EDINBURGH 20-MILERS

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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Evening rides start this week


Starting this coming Thursday (27th April), we will be having an evening ride every week throughout the summer. These rides will be about 15 miles or so, and will be taken at a moderate "sociable" pace. That means about 10 mph, which is a little faster than our Saturday runs but not so fast that you can't keep up a conversation.

The details are as follows:


Meeting point: At the very end of the Union Canal in Fountainbridge. Look for us near the outside tables at the back of the Akva bar.

Start time: We'll gather from 18.30, in time for a 18.45 departure.

Finish time: Most rides will end around dusk, which is about 20.30 at present but nearer 22.00 in mid June. Be sure to bring lights (with plenty of spare battery power).

Cost and booking: Like all of our rides, these evening runs are completely free, with no need to book in advance.

Other details: In most cases, the ride will end at or near the start point. There might sometimes be an optional pub visit at the end of the ride, but note that there will be no official meal break.

We won't be posting individual reminders for these rides, so keep the above details handy. There is also a special blog page where you can find details of the routes that have been planned so far, as well as directions to the meeting point and other useful information. See http://20milers.pbworks.com.

Thanks to Jim for taking the initiative in planning and organising these events.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Pedal on Parliament this Saturday


20-Milers meeting for the 2016 PoP
As you probably know, the annual Pedal on Parliament takes place this coming Saturday (22nd April). This is a fun event, in which thousands of cyclists descend on the city centre, and ride from the Meadows to Holyrood on roads closed to motor vehicles.

As usual, a 20-Milers contingent will be taking part. We will meet outside the Bicycle Works in Argyle Place (which is just south of the Meadows, near the southern end of Middle Meadow Walk). We'll gather from 11.00, and aim to join to main crowd on the Meadows at 11.15.

If you miss us at the above meeting point, make your own way to the Meadows, and look out for us there.

The event includes a mass bell-ringing, so if you have a particularly loud bell or a hooter, please bring it. If you can decorate your bike with flags or balloons, so much the better.

I hope you'll be able to make it. If you want to know more about Pedal on Parliament, have a look at the event's website.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Our next cycling weekend: Perth in May


This year's 20-Milers cycling weekend will be to Perth on 20th – 21st May.

We'll leave Edinburgh on the Saturday morning and make our way to Perth. We'll  stay overnight (all meet up for dinner) in Perth and return to Edinburgh on the Sunday.

The pace will be similar to a usual 20-Milers rides. The distance each day will be about 40 miles.

You will need to book your own accommodation. It's very likely that we'll end up in several different hotels / guest houses / bed &  breakfasts.

If you are interested in joining this ride, please let Glenn know. This doesn't commit you to anything. It's just to give us an idea of numbers, and also so that we can keep you informed of any changes in plan.

Please reply direct to Glenn Brearley, glenn.brearleyATTforestry.gsi.gov.uk (replace ATT with the usual AT-sign).

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Carberry beneath blue skies


At the end of a week when the 20 Milers had said farewell to one of their own; today's ride was never going to be easy. A respectable turn out of 25 riders gathered at the start for the April ride to Carberry. Beneath blue skies with a slight chill in the air, the leader spent a couple of minutes paying tribute to Logan Strang who sadly passed away whilst riding with friends from the group on 25th March. There then followed the customary briefing before we headed off towards the Innocent tunnel in one group. It was good to see new faces and some we hadn't seen for a while mixed in with the regular ones. It was nice to see the road works had gone from Milton Road as we made our way towards Musselburgh station along familiar paths. At the station, we halted as various sweets and cakes were passed round. Just after leaving the station, we realised that the back marker and a couple of others were missing. The group waited a few minutes. With no sign of them, a rider was sent back to look for them. No joy. We set off hoping that they would wait by the River Esk and rejoin us there. That's what happened. After leaving the station, they had lost sight of the rest of the group and taken the second left rather than the third. We were now all back together; suspecting that Logan was laughing at us from on high. We crossed the river, made our way down the side of the race course and onto the John Muir Way as far as Prestonpans. Following a brief comfort stop, we made our way past Prestonpans station before turning onto a track that took us to the cyclepath and to the edge of Tranent. From there we climbed steadily to Elphinstone. It was now quite warm as the chill wind had dropped. Layers of clothing were shed. After re-grouping on the forecourt of a classic car dealership, we took the lovely quiet road that brought us to Crossgatehall. Just down from there, we entered the lovely Carberry estate. A ride along dirt tracks in the estate, back onto the road and we arrived at Craig House for our lunch stop. We were slightly later than planned. But no one minded as we spread ourselves around the beer garden tables in the warm sunshine. This was in contrast to the day of the recce, when four brave souls had endured dreadfully wet weather.

Lunch over, we got back on the road and began our journey towards Edinburgh. We made our way through the village of Inveresk to the church. After negotiating a gate, we sped downhill and onto the path beside the River Esk known as "The Grove". This took us to Tesco. Getting all the riders across the road took a few minutes. From there we made our way to Fisherrow Harbour. Crossing the busy road out of Musselburgh, quiet back roads took us to a gate in a wall. Through the gate, a short stretch on a busy road, through a hole in the wall and we were on the Brunstane path. We were making good progress until we came to a fence blocking the path. Fortunately, there was a diversion that took us to where we needed to be. From there, a familiar route took us back to the Meadows. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the ride, and the newcomers were made to feel welcome. We had lovely weather and for most of the group, they had discovered places they hadn't been before. On a ride the leader had dedicated to Logan, I think we did him proud. He was in our thoughts and conversations a lot today and we can be sure he would have enjoyed the ride. We will miss him, but never forget him. Logan, thank you for being our friend - it was a privilege.

Leader: Glenn
Report: Glenn
Photos: Glenn
Map trace: Jim


Monday, 27 March 2017

Logan Strang 1938 - 2017


I am very sorry to report that one of our best-known and longest-standing members has died. George Strang - known to us all as Logan - suffered a heart attack while out cycling with three of our group in East Lothian on Saturday. He was 79.

Logan turned to cycling following the death of a daughter in 2004. Never one to sit at home or feel sorry for himself, he often said that cycling was what kept him sane. He had been a regular member of 20-Milers since 2007, and often led our rides. He also cycled with other local groups, and took part in several big charity rides including Pedal for Scotland and the Lepra St. Andrews run. A few years ago, he undertook a solo coast-to-coast bike ride from North Yorkshire to Iona.

Always keen to encourage new and less experienced cyclists, he was the driving force behind the setting up of EasyCycle in 2011, and ran the group almost single-handed until late 2015.

Logan was born in 1938, and attended Merchiston Castle school. After completing his National Service, part of which was spent in Cyprus, he became a science teacher, and taught for many years at George Watson's College. Always active and physically fit, he often took his pupils on sailing and skiing trips.

A few weeks ago, Logan was admitted to hospital for a minor operation. He was recovering well, and was soon back in the saddle. On Saturday, he joined three other members of our group for a ride to Humbie. Soon after the lunch stop, he collapsed by the side of the road. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the Infirmary, but was pronounced dead soon afterwards.

Despite some setbacks to his health in recent months, Logan repeatedly said that he would never give up cycling – and he never did. As one of our members put it, "If there can be any consolation at such a time, he passed away doing what he loved doing, with good friends, on a beautiful day. In typical fashion, he was cheerful to the end."

Funeral arrangements. A service will be held at St Peters Church, Falcon Avenue, Morningside at 1 pm on Wednesday 5th April. Family flowers only please, and no black. Retiring collection in aid of SCIAF.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A March meander to Riccarton


We had an excellent turnout for today's ride to Riccarton (I counted 28 but there might have been more), so leader Michael (Law) wisely decided to split us into two groups. Actually, it turned out to be three groups, but that was by accident rather than design; more about that in a moment.

Michael's group set out confidently and made it to the lunch venue without mishap. But before the second party was able to depart, that oh-so-familiar cry was heard: puncture! A couple of willing hands helped fix the problem, and before long the second group was on its way as well.

The unexpected closure of the canal towpath near Viewforth had forced us to make a hasty adjustment to our itinerary. Because of some uncertainty over the new route, the leadership of the second group was something of a joint effort involving Verity and myself. We were scarcely off the Meadows before we noticed that three members of the party were missing, including the backmarker and his deputy. (Was it not Oscar Wilde who said, "To lose one backmarker may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness." Well, maybe not.)

Rightly or wrongly, we made a decision to carry on without the three absentees. So we proceeded on our revised route down Whitehouse Loan, up Woodehouse Terrace and Braid Road to the Comiston Road traffic lights, and then into Braidburn Valley Park. There had been light drizzle at the start of the ride, but this was now giving way to clearer skies, giving us fine views of the Pentland Hills.

We followed the path beside the Braid Burn to Redford Road, then freewheeled down into Colinton, where we paused for a comfort break. Our route then took us up Woodhall Road, down West Mill Road and onto the Water of Leith path. A couple of miles later, we turned off the path and headed through Currie and into the back gate of the Heriot-Watt campus.

And so we reached our lunch venue, which was the spacious canteen in the university's main building. Considering the place is usually deserted on Saturdays, they offer a surprisingly good range of meals and snacks. As always the staff served us cheerfully and efficiently.

Michael's party had arrived about ten minutes before us, and left about ten minutes before our own departure. Just as we were getting ready to leave, who should arrive but the three riders that we had lost on the Meadows. It turned out that the person who had had the puncture at the start of the run had suffered the same fate again almost immediately afterwards. With no further inner tubes available, and with all attempts at patching the existing tube proving unsuccessful, the puncturee and the two helpers/backmarkers headed for the Edinburgh Bike Co-op for a new tube. The problem thus solved, the three made record time catching us up. But we had no desire to hang around while they gobbled their belated lunch, so we again set out without them.

For the return leg of the ride, we took a slightly devious route out of the campus (to avoid a running race which was taking place that afternoon). Then, after crossing the main Calder Road, we headed along Gogar Station Road and into Edinburgh Park, past the Gyle shopping centre and South Gyle station, and then along the familiar route through Corstorphine, Balgreen, Roseburn, and so back to the Meadows. The first group had made it back a few minutes before us. The three riders in the third group, having finished their hasty lunch at the campus, had made a bee-line back to town on the canal towpath, and arrived not long after the rest of us. Thus re-united, members of all three groups partook of refreshments while sitting in the warm sunshine outside Peter's Yard café.

Leaders and backmarkers: Jim, Glenn, Michael, Mike, Neil, Verity, in various combinations
Report and photo: Mike
Map (showing third group's route): Jim


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

March 20-Milers - plus more rides


Now that the worst of the winter is behind us (let's hope), this would be a good time to think about forthcoming bike rides. This post contains news of a few events you might be interested in. I hope you'll be able to make at least some of them.


March 20-Milers this coming Saturday


For this month's run (on 11th), Michael will be leading us out to the west of the city, mainly on quiet roads and sheltered paths. It won't be a long run, nor a particularly demanding one, apart from a couple of gentle hills. If you haven't cycled for a while, this would be a good way to ease yourself back into the saddle.

We'll meet as usual at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk in time for a 10.30 departure. Our lunch stop will be in the canteen at Heriot-Watt in Riccarton. This is a very spacious eatery, serving a reasonable selection of sandwiches and hot snacks. For those of us who prefer to bring our own food, there is plenty of room to eat it, both inside and outside the building.

As always, please treat the above information as provisional. The starting place and time may be regarded as definite, but we sometimes have to vary the route or choose a different lunch venue, depending on various factors.


Fancy-dress bike ride (2nd April)


Jenny Tizard is organising this fun event to raise funds for a local charity called Bikes for Refugees. Their aim is to provide refugees and asylum seekers with old or refurbished bikes. Personally, I think this is a very worthwhile cause, partly because it helps a vulnerable group of people at a time of crisis in their lives; and partly because it gets people cycling who might not otherwise be able to do so.

The plan is for us all to decorate our bikes and/or ourselves to make the ride as eye-catching as possible. The route will be quite short, and all are welcome. If you absolutely can't manage a fancy dress, just a couple of balloons will suffice. And if even that's not possible, come anyway to show your support.

For further information, see this page (which also has contact details):
https://www.facebook.com/events/585371101654809/


Pedal on Parliament (22nd April)

I don't have any more information yet about this event, but you might like to note the date.


20-Milers weekend  (20th - 21st May)


This will be our fourth cycling weekend. The destination hasn't been confirmed yet, but you can at least save the date. The formula will be the same as in past years: we will set out from Edinburgh on the Saturday morning, returning late Sunday afternoon. Riders will be responsible for booking their own accommodation, with the group meeting up for a restaurant or pub meal on the Saturday evening.

Look out for a circular from Glenn with full details later in the month.


St. Andrews ride (17th June)


The date has now been fixed for this popular event. And for the first time in several years, the organisers have managed to avoid a clash with our own monthly run. If you have never tried it, do give it a go. It's a challenging ride, but a very enjoyable one.

Full details can be found here: http://www.cycling-edinburgh.org.uk/lepra-ride.htm


Mellow Velo, Spokes and CTC


Many of our members ride regularly with one or other of these Edinburgh-based groups. Between them, they have a ride almost every weekend. Spokes go out on the first Sunday of the month; their rides are usually faster and longer than ours, with a long pub or restaurant stop for lunch. CTC have rides of varying lengths at different times of the month.

Mellow Velo specialise in weekends away, but they also have a few day rides coming up. These include an East Lothian run on 18th March and a ride to the Vale of Leven on 8th April. Their first weekend ride of 2017 will be to Callander on 6th to 7th May.

Full details of all the above rides can be found on my own website: www.cycling-edinburgh.org.uk.

That's all for now. As you can see, there are a lot of events to choose from. I hope I'll see you on some of them.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Fancy Dress Bike Ride - 2nd April


Jenny Tizard has sent us this message:

I am writing to let you know about a special bike ride that I am organising for Sunday 2nd April.

The event is a fancy-dress ride. We will be riding around the centre of Edinburgh, with bikes and/or riders decorated in the most eye-catching way possible - and with prizes for the best.

The ride is in aid of a local charity which I am involved with. It is called Bikes for Refugees. We accept donations of old or damaged bikes, which we refurbish and pass on to refugees and asylum seekers. In this way we are helping a very vulnerable group of people at a time of crisis in their lives - not to mention keeping old bikes out of landfills.

The ride is free but we will be collecting donations for the charity. Any money raised will be used to pay for the repair and storage of bikes, as well as for essential safety equipment such as helmets and lights. All contributions will be very welcome.

Time and place: Gather from 10.30 am, at the usual 20-Milers meeting point at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. The ride will set out at 11 am and last about 45 minutes.

Route: Grassmarket, Princes Street, St Andrews Square, Royal Mile, Chamber Street, and then back to the Meadows.

Afterwards: At the end of the ride there will be prize-giving and a chance to find out more about the Bikes for Refugees project. You can also talk to some Syrian refugees now living in Edinburgh who have got bikes through the project.

Booking: There's no need to book in advance. Just turn up on the day, with your bike and fancy dress. (If you haven't got a bike, come anyway as a spectator.)

More information: See the event's Facebook page or email me at jennytizard[AT]gmail.com (replace [AT] with the usual @-sign).

I hope to see you on the day.

Jenny

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The dirty dozen ride to Roslin


Today's ride to Roslin was never likely to be cancelled due to the weather, despite a forecast promising heavy rain all day. But with that in mind, previous heavy rain and some muddy paths to contend with, anyone that had previously cleaned their bike must have wondered why they had bothered. It was also very cold, but fortunately not icy. The weather obviously had a big impact. Only 12 riders made the start, all of them hardened regulars. It's been a very long time since we had such a low turn out. No need to worry about two groups or any indepth briefing. We headed off towards the Innocent Tunnel. One rider was heard to say, "I'm wearing every item of clothing I possess". At Duddingston Road West, we cut through Kings Haugh to Peffermill Road. Once across, we took the path through Craigmillar Castle Park and encountered the first mud of the day before emerging beside the Royal Infirmary. We crossed the busy Old Dalkeith Road, pausing to allow an ambulance into the hospital and headed into Moredun. A road closure in the estate diverted us from our usual route. But we were soon back on course and heading for the cycle track that would take us all the way to Roslin. A mixture of mud and slushy snow made the path quite slippery. But a drama-free ride took us to our lunch stop in Roslin. It was lovely to be inside the warm pub eating hot food on such a cold day. Some even shed layers of clothing as they warmed up.

All nice and warm, that inevitable shock hit us on stepping back out into the cold. Despite a few grumbles and someone saying, "I'd rather have an afternoon nap", we were soon rolling again. As we set off, a small boy was heard to say to his mum, "look, an old man on a bike". Oh, from the mouths of babes! Consternation followed as the group tried to determine who he had been referring to! We headed back the way we had come. But we left the path and took the old route via Straiton pond. This stretch was the muddiest of the day and brought us out at Straiton Retail Park. Paths beside busy main roads took us to Burdiehouse, where we joined Burdiehouse Road. From there we headed back towards town via Howden Hall Road, Liberton Gardens, Liberton Road and Craigmillar Park. On Mayfield Gardens we were hit by a gust of wind so strong that it almost stopped us in our tracks. We recovered from that and made our way back to the Meadows where the leader declared the ride over. At just under 20 miles, this had been a shorter ride. But given the weather and mud, no one seemed to mind. Whilst the weather was far from pleasant, it was far from the worst we have endured and was not as bad as forecasted. Thanks to Jim for leading us on an interesting and less familiar route to and from Roslin. Thanks also to Verity on her maiden outing as backmarker. A role she seemed to relish. Something of a natural; we expect to see her bringing up the rear again soon.

Leader: Jim
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael
Map trace: Jim



Monday, 6 February 2017

20-Milers to Roslin this coming Saturday


This month's 20-Milers ride will take place this coming Saturday (11th). Jim will be leading us out to Roslin. The route is just about 20 miles, with no particular difficulties except for a couple of short stretches on main roads. As always, we'll meet at the top of Middle Meadow Walk, in time for a 10.30 departure.

For lunch, there is a choice between a pub and a café, both in the centre of the village. There is also a nice picnic spot a short distance away for those who prefer to bring their own food.

I hope you can make it. Remember, you don't need to let anyone know that you are coming. Just turn up on the day.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Back to Basics in Musselburgh


Today's ride was something of a one-off. Referred to as a Back to Basics ride; it came about to address comments raised by a number of regular riders that some of our rides were becoming too long, too fast and too arduous. The ethos of the 20 Milers has always been, "most rides are around 20 miles, and are taken at a "sociable" pace (8 - 9 mph over the day, which is not so fast that you can't keep up a conversation). For whatever reasons, we were concerned that this ethos was coming under threat - hence the need for today's ride.

The temperature was just above freezing, but it was bright and sunny as the riders began to assemble. Despite the temperature, there were no icy patches on any of the roads or paths to catch anyone out. We ended up with a roll call of 18. In amongst the regular faces were several riders we hadn't seen for a while and two on their maiden outing with the group. Following the obligatory leader's briefing (where the reason for this additional ride was explained), we headed off towards Musselburgh in one group. We took the tried-and-tested route along the cycle path to the Innocent Tunnel. We whizzed through the tunnel which felt exceptionally cold today. Despite one of the group being convinced that Death eaters live in the tunnel, we didn't see any. Perhaps someone had watched too many Harry Potter films over Christmas! We followed the Innocent Railway path as far as the Range (formerly Big W), where we stopped in the car park as cakes and sweets were passed around by some of the group. Full of cake and sweets, we headed off. Major road woks on Milton Road meant the cycle path was narrower than usual. But the group negotiated it without any problem. At least it was open, unlike the main road to Musselburgh. Through the housing estate, which seemed very busy with traffic and back on the cycle path to Newcraighall. We faced further heavy traffic heading towards Fort Kinnaird. It was nice to turn off into a quiet back street and join the path to Musselburgh station. A path we had to ourselves. A brief stop beside the station to regroup before heading through another housing estate. On reaching the main road, a few of us were confused when a car already on the roundabout stopped to wave the 18 cyclists across. Whilst very kind of the driver, such actions often lead to confusion due to being so unexpected. From there we made our way onto the delightful path beside the River Esk, known locally as the Grove. This brought us out beside Tesco. A further short stretch of busy road, and we took to the path, ducked our heads and nipped under Musselburgh's main road bridge. A ride down the cobbles of Mill Hill, along Kerrs Wynd and we emerged at the bottom end of the High Street. We made use of the new bike racks and headed off for lunch. A few went elsewhere, but most of the group headed to the Cafe on the Corner. Both the service and food were exceptional. Having received such a warm welcome, that is somewhere we will definitely return to.

Lunch over; we reconvened at the bike racks. One rider had a problem with his lock. Fortunately it was soon resolved and we headed off. Except for two at the back. One rider suffered a mechanical issue and had to stop and fix it. As ever, the back marker stayed with the stricken rider. The tools came out, adjustments were made and the two were rolling again. The remainder of the group realised they were two short, so stopped and waited. After a few minutes, two riders were sent back to see what the problem was; arriving just as the two set off again. A very effective demonstration that no one ever gets left behind on our rides. If only all cycling groups took that attitude! All together again, we took the prom as far as Fisherrow Harbour. From there we took the main road to Joppa. The group streamed onto Portobello prom only to be confronted with a "Cyclists Dismount" sign and a severely restricted width of prom due to the laying of new gas mains. Muttering something about, "it wasn't like this when I recce'ed the route two weeks ago", the leader was forced to turn round and took us back to the main road. We weren't on it long before we turned left and made our way over the bridge crossing Sir Harry Lauder Road and the railway yards. Rather than take the road up to Milton Road, we were able to make use of the excellent new cycle path that now exists courtesy of the new Portobello High School. Across Milton Road, through the Magdalenes and we were back on the Innocent Railway. A trouble free run saw us return to the Meadows where the leader declared the ride officially over. Well done to Jim for doing a great job of leading the first Back to Basics ride. At just over 17 miles, it was shorter than usual. Feedback suggests it was a great success. The pace was right. It wasn't too hard and the distance was right. There is a possibility there will be another of these rides as spring approaches. Details will be on the website. The usual 20 Milers rides will continue on the second Saturday of each month as before, and there will be the usual series of 20 Milers Extra rides during the summer.

Leader: Jim
Report: Glenn
Photos: Glenn
Map trace: Jim



Tuesday, 17 January 2017

"Basics" ride this coming Saturday


We've got an additional ride this coming Saturday (21st) - something of a new venture for the group.

If you haven't done much cycling this winter, or if you are feeling below your normal fitness level, this ride is for you. It will go a little slower than on our normal runs; take slightly longer breaks; and try especially hard to avoid nasty hills.

The route hasn't been finalised yet, but it's likely we'll be heading to Musselburgh. The distance will be approximately 18 miles.

The ride starts at 10.30, from our usual meeting point at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. We should be back in town by early- to mid-afternoon. As always, the ride is free, with no need to book in advance: just turn up on the day.

Thanks to Jim for his initiative in organising this ride. Depending on your feedback, it might become a regular item on our calendar.

Final point: the ride is open to all. Even if you have been cycling all winter, and you are above your normal fitness level, you will still be welcome to join us - provided you are happy with the slower pace.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

A modern start to 2017


The 20 Milers opened their account for 2017 with today's ride to the Gallery of Modern Art. Despite the sunshine, it was cold and there were a few icy stretchs on some paths to watch out for. Despite a run there being a tried and tested one, Mike added to the interest by changing the route in places. The section between Holyrood Park and Lochend Park had a number of our regular riders unsure as to where they were. There were 19 riders at the start. A reasonable turnout given the cold and icy conditions. But we have had higher January turnouts in the past. Surely those "I'm going to get fit in 2017" new year resolutions couldn't have been abandoned less than half way through January? It's always good to have new riders turn up. This time there was only one. But we hope they enjoyed it enough to come back. The group rolled away from the Meadows and took the familiar route towards the Innocent tunnel. One of our regulars was so used to going through the tunnel, he headed that way and had to be called back. On this ocassion, we continued past the tunnel entrance and made our way into Holyrood Park and whizzed down Queen's Drive. We turned off the road at the car park and made our way towards London Road. Via paths and quiet roads we made our way to Clockmill Lane. A cut-through between flats and a few more quiet back streets left many in the group wondering where they were. It's always nice to discover new parts of what you consider to be familiar territory. Arriving on Lower London Road, the majority knew where they were once again. A left turn was followed by a short spell on the very busy London Road. A right turn, more unfamiliar back streets and we found ourselves on a path that took us through Lochend Park to emerge beind the Hibs football stadium. We crossed Easter Road, and via Brunswick Road and Macdonald Road joined the path that took us into St Mark's Park where we stopped in the sunshine. So many snacks appeared that it was reminiscent of the Christmas Day ride. Suitably replenished, we made our way onwards past the Royal Botanic Gardens and into Inverleith Park. We passed the impressive Fettes College and made our way through the backstreets of Craigleith to the retail park. From there we made our way through the grounds of Mary Erskine School, along Ravelston Dykes Road and Ravelston Park to arrive for our lunch stop at the Gallery of Modern Art in Belford Road.

After a pleasant warm, and lunch in the cafe, we set off for what promised to be a relatively short run back into town. Before leaving the grounds of the gallery, there was some debate as to whether something there was a picnic table, fancy bike stand or a work of art! Cultural experience over; we retraced our steps to Ravelston Dykes Road. From there we made our way through the grounds of St George's School and on to the Roseburn Path. From the zig-zags via the Telfer subway, Fountainpark, the canal, Leamington Bridge and a twiddle through the backstreets of Bruntsfield, we returned to the Meadows. At barely 15 miles, this was one of the shortest rides for a while. The sunshine linked with the fact it wasn't quite as cold as earlier and it being quite early, had some riders feeling they should stay out longer. But it had been a good ride and finishing early after a shorter ride is more acceptable in January than July.


Leader: Mike
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael
Map trace: Jim


Sunday, 8 January 2017

January ride this coming Saturday


For our first ride of 2017 this coming Saturday (14th), we will be taking a tour of bike paths in the north of the city. Our route will include Holyrood, Lochend Park, Inverleith Park and Craigleith. The ride will be a little shorter than usual, and should end fairly early (probably between 2 pm and 3 pm - but don't hold me that). There will be one steep climb (just before lunch), and a couple of busy main roads to cross, but no other difficulties of any kind.

Our lunch stop will be at the cafe at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Belford Road. The food there is usually very good, but be warned that it can be crowded and we might not all get a seat straight away. For those who prefer to bring their own food, there are places suitable for a picnic.

We will leave from our habitual spot at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk, at 10.30.

The ride is planned to end well before dark, but it would be prudent to bring lights in case we get delayed, and also to see you home if you live some distance from the end point.

As always, please regard the above information as provisional. Depending on various factors, there is always the possibility that we might change the route at the last minute.

Remember, you don't need to tell us in advance that you will, or will not, be joining a ride. Just turn up on the day.