Today's leader has several rides under their belt - all to South Queensferry. The group has always prided itself on offering a wide variety of routes and destinations. Against this backdrop, the leader decided she didn't want to be typecast as the Queen of South Queensferry. As a result, today's ride saw us head out to Heriot Watt University's Riccarton Campus by a less familiar route.
The forecast suggested we were in for a dry day with milder temperatures than we might expect at this time of year. That clearly helped muster 21 riders at the start - which is a respectable turn out for February. The forecast wasn't far off. A couple of very short spells of light drizzle and the temperature dropping a little in the afternoon was nothing to worry about.
Following the customary briefing, we left the Meadows behind, heading to the Telfer Subway via Bruntsfield Links and the Leamington Bridge. The usual path to Dalry Road was closed for works, so a short detour via Orwell Terrace was necessary. We were soon back on our usual route to Murrayfield where we began following the Water of Leith. We crossed Balgreen Road and headed through Saughton Park and continued along the Water of Leith path as far as the visitor centre. Here we paused for a comfort stop and Iain kindly handed round homemade cake. The cake was enjoyed by all, including a lovely little robin that joined us. We then had a short stretch on the busy Lanark Road. The segregated cycle lane being most welcome. We turned off at Redhall Bank Road and re-joined the Water of Leith path. There followed a good spell on the path, through the Colinton Tunnel and onwards towards Balerno. We left the path at Kirkgate, crossed Lanark Road West and made our way through the quiet backstreets of Riccarton, along Curriehill Road and took the back entrance into the Heriot Watt campus for our lunch stop.
After an indoor picnic lunch (the best sort of picnic at this time of year) we meandered through the campus and made our way to Gogar Station Road. From there, the path we often use took us to Edinburgh Park via the subway, which was particularly smelly on this occasion. Through Edinburgh Park, past South Gyle station, through Broomhall and Carrick Knowe, we joined the cycle path that took us to Balgreen Road and back to Murrayfield. It was beginning to get busy as rugby fans made their way to the stadium for the Scotland v Wales match which kicked off a couple of hours later. From there we retraced our morning route back to the Meadows; this time going via the Kings Theatre rather than Bruntsfield Links. There the leader declared the ride officially over.
Everyone enjoyed the ride, several riders commenting that they had either been to new places or on a different route to places they had been before. That is always the sign of a good ride. Thanks to Yaz for leading and confirming she is much more than a South Queensferry one-trick-pony. Thanks to Alan for back marking.
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