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Our route took us down the Mound and along Princes Street, which was delightfully free of traffic. Then came some hard work: an ascent of Calton Hill. We lingered by the City Observatory for ten minutes, taking in the splendid view over the Forth to the Fife Hills. Descending the hill was more difficult than going up, with most of us choosing to push our bikes down the rough, stepped path to Greenside Church rather than trying to pedal down.
From London Road, we headed north through empty streets to St. Marks Park, across the Water of Leith, and on to the Warriston Path. The paths here were busy with dog-walkers and joggers. We paused in Victoria Park for a refreshment break, where we feasted on a cornucopia of home-made mince pies, stollen, shortbread, brownies, and other treats - all unexpectedly and generously provided by members of the group (I can see this becoming an annual tradition).
Our route then took us to Fiveways, Goldenacre, Warriston Gardens, Inverleith Place and Inverleith Park. From Fettes Avenue, we climbed up to Craigleath, where we joined the Roseburn Path. The southern end of this path has now re-opened after a long closure for tram works, so we were able to cut through to Haymarket Yards and out to Haymarket Terrace.
By this time, most of the group had peeled away at various points. The remaining half dozen or so continued past St. Mary's Cathedral to Queensferry Street, where, at 12.30 and after 10 miles, we went our separate ways.
Excellent ride - if only the roads were normally that quiet! Sorry we had to leave half way around; we made it to our family lunch on time though.
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