EDINBURGH 20-MILERS

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Sunday 13 March 2022

A Roslin ramble

Today's ride saw a welcome return to our traditional format: a full-day run of twenty or so miles with a proper lunch stop. This was after two months in which, because of Covid restrictions, we limited each ride to half a day with no cafe or pub stop. It was gratifying to see 24 riders, including many of our regulars, turn up for today's event.

The ride was led by Iain Pearce, making his debut as a 20-Milers ride leader. Our destination was Roslin, but because the direct route to that village is only about 16 miles round trip, Iain decided to add a few interesting wiggles to make up the length. It's always good when we can find unfamiliar bike routes, and today's ride succeeded in doing just that.

After the usual briefing and safety advice, we headed down Middle Meadow Walk and across Bruntsfield Links before tackling the stiff climb up to Hermitage Drive. A bit more climbing took us up to northern flank of the Braid Hills, where we paused for a few moments to take in the view over the city. The weather at this point was uncertain, with a weak sun struggling to emerge from the clouds, and while it was not actually raining, the air had a definite dampness to it.

Almost immediately after reaching Alnwickhill Road, we cut through a diminutive gap between some houses to emerge on a path running alongside Liberton Park and what used to be the Alnwickhill Reservoir, now a housing development. This was the first of several parts of today's route which were new to me, and I suspect to many others in the group.

Back doubles

After crossing Liberton Gardens, we continued on a wiggly route through the back doubles of Gracemount and Gilmerton Dykes – again, unfamiliar territory for many of us - before reaching the City Bypass at Gilmerton Station Road. From here, the route followed the more familiar Roslin bike path, which uses the old railway line through Loanhead and across the Bilston Glen viaduct. We reached Roslin a few minutes after noon. About a third of the group found some nice spots for a picnic, with most of the others heading for Dolly's Tea Shop.

For the return leg, we retraced our steps as far as Gilmerton Station Road. The bike path here is well-surfaced and almost completely flat, and with the wind behind us it made a pleasant start to the afternoon. After crossing back over the bypass, we stayed on the path for another four miles or so, heading towards Shawfair (lots of new housing) and Newton Village. Until a few years ago, this path was little more than a muddy track alongside a field, but it has been upgraded into a wide, well-surfaced path with good lighting. As a bonus, this part of our route was gently downhill the whole way.

Leaving the path, we followed the road through Danderhall, and then through Little France Park and Craigmillar Castle Park. At this point, we were hit by two minor inconveniences: a sudden heavy rain shower, and a mechanical problem involving a recalcitrant chain. Fortunately, the rain stopped almost as quickly as it started. The mechanical problem took a little longer to sort out, but before too long we were on our way again.

The final leg took us across Peffermill Road, through the Peffermill Industrial Estate and on to the Innocent Path. After heading up the Innocent Tunnel, we made our way back to the Meadows. At 21 miles, it was a very pleasant run, with several innovative sections of route, a good lunch stop and a successful debut for the leader.

Leader: Iain

Report: Mike

Photos: Glenn

 

Monday 7 March 2022

Full-day ride this coming Saturday

 We've got our March ride coming up on Saturday (12th). I'm pleased to say that, with the Covid situation improving, we can now resume our usual full-day rides. I hope you'll be able to join us.

The route

Iain (Pearce) will be leading this ride. Iain has come up with an attractive (and unusual) route to Roslin. The outward leg, which will mainly be on quiet roads, will involve a certain amount of climbing, especially near the start. But we will be rewarded with some nice downhill runs
in the afternoon, almost entirely on well-surfaced bike paths. The total distance will be about 21 miles.

Lunch arrangements

Despite the easing of of Covid restrictions, we would still prefer not to take a large party into a cafe or pub. We will therefore ask the group to divide between the two lunch venues in Roslin. Please bear with us if you don't get your first choice of eating place.

Dolly's Tea Room offers a range of soup, sandwiches, toasties and panini, at reasonable prices. If you haven't visited Dolly's since before the pandemic, you will be agreeably surprised by the recent improvements in the service, food and decor there. The Original Rosslyn Inn also offers a good selection. It is somewhat more up-market (and more expensive) than the tea room, but might be a better choice if you want a more substantial cooked lunch.

A third option is to bring a packed lunch. There are some pleasant picnic spots near the chapel and castle. You can also pick up a take-away sandwich and hot drink from Dolly's.

Time and place

As always, we will set off at 10:30 from our usual spot at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. We should get back to the Meadows around the middle of the afternoon.

And as always, the ride is open to all, and is free of charge. There's no need to let us know in advance that are coming. If you would like to join us, just turn up at the above time and place.

One last thing: Please do bring a spare inner tube if at all possible. It really makes a difference if you get hit by a puncture. If you don't know what size or type of tube is right for your bike, you local bike shop will be pleased to advise. And if your bike doesn't have quick-release hubs, please also bring whatever tools are needed to remove the wheel.