Saturday, 17 September 2016
Map trace: Jim
Monday, 12 September 2016
|Silvesands Beach. Photo: Sandy Gemmill|
This coming Saturday (17th), we have the last of our Extra rides for this year (our normal rides will continue through the winter, of course).
So far this summer, our Extras have taken us into various parts of West Lothian and East Lothian. This time, we will be heading into Fife. After crossing the Forth Road Bridge, we will head east along the Fife Coastal Path, passing St David's Harbour and Dalgety Bay, and then into Aberdour.
Pace and distance
As you know, our Extra rides are longer than our normal outings. This one will be 35 - 40 miles, and will go at a slightly faster pace than you might be used to. If you haven't cycled much recently, or are unsure about your fitness level, please think carefully before you decide to come on this ride. But if you usually feel comfortable with our longer runs, this one should present no difficulties.
Most of the route will be on roads and well-surfaced paths, with only one or two short stretches on rough tracks. There will only be a few hills - none of them particularly demanding.
For our lunch stop, we will make for the very attractive Silversands Bay. This is a particularly nice spot for a picnic. It has a pleasant park and a beautiful beach, with extensive views over the Firth of Forth. There are plenty of picnic tables. There is also a café nearby for those who prefer a hot lunch, as well as a snack bar where you can get a tea or coffee.
A point to note. The above-mentioned café has been known to refuse to top up cyclists' water bottles - something that most cafés and pubs are happy to do. As far as I know, there is nowhere else nearby where you can take on water, so be sure to bring an adequate supply with you.
Meeting time and place
The ride will leave from our alternative meeting point at the path junction in Craigleith (see here for directions). As usual with our Extra rides, we will set out at the earlier start time of 10.00.
I can't say for sure what time the ride will end, but I think it's likely that we will be back at Craigleith around 4 pm or soon after.
Saturday, 10 September 2016
Suitably replenished after a good lunch, we rolled away from Craig House and made our way to the pleasant village of Inveresk. By St Michael's kirk we negotiated a gate and made our way down to the path beside the River Esk which took us back to Tesco in Musselburgh. We crossed the busy Mall Avenue and made our way towards Fisherrow Harbour via Eskside West; remembering to duck as we rode under the bridge which carries the aptly named Bridge Street. After a brief pause at Fisherrow, one final detour took us up Newhailes Avenue and Newhailes Crescent to emerge on the busy Edinburgh Road through a gate set into the wall. A few hundred yards on this road and we turned left through another hole in the wall to join the Brunstane path. This lovely path which hugs the Brunstane Burn brought us out at Brunstane station. From there we joined the familiar NCN 1 for our run back into town. It was on this path at Jewel Park that we had our only puncture of the day. Thanks to Alan Orr for ensuring the unfortunate rider was back under way with minimal delay. Positive feedback suggested that everyone enjoyed the day's ride. Good weather, some unfamiliar territory, a short stretch of challenging off-road riding, good company - what more could anyone want from a 20 Milers outing? Ah, of course; the chance to ascend a very tough hill with minimal climbing.
Photos: Glenn and Michael
Map trace: David
Monday, 5 September 2016
We've got an interesting ride planned for next Saturday - see below for full details. We've also got one of our Extra rides scheduled for the following weekend; there are brief details of that at the end of this post.
Monthly ride: 10th September
For our September run, Glenn will be leading us into East Lothian, on a route that takes in parts of the River Esk Walkway, the Peniciuk Railway Path and the Pencaitland Path. The high point of the morning will be the summit of Falside Hill (144 metres above sea level). Now, if you've ever cycled up Falside, you'll know that it is a long steep slog to the summit from Tranent or Prestonpans, and even more of a grind from Whitecraig. But don't worry. Glenn has come up with an interesting route that will get us close to the top with only a very gentle ascent. I recently cycled the route myself, and can assure you that it works as advertised.
But be warned. While much of the route will be on tarmac, there will also be some sections that are very much off-road. These include a mile or two on rough paths that might also be muddy, and a particularly narrow stretch where some riders might prefer to dismount and walk. There will also be a short flight of steps to negotiate.
The total length of the ride will be about 26 miles.
For lunch, we'll head to one of our regular stops: the Premier Inn near Whitecraig. This offers basic pub food at reasonable prices. It's by no means gourmet fare, but it should provide us with the calories we need. As always, you have the option of bringing your own food for a picnic lunch.
Because most of the mileage for the ride will be in the morning, with a relatively short afternoon leg, the lunch stop might be on the late side. So adjust your appetite accordingly.
The ride will start from our usual meeting place at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. As the route will be a little longer than usual, we'll aim to set out sharp at 10.30. We'll probably arrive back at the Meadows some time between 3.30 and 4.00 pm (but don't hold me to that).
Remember, all our rides are free and open to all. You don't need to book in advance - just turn up on the day.
20-Milers Extra: 17th September
For our second ride this month, Julia (Richardson) will be taking us on a rare excursion into Fife. This will be one of our longer and faster runs. I'll post more details nearer the time, but for now, note the date, and also that we will be starting at 10 am (half an hour earlier than usual), from our alternative meeting point in Craigleith.