20th Anniversary Year

You are welcome to join our easy-paced bike rides. Click here for all the information you need.


Wednesday 25 December 2019

A Christmas Caravansary

Christmas Day this year was one of those rare Edinburgh days that help make our winters tolerable: crisp and cold, with a clear blue sky and no hint of a breeze. It was an ideal morning for our ninth Christmas ride. Around eighteen riders turned up: a mixed group, with ages ranging from Primary One to Bus Pass.

Cathedral Precincts
Under Jim's leadership, we started out by way of Tolcross and Lothian Road, then on to Festival Square, Rutland Square and the Gladstone Monument, where we paused briefly. After a circuit of the West End crescents, we did a double figure of eight around the precincts of St Mary's  Cathedral. This was an interesting section of route, giving us a chance to take in such notable buildings as Coates House, the Chapter House and the Song School: places we would never see on an ordinary bike ride.

Next came our traditional traverse of Princes Street, which was very quiet, with only an occasional bus and taxi. After weaving through St Andrew Square and York Place, we hit Leith Walk. We took advantage of the segregated bike lane as far as Balfour Street, from where we headed into Pilrig Park for a longer stop in front of Pilrig House. Here various treats were produced, not least of which was some warming mulled wine – very welcome.

Back in Leith Walk, we continued to New Kirkgate and then round the edge of Leith Links before returning on the Walk as far as Elm Row. We then bumped along the cobbles of Royal Terrace and Regent Terrace, skipping our traditional visit to the Stones of Scotland, but still enjoying the fine views over Holyrood and beyond.

Our youngest member
And so to the climax of the ride: the ascent of Calton Hill. This was extremely busy with tourists, a large majority of whom appeared to be Chinese. Unlike on our previous two Christmas runs, the visibility today was superb, with clear views over the Firth of Forth to the Fife hills. We did a circuit of the summit paths, after which Jim declared the ride officially over. Some of the group headed to a Lebanese restaurant in Newington, while the rest of us went our separate ways. Thanks to Jim for coming up with such an interesting route for what turned out to be another excellent and successful Christmas run.

Leader: Jim
Report and photos: Mike
Map: Jim

No comments: