20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 10 February 2024

Drizzly visit to an old favourite

Today's ride saw us head through the drizzle to that winter favourite of the group, Craigie's Farm. The drizzle had stopped by the time we headed back after lunch, but it had turned cooler. On the homeward stretch, two riders were unfortunate to suffer punctures.

Given the heavy drizzle at the start, a turnout of fourteen riders was good for February. The leader's briefing was very thorough. After mentioning that there would be three busy roads to cross, he then proceeded to [seemingly] reel off the names of every road we would be on. If nothing else, it gave the group confidence that the leader knew exactly where he was going. This was borne out later with an unexpected detour to avoid the rugby crowds at Murrayfield on the way back to town.

Leaving the Meadows behind, familiar paths and roads led us to Roseburn Park via Bruntsfield Links, Leamington Bridge and Telfer subway. Crowds were building up in the area prior to the Scotland v France rugby match. The writer couldn't help but smile as we passed one of those stands at the roadside selling Scotland merchandise; the seller having a distinctly English accent. Past Murrayfield Stadium, across Balgreen Road and we were soon skirting Carrick Knowe golf course. Through the quiet backstreets of Carrick Knowe, the obligatory pause at the dovecot in Dovecot Road, through Gyle Park and we were beside the busy Glasgow Road. With everyone safely across, we passed Craigmount School and went down Craigs Road to cross the busy Maybury Road. We were now on the continuation of Craigs Road. With all the new houses that have sprung up there, the place is unrecognisable to those remembering it as open fields. On better, but busier roads we made our way to Cammo Park via West Craigs. Leaving the road behind, a very muddy path led downhill to the Grotto Bridge, where we paused as Ian handed out lovely homemade cake that was greatly appreciated. Through the eerily deserted Craigiehall army housing estate, the path beside the A90 and we were on the road to Kirkliston. Up the hill to Craigie's Farm, which always helps to build up an appetite and we were at our lunch stop. Some of the group headed to the café, whilst the remainder headed to the undercover picnic tables. It's usually busy as the pick-your-own area, but is not used at this time of year so was a great picnic area.

With everyone suitably replenished, we sped down Craigie Hill, and were soon on the path beside the A90 on our way to Cramond Brig. Following the obligatory pause on the bridge, we headed through Barnton and Silverknowes. On Silverknowes Drive a rider at the back of the group suffered a puncture. Although the group never leaves a rider in difficulty, they were insistent that they were happy to walk home - so the backmarker and writer headed off to Craigleith to re-join the group. We expected to take the familiar route back to town, but the leader had other ideas. To avoid the rugby crowds, he led us on a detour missing out Murrayfield. We left the Roseburn Path and took West Coates to Haymarket Terrace. There we had to contend with heavy traffic and crossing of tram tracks. All safely across, along Dalry Road, up Dalry Place, across the West Approach Road and we were soon back at Leamington Bridge. Having declared the ride officially over, we realised that one of the riders had a puncture. With the drizzle returning and watched over by a swan on the canal, many hands made light work to fix the puncture and get the rider back on the road.

Thanks to Alan for leading us on an interesting route and to Yaz for back marking. Everyone seemed to enjoy the ride, despite the weather. 

Leader: Alan

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn 

Monday 5 February 2024

February ride this coming Saturday

Now that the shortest winter days are behind us, we will be resuming our full-day rides this month, the next one being this coming Saturday, 10 February.

For this month's ride, Alan will be our leader. Our route will take in Gyle Park, West Craigs and Cammo Park, before reaching our lunch stop at Craigie's Farm. We'll then return to town via Cramond Brig and Craigleith.

We will be on quiet roads and bike paths most of the time, including a couple of short stretches that will probably be muddy. There will be a steep climb just before lunch, as well as a few more moderate hills during the morning. The total distance will be about 22 miles. 
More than half of that will be in the morning, so the lunch stop might be on the late side. The afternoon leg will be relatively short with some nice downhills.

Lunch stop

The cafe at Craigie's Farm offers a choice of sandwiches, salads and a soup of the day.
For those who prefer to bring a packed lunch, there are picnic tables, including some that are under cover.

Time and place

As always, we will meet at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk in time for a 10:30 departure. We will aim to finish the ride around the middle of the afternoon. There is no need to let anyone know in advance whether you plan to join us.

Before setting out ...

... please give your bike a quick look-over to ensure that it is in good condition, especially if you haven't ridden for a while. Check that the tyres are properly inflated, that the brakes are working well and that the chain is well oiled. And please remember to bring a spare inner tube, plus whatever tools are needed to remove a wheel (if you don't have quick-release hubs). If you are in doubt about any of this, your favourite bike shop will be pleased to advise.