning, we could now enjoy a long downhill stretch all the way to Balerno. From there, we picked up the Water of Leith path for a fast run into town. At the Lanark Road footbridge, some members of the group headed homeward on the canal towpath. The rest of the party opted for a tea stop at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre, after which we went our separate ways.

Leader, report and photos: Mike
Map: Jim

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