20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 8 February 2014

February's ride

Today we had sunshine and showers. The showers were icy cold, but luckily not too heavy at any time. About 24 people came out for today's ride - not as many as last month's massive turn out, but good considering the weather, and the Calcutta Cup scheduled for later in the day.

This month was my turn to lead, and the recce I led a few weeks earlier had showed that my "Google Satellite route planning" had resulted in quite a lot of mud, hills and steps, so we had reworked some of the worse bits via a car-recce (time being limited), so I was quite glad that all the parts worked out (I only went slightly wrong once, by a couple of metres!)

We went south, with a loose theme of "Hospitals" - better than the original theme of "mud and steps". We passed the old Royal, the Sick Kids, the Astley Ainsley, waved to the Royal Ed in the distance, passed nearby Napier uni's Craiglockhart campus (which used to be a sanatorium for war veterans with shell shock), past Firrhill school and into the grounds of the old City hospital (with lovely balconies for the invalids to take the air), and then down into the Braid burn valley. A short climb or two (avoiding the muddiest bit of Cockmylane), and then up to Brunstane took us to some lovely views of the Pentlands and East, before a whizz down the hill to lunch at Mortonhall Garden Centre (for some) or the Stable Bar (where several people toasted themselves lightly in front of the fire).

Photo - Alan Stalker
After lunch we carried on East, past the Toby Carvery ("Second lunch, anyone?") and through Gracemount, Southhouse, over the Burdiehouse valley park, through a back path in the Murrays, into Gilmerton, Moredun and Ferniehill and down to the Royal Infirmary. Using the new bus lane we went through the abandoned wasteland that was Niddrie, where the water board had kindly laid on a bike-washing fountain, then through Craigmiller and down to the Innocent Railway to head back into town and coffee etc. at Peter's Yard.

Total distance - about 18.5 miles, plus a fair amount of climb (about 1000ft overall, I believe).

View 20milers Feb-14 route in a larger map
Leader - Livia
Report - Livia too

Next Month: Alan Stalker, heading to Balerno, Currie and the Gyle (probably).

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