20th Anniversary Year

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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

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