20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 10 June 2023

Carberry by a route less travelled

For today's ride, the leader promised us that whilst we would probably know the places we passed through, the route we would take would be unfamiliar to most. Following that rationale, we headed to Carberry via Musselburgh before returning to town. We were blessed with lovely weather. The sun shone down from a blue sky for the whole ride. If only the easterly breeze hadn't had a slight coolness to it, the day would have been a scorcher. It's early June, so perhaps even warmer days lie ahead. Given the weather and the promise of an unfamiliar route, we were expecting a particularly good turnout. With a couple of minutes to go we had a quite disappointing 13 riders. A last minute surge resulted in 20 starters. It was good to see new faces and returnees mixed in with the regulars There followed the customary briefing when the leader explained that just before lunch, we would split into two groups with one lot going to the pub, and the others to the chosen picnic site.

We headed away from the Meadows towards the Innocent Tunnel; but this time we swept past and into Holyrood Park. We zoomed down Queen's Drive (or is that now King's Drive?), past the Parliament, out of the park, along Meadowbank Crescent and up the stiff little climb that is Lilyhill Terrace. After a pause to catch our breath, a few left-right-left turns and we arrived at Willowbrae Road. Arriving at just the right time, we crossed it quickly and easily as we did with Northfield Broadway. We took quiet roads through Mountcastle, down Duddingston Road, past Portobello Golf Course and over the Baileyfield Bridge. More twists and turns through the backstreets of Joppa and we emerged on Milton Road. Right and left turns took us to Brunstane station. Instead of heading down the Brunstane Burn path, we took paths through the estate to emerge in Newcraighall. Across the road and we were on the path towards Musselburgh. This path has recently been upgraded and the temporary one has gone. A lovely ride followed to Musselburgh station, where we paused as Iain kindly passed round homemade cake. Suitably refuelled, we headed to The Grove and took the path to Inveresk. From there we made our way to the site of the Battle of Pinkie. Turning right on the A6094 seemed to take forever. The leader who has ridden that road numerous times, had never seen it so busy. Eventually, we all made the right turn before stopping at the left turn towards the dreaded Fa'side Hill. This is where the lunchtime split occurred. The leader took a group of seven to the Craig House pub for lunch, whilst Mike led the larger group on an extra loop taking in St Clement's Wells and the new housing development on the edge of Wallyford, before pressing on to the picnic stop in the churchyard at Inveresk. Both groups made the most of the weather to dine al fresco.

Mike and the leader had agreed to regroup at the end of the road leading up to Inveresk Church at 1330. With pinpoint accuracy, the leader and group of pub-goers arrived exactly as the clock struck 1330. A quick downhill stretch and we were at Tesco Musselburgh for a comfort break for those that had been picnicking. Over the main road bridge through the town, behind the Brunton Theatre and we were soon at Fisherrow Harbour. Another little twiddle took us Along Newhailes Avenue and Crescent to emerge on the road towards Portobello. At the bottom of Milton Road, we joined the Brunstane Burn path which via Daiches Brae took us to Brunstane station. From there, it was the familiar route back to the Meadows via the Innocent Railway with no more surprises. Once there, the leader declared the ride officially over. Everyone said how much they had enjoyed the ride. There was even a ripple of applause, much to the surprise and embarassment of the leader. A number of riders had said throughout the day that whist they knew the places they had been to, they had never been to them via today's route. They also admitted how hard they would find it to retrace the route due to the number of turns in quick succession.

Another successful ride which everyone seemed to enjoy and with lovely weather - what more can anyone wish for? Thanks to Mike for back marking and taking on the role of second leader just before lunch for the extra loop.

Leader: Glenn

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn

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