20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 9 September 2023

Sunshine on Leith

 If today wasn't Edinburgh's warmest day of the year, it couldn't have been far off. A great day for exploring a most interesting new route around the north Edinburgh waterfront. A turnout of 19 riders was perhaps lower than expected, but seems to be a typical turn out these days. The heady days of when we mustered 43 riders looks like a record that will stand for a considerable time.

Following a comprehensive briefing from the leader, we left the Meadows and headed towards the Innocent Tunnel. But on this occasion, we swept past the turn for the tunnel and continued into Holyrood Park. We whizzed down the hill and were soon riding along the track behind the Palace of Holyrood House. Turning right, we followed the path past the Park Rangers Centre to exit the park on Royal Park Terrace. A cut through between some flats and we emerged onto an incredibly busy London Road. We wanted to go almost straight across and up Wishaw Terrace, but the volume of traffic made it into a time-consuming challenge. We regrouped on Marionville Road, rode along it for a short distance and headed into Lochend Park. We paused beside the pond where the leader handed out sweets. Leaving the park, we made our way to join the cycle path which took us to Leith Links. At Constitution Street we crossed the tram tracks without incident on our way to The Shore. From there, we took the cycle path through Victoria Park and on to the Five Ways junction. The Trinity Path took us to the busy road beside the waterfront, which we left at Newhaven Harbour. A lovely section followed as we went out, round and back on the spit of land by Western Harbour. We were soon cutting through a gap between blocks of flats to emerge on the recently opened platform at the Newhaven tram stop. A mixture of path and roads took us to Ocean Terminal for our lunch stop.

We had just crossed the road, and were riding away from Ocean Terminal when a rider realised their brakes were not working properly. The group waited patiently whilst Alan quickly fixed the problem. We took the Hawthornvale Path back to the Five Ways junction, and with a sense of déjà vu headed down the Trinity Path again. At the end, we turned in the opposite direction and headed towards Granton Square along McKelvie Parade. The cycle path took us up Waterfront Avenue, where residents were sitting outside their front doors enjoying the sunshine. We paused at Saltire Square to admire the sculpture, "going to the beach" as the leader again handed out sweets. Leaving the statue behind, we took the cycle path to the red bridge near Crewe Toll and onwards to Craigleith junction and the zig-zags at the end of the Roseburn Path. The familiar route via the Telfer Subway, Fountain Park and the canal took us to the Leamington Bridge. Back to the Meadows where the leader declared the ride officially over, and received a round of applause from the group.

Thanks to Yaz for leading us to familiar places via an unfamiliar route. Everyone enjoyed the ride, and we could not have wished for better weather. Thanks to Neil for back marking.

Leader: Yaz

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn

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