Sunday, 25 December 2016
Under Jim's leadership, we set off from the Meadows, heading first for the Lochrin Basin and Fountainbridge. We weaved though Conference Square, crossed the footbridge over the West Approach Road, then into Rutland Square and Shandwick Place. We paused in Coates Crescent to admire the Gladstone Monument (unveiled in 1917, in honour of William Ewart Gladstone, MP for Midlothian 1880–1895).
Next, Jim took us on a circuit of the West End crescents. One of his reasons for this was to show us the experimental on-street bike lockers which the council have installed in Douglas Crescent. These are part of a city-wide trial to find ways of providing secure bike parking for flats and tenements. The two lockers that we saw certainly looked up to the job, but I suspect you would need an awful lot of them to meet the demand.
The next part of the ride took us back to Shandwick Place, then along the entire length of Princes Street, west to east. Thankfully, there was very little traffic– just a few buses and taxis, no trams. We stopped at the foot of the Mound in the expectation of a comfort stop, but inconveniently the toilets there were closed. Instead, we found we were able to use the facilities in one of the nearby hotels, which was a relief.
Next came the hard work of the day (well, not all that hard): the ascent of Calton Hill. The morning was still bright and sunny, so we lingered on the summit to take in the excellent views of Arthur's Seat and the Firth of Forth. Santa Claus, true to form, produced a flask of mulled wine to share; various items of confectionary were also in evidence.
Our leader eventually got us moving again. The original plan had involved heading to Lochend Park at this point, but the morning was rapidly wearing on and we had promised that the ride would end by 1 pm. So we finished up by taking a quick look at the Stones of Scotland, then headed back towards the Meadows.
Several of the group had peeled off by now, but unfortunately not the afore-mentioned Conor, who gave us more than a little trouble as we pedalled down Regent Road and Waterloo Place. The remnants of the group eventually made it back to Middle Meadow Walk. At just over seven miles, it was definitely one of our shorter rides, but also one of the more interesting.
Report and photos: Mike
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
The great thing about cycling on Christmas Day is that there is very little traffic. We'll take advantage of that to visit parts of the city where we might not otherwise venture. I don't know the exact route that Jim has in mind, but in the past it has included the Castle Esplanade, Princes Street and Calton Hill.
The total distance will be about ten miles, which we'll take at a very relaxed pace. Be warned that there might be a couple of short climbs to negotiate as well as some cobbled streets.
Time and place
We'll leave at 10.30, from our usual meeting spot at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. We'll return to the Meadows by 13.00 at the latest. If you have a pressing lunch date, feel free to peel off earlier.
It's unlikely that we'll find anywhere open to pick up refreshments en route, so you might want to bring a snack to keep the hunger pangs away.
Like all our runs, this one is "just turn up" - no need to book in advance. It's open to all, so feel free to bring your pals or family members.
For those who have better things to do on Christmas morning, our first ride in 2017 will be on 14th January.
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Map trace: Jim
Monday, 5 December 2016
|The Royal Yacht Britannia at its berth |
at the Ocean Terminal (photo: Cool Places Ltd )
Here are some details.
20-Milers Ride: 10th December
For this month's run, Verity will be leading us on a tour of bike routes in the north and east of the city. In deference to the short daylight hours, this ride will be a little shorter than usual; no particular difficulties are expected.
As usual, we'll meet at 10.30 at the top of Middle Meadow Walk. Our lunch stop will be at the Ocean Terminal, where there is a good choice of cafés and sandwich shops. For those who prefer to bring their own food, there are places to eat both inside and out.
It will be dark by about 16.00 on Saturday. The ride should finish well before then, but you will probably need to bring lights to see you home.
Christmas Morning Ride: 25th December
For the sixth year running, we will be having a short ride on Christmas morning. We'll meet at 10.30 at the top (north end) of Middle Meadow Walk. The ride will be about ten miles, mainly in and around the city centre, and will finish by 13.00 at the latest.
I'll post a reminder of the Christmas run, and further details of the route, nearer the time.
In addition to our own runs this month, EasyCycle will be having a special ride on the 18th December to mark the winter solstice (after which the days start getting longer again). Meet at 10.30 outside Peter's Yard (which is just down the hill from our own usual meeting point). EasyCycle rides tend to be fairly short (12 - 15 miles) and go at a relaxed pace.
Yet more rides
If the above outings aren't enough for you, keep in mind that other Edinburgh cycling groups also have organised rides throughout the year. You can find details of these on my website: www.cycling-edinburgh.org.uk
Do you ever have questions about cycling in Edinburgh but don't know who to ask? Or do your friends ever ask you questions on this subject that you can't answer?
If so, take a look at Cycling in Edinburgh - Your Questions Answered. This is an FAQ that I have prepared for anyone who needs specific information about riding a bike in the Scottish capital. I wrote it because I often get asked questions myself through my website, especially from people thinking of visiting from abroad. Typically, they want to know where to hire a bike, which roads are safe to cycle on, whether the hotels are bike-friendly, whether they can take their bikes on trains or trams, and quite a lot more. I hope this information will also be useful to local cyclists like yourself.
That's all for now. Sorry this has been a longer post than usual. Remember, you don't need to contact anyone if you are planning to come on any of the above rides. Just turn up on the day.