Today's ride saw us head out to that old favourite, Craigie's Farm. In recent years it's become a regular season opener. We've experienced a variety of weather over the years; everything from an unexpectedly dry and mild day to freezing cold and wet. In 2020, four brave souls set out in torrential rain, but abandoned the ride just beyond Cramond. Last September, on only our second ride after Covid restrictions, we had a pleasant autumnal day. But today we were blessed with good weather - dry, sunny spells and the temperature rose as the day progressed. Given the weather, a turn-out of 25 riders was lower than expected. But it was good to see some new faces mixed in with the regulars.
Following the customary briefing, we mounted up and rolled away. We had barely left the Meadows when the backmarker and another rider stopped to help someone with a mechanical issue. It turned out that rider (although they had ridden with us before) was not part of today's ride. After ensuring the rider could sort their problem, the two of them set off to catch the main group. The usual route via the Leamington Bridge and Telfer Subway took us to Murieston Crescent. As a result of a football match at Tynecastle there was a strong police presence in the area. At the temporary one-way section, we all got off and wheeled our bikes along the pavement. We were surprised to see cars beside us driving the wrong way down the one-way section; and were even more surprised to see the police officers turn a blind eye to it. We remounted and rode to Murrayfield via Russell Road. Round Carrick Knowe golf course, along Traquair Park East, through the quiet back streets of Corstorphine, through The Gyle Park and we were at the busy Glasgow Road. With everyone safely over the crossing, North Gyle Terrace took us to another busy road to cross - Maybury Road. It took a few minutes before everyone was safely across and riding along the much quieter Turnhouse Road. In the West Craigs area there is a large housing development being built. This meant we had to negotiate a long stretch of road controlled by temporary traffic lights. Despite all of us getting through on green, the lights were green for the other traffic before we had time to get through. Quiet roads and a track through the woods at Cammo saw us arrive for a brief stop at the Grotto Bridge over the River Almond. We rode through the rather eerie and deserted army housing estate at Craigiehall. The cycle path beside the busy A90, along the road from Burnshot Bridge and we were soon turning right for the steep climb up to Craigie's Farm and our lunch stop. The majority sat outside in the warm sunshine for lunch. Some with food bought from the cafe, others with their picnics.
Leaving the farm behind, we sped down the steep hill and were soon on the cycle path beside the A90 heading back towards Edinburgh. The tried and tested route took us back to the Meadows via Cramond Brig, Barnton, Silverknowes, Craigleith, the Roseburn Path, Russell Road, the Telfer Subway and the Leamington Bridge. The leader then declared the ride over.
Thanks to Alan for leading us to a familiar place by a slightly different route, and thanks to Yaz for back marking. The weather was kind to us, we had a few new riders and everyone seemed to enjoy the ride. What more can we ask for?
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