20th Anniversary Year

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Saturday 8 June 2024

A bike swap on the way to Dalkeith

On today's ride to Dalkeith, one rider was unlucky to have a serious bike issue that looked set to end their ride almost before it had begun. But they managed to limp home, swap bikes and caught us up before we got to Musselburgh. It was cooler and windier than of late as the fifteen riders mustered for today's ride. Once again, Alan ensured that no one was in doubt that riders were in the right place, thanks to the 20 Milers 20th anniversary banner. The leader gave the customary briefing, adding a superb line to discourage anyone from overtaking the leader: "please don't overtake me as I'm likely to blindly follow you and we'll probably get lost". After that, we headed off towards Holyrood Park.

Just after we'd left St Leonard's Street, at the back of the pack, one of the stalwarts of the group had their bike skid to a halt when the back wheel locked up. Despite being able to dislodge the jammed chain, it was clear the ride was over for the rider - or so we thought. The group pushed on having agreed the back marker would catch us up, which they did further along the Innocent Railway. Pressing on towards Musselburgh station, the writer got a shock when the rider we thought had gone home, appeared beside him on a different bike. Having limped home on their first bike, they had swapped over to another bike and raced off to catch us up. The things folk will do to avoid missing a 20 Milers ride! With a full complement again, we headed down to the Grove. Today, this section of path was clear and dry. But two weeks ago [on the recce] those present had to endure mud, standing water and floods. The leader took us on a less familiar route through Whitecraig to join the path towards Dalkeith. After an easy run on the path, we found ourselves in quite heavy traffic in the centre of Dalkeith before arriving at King's Park. Here we enjoyed our picnic lunches in the sun.

We rode through the park and took an unfamiliar path to emerge on Abbey Road. Through the new houses and we were at the kissing gate. Without hesitation, Alan took on the duty of gatekeeper to ensure everyone got through the gate easily. He even stayed at his post to help through a couple of riders that weren't part of our group. Through delightful woodland and parks, we were soon back at the main road into Dalkeith where we had been in the morning. Following a short stretch on the main road, we entered Dalkeith Country Park. Through the park, a short stretch of busy road [made worse by temporary traffic lights], and we were back on the Grove. From Musselburgh station we retraced our outward route back to the Meadows. The only difference being that this time we went through the Innocent Tunnel. The leader declared the ride officially over, and received thanks from the group for an enjoyable ride.

Thanks to Alison for leading, Yaz for back marking, and Alan for his gate keeper duties.

Leader: Alison

Report: Glenn

Photos: Glenn

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