Monday, 30 April 2018
This coming Saturday (5th May) sees the first of our summer season of Extra rides. These rides are a little longer than our usual "second Saturday" outings, and go at a somewhat faster pace - but always with the same sociable and friendly atmosphere. If you find our normal rides well within your capabilities, you should enjoy this Extra. But anyone who hasn't done much cycling during the winter, or has doubts about their fitness level, might prefer to give this one a miss.
Meeting place and route
For Saturday's run, we will meet at the Sustrans marker at the Craigleith path junction. See here if you are not sure where that is. We will aim to leave promptly at 10.15.
We will head out along NCN1 to South Queensferry, then follow the John Muir Way through the Hopetoun Estate and along the coastal path to Blackness. This part of the route is particularly pleasant, with reasonably good path surfaces, excellent views and no bad hills.
But that will change after our lunch stop, with a killer hill to start the afternoon, followed by a short stretch on a busy road. But things will soon improve, with quiet roads and only few gentle hills as we head inland. We'll take the canal towpath from Philpstoun to Niddry Castle, then return to our start point via Kirkliston and the Carlowrie Road.
The total distance will be about 32 miles. I expect the ride will finish around 4 pm, depending on various factors.
Our lunch stop will be a picnic in the grounds of Blackness Castle. There is no café or pub at the castle, so please bring your own lunch. There is, however, a gift shop where you can buy hot drinks (from a vending machine) and a limited range of confectionery and ice cream. There are toilets there as well.
Since our last visit to Blackness, a small shop has opened in the village (about half a mile from the castle). They sell filled rolls, but the choice might be limited, so it might be wise not to rely on it.
What if the weather is bad?
A slight drizzle or chilly breeze won't put us off. But if the weather is really atrocious, we might do a shorter ride, possibly with a café stop either for coffee or lunch. We will make that decision at the start point.
Remember, all our rides are free and open to all. There is no booking system, and no need to let anyone know in advance whether or not you will be coming..
And whether or not you can make it on Saturday, we have our normal monthly ride the following weekend. I'll post a reminder of that one here nearer the time.
Saturday, 14 April 2018
The route for today's ride started as an attempt to circumnavigate Edinburgh Airport by the shortest route. Whilst recceing the route, we made a few changes and tweaks such that it should perhaps best be described as a ride to Kirkliston.
Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the ride. We visited places that were new to many; and of course, how nice it was to have some warm and dry weather. Please let this be the start of some decent weather. It really did feel as if winter would never come to an end.
Monday, 9 April 2018
We've got our April ride this Saturday (14th). I hope you'll be able to make it.
Glenn will be leading us on an interesting circuit to the west of the city. We'll start out on the canal towpath as far as Hermiston House, then take back roads and bike paths to Ratho Station and Kirkliston. After lunch, we'll head back to town by the Carlowrie Road and NCN 1.
The total distance will be about 23 miles. There will be one steep hill and a few gentle ones. Most of the route will be on firm surfaces except for about a mile on a narrow path which might be muddy.
Our lunch stop will be at a venue which we haven't visited before as a group: the Conifox Garden Centre near Kirkliston. They have a restaurant with an extensive menu, as well as a large picnic area for those who prefer to bring their own food.
The meeting time and place are the same as ever: 10:30 at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk.
This year's Pedal on Parliament takes place on the 28th of this month (see www.cycling-edinburgh.org.uk for details). I don't yet know if we will be organising a 20-Milers contingent to take part. If we do, I'll post details here.
And on 5th May, we've got our first Extra of the season. These are longer rides which go a little faster than our normal runs. For this first one, we'll be heading to Blackness Castle. I'll post more details here nearer the time.
Finally, Jim will be starting his season of summer evening rides quite soon. Again, I'll post more details as they become available.