20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 12 August 2023

A case of deja vu


As many of you will know, we recce our rides to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible on the day. Today's ride to Craigie Farm saw a case of deja vu. On the recce a couple of weeks ago, we had just finished our picnic lunch when a heavy shower sent us scurrying for cover. The exact same thing happened today. For several years Craigie Farm was our destination in January; but in recent years it has become a summer ride. The forecast suggested we were in for a day of showers. Following the customary leader's briefing, thirteen of us left the Meadows in drizzly conditions and headed towards Roseburn Park via the familiar route of Leamington Bridge, canal, Telfer subway and Russell Road. We left the park and crossed Balgreen Road opposite the Jenner's Depository and made our way onto the shared path beside the tram track, taking it in the opposite direction to usual. We crossed the tram tracks and took the path through Broomhouse and Sighthill to Edinburgh Park station. Through the subway under the City Bypass and we were soon on quiet back roads around Gogarburn, passing the golf club that had been the destination for our 20 Milers ride back in May. This took us to Ratho where we paused to enjoy the cake that Iain kindly handed out. Suitably replenished, we pressed on to Ratho Station where a little path cut off the corner and we emerged beside the A8. We wheeled our bikes up and over the footbridge to the path on the other side. A short distance along this path beside the busy road [with its incessant noise] was quite enough. There were sighs of relief as we turned right down a quiet road leaving the noise behind. Beside the sewage works, we joined a lovely path through the woods towards Kirkliston. Skirting the town, we left the path near Carlowrie cottages. The leader was the only one who opted to ride down the rough, steep slope to the road; but he was on his balloon-tyred bike. From there, we stayed on that road until we turned off for Craigie Farm. Up the stiff little climb and we were at our lunch stop. Half the group headed to the picnic tables, whilst the other half went to the café. The service in the café was so slow that they gave up, bought food in the shop and joined us outside. We'd just finished lunch when a heavy shower sent us scurrying for cover. It lasted a couple of minutes before turning to light rain.

With waterproofs donned, we whizzed back down the hill and turned left at the bottom to head towards Edinburgh. From Burnshot Bridge, we took the subway, crossed the road and were soon back at Cramond Brig. It was still raining lightly. After our obligatory pause, we continued on our way,  regrouping at the post box on Barnton Avenue. The rain had stopped and it felt quite warm, so off came the waterproofs for what would be a dry run back to the Meadows by the familiar route we have taken so many times before. Having successfully dodged the tourists on the bike path, we were back at the Meadows and the leader declared the ride officially over.

Everyone enjoyed the ride. Whilst the rain probably played its part in a lower turnout, we didn't get soaked which was good. Thanks to Neil for leading us to a familiar place by a interestingly different route. Thanks to Alan for back marking.

Leader: Neil

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn

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