Today's ride saw us explore some of the bike paths and quiet roads in the south of the city. We also
found a lunch venue we had never used before. As the 20 Milers enters its fourteenth year, it is
inevitable that we often find ourselves visiting places we have been many times before. So credit to
today's leader for devising a route that included some unfamiliar places weaved in amongst the sections we know so well.
The forecast had us expecting a rather wet day. In the end, we had not a drop of rain and some long spells of sunshine. Yes, it was a bit windy at times; but nothing like on the recce which had to be abandoned [in the interests of safety] when a rider was blown off their bike. Today was the first time in a while it wasn't bitterly cold or wet, or both. Given the forecast, a turnout of 25 riders was quite impressive. Following a comprehensive briefing, we headed off [in one group] towards the Innocent Railway. Onwards through the tunnel to Bingham, where we turned right under the bridge. From there we meandered through the backstreets of Niddrie and Greendykes to emerge on The Wisp. Up The Wisp on the shared use path beside the busy road, along the quiet roads of Danderhall and we came to the busy Old Dalkeith Road. Across that, through the green doors set in the wall and we found ourselves in the lovely Drum Estate - a perfect setting for a cake and sweetie stop. Leaving the estate behind, a stretch on the busy Gilmerton Station Road followed. It was here that the rider had been blown over on the recce. Fortunately, there was no drama on this ocassion. We took the path beside the road to climb the [deceptively steep] Lasswade Road. We made our way through Burdiehouse Park. From there, some unfamiliar back streets brought us out on Captain's Road. We pressed on along Frogston Road before turning into the Mortonhall Estate. We stopped to regroup outside the Stable Bar. For once, this was not our lunch venue. Some slightly muddy tracks led us to the Braid Hills Golf Centre at Liberton. This was our lunch venue; and a good one it turned out to be.
All suitably replenished, we headed out onto Liberton Drive. The leader had warned us that this, and Braid Hills Drive that followed, were very poor quality roads. She wasn't wrong! The state of the road could only be described as appalling! Past the Braid Hills Hotel, along Braid Road and Braidburn Terrace and we were in Braidburn Valley Park. We often use this route as we head towards Colinton. But it did seem strange being there in the afternoon rather than the morning. This was part of the loop out to Colinton. From there we began to head back towards the Meadows. Through the Colinton Tunnel, alongside the Water of Leith before joining the Union Canal towpath which took us back to Leamington Bridge. As we got closer in towards the city, a number of riders peeled off towards home. The remainder headed back to the finish at Middle Meadow Walk.
Thanks to Verity for leading an enjoyable ride. Good to visit less familiar places, and all credit for
finding a new lunch venue - one I'm sure we will be happy to use again.
Map trace: Jim
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