20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 9 June 2012

June's ride to Ratho EICA

Today it was my turn to lead the group, and 30 people turned up - the last few days have had pretty miserable weather but apart from a few spots of rain at lunch and not long after, we had a lovely day for a ride. It wasn't too windy and the sun shone frequently.

The route took us out along the signed route from Roseburn to Edinburgh Park, and from there we crossed under the bypass slightly north of our "normal" place; today's alternative involved using a right of way across a field, although it wasn't very well used and it did just feel as though we were cycling across a field of corn. That was an interesting experience for many. After that we took a more recognisable route along some farm tracks near Roddinglaw, and then turned off the road to Ratho to hoist our bikes over a farm gate and cycle along beside the railway. Jelly Babies and Liquorice Allsorts were served along with a view of the Pentlands as we crossed the railway line. After that we had a mile or so along a footpath (muddy in bits but actually had a good hardcore surface most of the way - we just had to ride "thin" and avoid the nettles...) to Ratho Station. After a short section on roads we used another track to take us up beside the M9 to Claylands, which then fed us onto a short stretch of busy road (with a useful pavement one could cycle on) - under the M8, under the canal and then turn left into the EICA access road.

Lunch for some was a picnic in the sun/rain, for others was a sandwich from the cafe looking out over the climbing arena.

After lunch we used the canal for a couple of miles then took to the road again past Suntrap Gardens and under the bypass on the Gogar Station road route. Then up and over past the Novotel at Edinburgh Park and all the way into town along Bankhead Drive, Broomhouse Drive and Stenhouse Drive. There is a good cycle path along here, although it's a bit of a bore with a big group as we get separated at the crossings. From there, we went across Saughton Park, along a (newish, I think) shared use path behind Hutchison Road and then up to Slateford Road, Shandon Place, Harrison Park and back along the canal. We were shedding people all the way home as people got to places they recognised, but about 6 people made it all the way back to the top of Middle Meadow Walk at about 3.30pm. Total distance was about 23 miles, by my reckoning. 

We had several new faces on today's ride which is always good to see.

Photos from Andy here:

View 20milers to Ratho Jun-12 in a larger map

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