20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 11 November 2023

The wrong way to Mortonhall

Today's ride saw us take some interesting and unusual routes in the south of the city, taking in the Bioquarter, Burdiehouse Valley Park, Mortonhall and Swanston. Lunch was at the Mortonhall Garden Centre. We've been there quite a few times over the years, usually approaching from the west; today we arrived from the east. Crisp, bright winter sunshine and barely any wind was the order of the day, which was nice for November. Thirteen riders mustered for the start.

At the leader's briefing, he emphasised that there would be a few crossings of busy roads to contend with. Briefing over, we headed off towards the Innocent Railway. We whizzed through the tunnel and left the path at Bingham to head up Hay Avenue. This road had been in the national news a week earlier with rioters attacking police with fireworks and petrol bombs; but there was nothing to suggest that as we cycled up the quiet, almost deserted road. We continued through the backstreets of Niddrie to the Bioquarter and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. From there we rode through Moredun, took the cycle path beside Gilmerton Road, which we crossed and took the path beside Morrisons. Cycle paths took us through Gilmerton and Burdiehouse Valley Park to arrive at Lasswade Road. Having crossed the busy road, we regrouped at the entrance back into Burdiehouse Valley Park. As we waited, Ian handed out homemade baking to the group. The path beside Burdiehouse Burn, through quiet backstreets, Captain's Road, Frogston Road East and we were at Mortonhall Garden Centre for our lunch stop. It's a long time since we arrived for lunch before 1200. Most riders headed to the café, whilst a few hardy souls sat outside to eat their packed lunches.

We frequently leave Mortonhall and head towards the Braid Hills. Not today. We took Frogston Road West towards Fairmilehead, turning left and headed towards Morton House and cut through the housing estate just north of Lothianburn Junction. We crossed the busy Biggar Road, then the off and on slip roads for the City Bypass. Leaving the traffic behind, we began to climb the rough path that would take us to the delightful Swanston village where we paused to get our breath back and admire the village. We crossed the City Bypass again, but this time a bridge made life much easier. Across Oxgangs Road, quiet roads and paths through Oxgangs took us to Greenbank Crescent and the traffic lights at Comiston Road. Despite the road works, we were able to go straight across and cycle along Braidburn Terrace. The quiet backstreets of Morningside and Marchmont, along Leamington Walk, and we were back at the Meadows where the leader declared the ride over.

Everyone enjoyed the ride, the weather was kinder to us than we had dared hope in November and it was nice to visit a familiar destination using a far from familiar route. Thanks to Mike for leading, and Yaz for back marking.

Leader: Mike

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn

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