Today's ride saw us head out to Roslin by a route that was far from familiar to all except the leader. All week the weather forecast had carried warnings of snow. On Friday it was suggested we would miss the snow, but it would be bitterly cold. On the day we had bright sunshine and blue skies, hardly any wind, and whilst it wasn't warm, it was more pleasant than anyone had dared hope. That certainly helped muster a very respectable 21 riders.
Following the leader's customary briefing, we headed towards Holyrood Park. On this occasion, we didn't enter the Innocent Tunnel. Instead we took the road through the park and onwards to Duddingston village. Taking the path by Duddingston House and past the golf course, we continued to the bus terminus at Bingham Medway. Under the bridge, across Niddrie Mains Road, along Niddrie Marishal Road and we were soon passing the Jack Kane Centre. At this point most of the group were in unfamiliar territory. Following a brief stop whilst the leader offered around homemade cake, lightly used paths took us through Hunter's Hall Park to emerge beside a tower block in Greendykes. From there we made our way to Danderhall and cut through the new housing estate to arrive at the start of the Danderhall to Roslin cycleway. The cycleway was surprisingly busy with walkers with and without dogs, clearly making the most of the better than expected weather. After a pleasant, trouble-free ride we rolled into Roslin for our lunch stop. Most riders headed to the café, with the remainder heading to the pub or a picnic in the graveyard near the chapel. The picnickers found it reasonably mild as they enjoyed lunch in such a quiet and peaceful spot.
Lunch over, we regrouped in the village and headed back to the cycleway towards Danderhall. We left the path and made our way up the cycle path alongside Lasswade Road, before turning off to make our way through the backstreets of Gilmerton and Moredun. We skirted the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and rode past Craigmillar Castle and through Craigmillar Castle Park to emerge on Peffermill Road. Across the road, through the industrial estate and we were at the Innocent Railway. From there we headed back to the Meadows where the leader declared the ride officially over.
Thanks to Iain for managing to plot a route to a familiar destination that took us on roads and paths that were new to all of us. It's great when someone can do that as it keeps the rides fresh. And we mustn't forget to say how much the home baking was appreciated. Thanks to Neil for back marking, and thanks to the weather for being considerably better than anyone had dared to expect.
Thanks. This was my first ride with the 20 milers. I really enjoyed it and hope to join you again.
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