Saturday 23 August 2014
Despite dire warnings of a steep hill and unforecast showers, 21 riders assembled for the second Extra ride in what has been a busy month for the 20 Milers. Another late arriving rider managed to catch us en route at Whitecraig.
The group headed out along the Innocent Railway to start the day's ride to Roslin. All was going well until we had to stop and repair a puncture near Brunstane Station. With that fixed and brighter skies looming in East Lothian we kept heading out of town.
We looped round towards Dalkeith via Whitecraig, avoiding the High Street by cutting through the back streets to enter Ancrum Wood for our first stop of the day at Newbattle Abbey. There our leader provided chocolate and a short talk on the history of the Abbey before we continued on to “The Hill”. With the threat of no lunch for anyone failing to make it up the hill, everyone made it to the top before the short ride into Roslin. There the group dispersed between the hotel and tea room. The picnicers headed for the peace and quiet of the graveyard which went well with no complaints from the residents.
Following lunch we took the direct route back to town, going over Bilston Glen Viaduct and then tried out the new cycle path under the bypass to Lasswade Road. Hopefully the path will be continued eastward from its current finishing point sometime soon. The group headed back to town via the King’s Buildings and the Grange to return to the start point with several of us enjoying post-ride refreshments at Peter's Yard.
Thanks to David for leading us on an interesting and varied ride taking in the challenge of climbing Roslin Glen, leading us along the new stretch of cycle path, telling us about the history of Newbattle Abbey and most importantly, supplying the chocolates.
Report: David and Glenn
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Saturday 9 August 2014
Our route took us out of town via Holyrood Park, Willowbrae, Mountcastle and Portobello. At Musselburgh, we took the River Esk path to Whitecraig, and then headed into Dalkeith Country Park at the Smeaton Farm gate. Most of the group had brought their own food for lunch, so we spent a pleasant hour at the picnic tables by the old bandstand (in the company of one of the estate's peacocks). Unfortunately, the friendly Stables Café is now closed because of the refurbishment work in the park, so those who hadn't brought food went in search of lunch in the town centre.
For the afternoon leg, we left Dalkeith by way of Salters Road and the Community Campus. We followed the railway path back to Whitecraig, where we picked up NCN 1. For the remainder of the ride, we followed the familiar route by Queen Margaret University, Newcraighall and Brunstane, finishing at East Parkside, where we went our separate ways.
Sunday 3 August 2014
We had our second Extra ride of the summer today. Glenn led a dozen of us on a nice fast run into East Lothian. The day started hot and sunny, and we had a good breeze behind us for most of the morning.
We started from the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood. Our outward route took us out of Holyrood Park by Duke's Walk, after which we weaved through Willowbrae, Fishwives' Causeway and Portobello, and then on to Musselburgh. At the Prestongrange Mining Museum, we climbed a small hill to the main road, which we followed all the way to Longniddry.
We then joined the coast road for a short stretch. Just before Aberlady, we turned into the Gosford Estate for our lunch break, which was at the farm shop and café. The café has a pleasant balcony overlooking a stream. We spent a leisurely hour there in the warm sunshine.
Heading back to town, we now had the wind in our face, so our progress was a little slower. We took the coast road back through Port Seton and Cockenzie, with a couple of diversions along the waterfront to look at the views over the Firth of Forth.
Throughout the afternoon, a heavy shower seemed to be flirting with us, sometimes catching us up, sometimes drawing back. We stopped a couple of times to put waterproofs on, but would then stop again a few minutes later to reverse the process. In fact, the rain didn't really get underway until we were back in Edinburgh, and even then it wasn't too severe.
At Musselburgh, our leader (who is a resident of the Honest Toun) had to leave us, so I took over the reins for the last few miles into town. More people peeled off along the way, and at East Parkside I declared the ride over. At 32 miles, it was another successful day.
Map: Alan (Stalker)
Photos: Michael (Law)