Come with us and explore Edinburgh's cycle paths at an easy pace.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The leading ladies ride to Cramond

On a lovely autumnal morning it looked as if we were going to have less riders on the actual ride than had been on the recce. Having gathered together late comers (including a few that joined after we had set off) we eventually had 24 riders. We split into the now obligitory two groups. Somehow the split went awry with one group of 7 and the other of 17.

Today the ladies were in charge (what's new there then? I hear you ask). Claire was the leader supported by second group leader Julia and backmarkers Verity and Yaz.

We headed to the canal at Leamington Bridge, down the bumps to the Telfer subway and through Roseburn Park and into the unfamiliar maze of back streets around Carrick Knowe. It was here that we had to stop whilst a puncture was fixed. Via Maybury junction, Turnhouse Road, Cammo Walk and Whitehouse Road we arrived at Cramond for lunch. Here the group split in three. Two groups went to cafes at Cramond waterfront and Silverknowes Esplanade, whilst the picnicers sat in the warm sunshine on the waterfront. There was a moment when the picnicers and their bikes almost got knocked into the river by a reversing car pulling a yacht on a trailer.

The sky turned grey and it looked like rain as we got back into our two groups ready to set off after lunch. Fortunately the rain never came and we headed back to the start via Silverknowes Esplanade, the Telford path, Dalry Road, Telfer subway and Leamington Bridge in pleasant sunshine.

Another successful ride enjoyed by all and expertly led by the ladies. The maze of back streets around Carrick Knowe were unfamiliar to many. Well done to Claire for leading us through them.

Leader: Claire
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael
Map: Jim

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Next ride - Sat 11th October

Just a quick reminder about our ride this coming Saturday (11th October). Claire will be leading us on a tour of bike paths and quiet roads in the north and west of the city. There will be a few hills, but nothing too onerous.

For lunch, we'll aim for the Cramond / Silverknowes waterfront area. Unfortunately, this area is not well served by cafés - at least, not for a group of 30 - 40 hungry cyclists. For that reason, I encourage you to bring a picnic lunch this time. It should be possible to buy a hot drink and perhaps a light take-away snack, but it would be better not to rely on getting anything more substantial.

As always, we'll gather at the top of Middle Meadow Walk in time for a 10.30 departure. We should be back in town between about 3 and 4 pm.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Last Extra ride of the year to Aberdour

The last 20 Miler Extra of the year saw nine of our regulars show up in the pouring rain for a ride over the bridge to Aberdour, three of the riders even braved the weather in their shorts. The rain was short lived and was off by the time we had stopped at the bridge for an energy boosting toffee.

Our route to the bridge had taken us along NCN 1 by the A90, the wide smooth path. without tree roots. showed that the work done on this section of the path over the summer was worth it. We all managed to clean our bikes in a huge puddle just outside Dalmeny. Despite the amount of water in the puddle, it was gone by the time we returned.

Once over the bridge our leader, Julia, proved how useful a recce can be as she led us unerringly through Dalgety Bay including sections on unsignposted paths and along the shore of the Forth towards our lunch stop on the sea front in Aberdour. There, bathed in sunlight from a clear blue sky, with views over a very calm Firth of Forth towards Edinburgh, we all enjoyed a fantastic lunch at the "Sands, A Place by the Sea". The staff were very welcoming and the food was enjoyed by all. They will be open between 10 and 5, seven days a week all through the winter for anyone that could not make our ride today but fancies visiting the Kingdom of Fife.

We returned to Edinburgh by the same route as we went out, though it did seem a little slower, probably because of the large lunch we had all partaken.

Thanks to Julia for leading us on a lovely route.

Leader: Julia
Report: David and Glenn
Photos: Michael

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

20milers Extra - 4 October

For this ride, we'll be meeting at our alternative start point: the Sustrans marker at the three-way junction of the Roseburn, Blackhall and Telford paths in Craigleith (near the Sainsbury's petrol station in S. Groathill Avenue). We'll set out at 10.00 (half an hour earlier than usual) and aim to get back by around 16.00.

Keep in mind that these Extra rides are longer and faster than our usual runs. The total distance this time will be 30 - 35 miles. Most of the route will be on quiet roads or well-surfaced paths, but there might also be a couple of stretches on rough tracks.

For lunch, we'll aim for the Silver Sands beach at Aberdour. Bring food for a picnic, or pick up a sandwich at the beach café.
Meeting point here:
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Saturday, 20 September 2014


To celebrate our tenth birthday, many of our regular riders - including several who have been with us since our early days - met today for lunch at the Cramond Falls café.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

September ride to the EICA

We've had some terrific weather for our rides this summer, and this one was no exception: a real T-shirt and shorts day. Not surprisingly, we had high turnout, with about 26 riders turning up at Middle Meadow Walk. Unfortunately, ten thousand or so other folk had a similar idea. Apparently, the Orange Order had chosen this same spot for the start of their big parade.

With the Meadows seething with humanity, we started discussing alternative routes for our departure. Then the police arrived and asked us to immediately vacate the little corner that we were occupying. We hastily split into two groups. Peter Bennet led the first contingent, who struck out along Lauriston Place, Lauriston Gardens and Bruntsfield Links. The second group, under the leadership of Alan Orr, was delayed slightly be a puncture, but then followed the same route.

Once clear of the Meadows, progress was much smoother. We headed down Whitehouse Loan, across Morningside Road, along Balcarres Street, and through the delightful Craiglockhart Wood. At Allan Park, we joined the canal towpath, which we followed for four miles to Hermiston House Road. This was followed by a few more miles on minor roads - including a few hills - around the edge of Ratho.

Our lunch stop was at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA). This huge structure - the largest of its type in the world - was built on the site of a former quarry, with one of the faces being converted to a 25-metre climbing wall. The café area is about half way up the vertical elevation of the wall, and offers a dramatic view of the rock-climbers at work.

The café serves the usual selection of snacks and light meals, but the service can be painfully slow at times (when we did a recce for the ride last week, eight of us had to wait 20 minutes just to have our order taken). Forewarned, many of us had brought our own food today, which we ate at the picnic tables on the sunny terrace.

For the afternoon leg, we took the canal path back to Ratho, and then headed across the Ratho Park Golf Course. We always try to avoid disturbing the golfers when taking this route, which is in any case a right of way for walkers and cyclists. But not all the golfers are happy with that situation, and a couple of them decided to throw some verbal abuse our way rather than concentrating on their game. Well, it's not the first time that's happened, and it won't be the last.

 The rest of the ride was uneventful. We continued through Gogar, Edinburgh Park, The Gyle, and Balgreen, finishing at Roseburn, where several of the group peeled off while the remainder headed back to the Meadows - now quiet again after the turmoil of the morning.

Leaders: Alan and Peter
Report, photos and map: Mike

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

20-Milers on Pedal for Scotland

A small group of redoubtable 20 Milers, including one of our colonial cousins from down under, headed for Glasgow Green on Sunday morning for the start of the 2014 Pedal for Scotland 47 mile Challenge Ride.

The ride was largely blessed with excellent cycling weather with only a slight drop in temperature and a few spots of rain at the Avonbridge service area where the hot soup on offer was gratefully received and kit removed at the previous service stop hastily put back on again.

The route was well marked with plenty of marshals stationed along the way to guide us through the tricky bits, and police stationed at busy junctions and roundabouts to hold back the traffic and provide us with free passage. All this and a following wind made for a hugely enjoyable ride, with some stunning scenery and cyclists of all ages readily joining in the fun.
At Linlithgow Palace we were treated royally to stacks of food that included soup and packs of sandwiches, pasta salads and an unlimited supply of Tunnocks Caramel Wafers, many of which found their way into our backpacks, back pockets and cycle panniers.

So well fed were we that the group decided to bypass the final service stop at Kirkliston to continue on down to Crammond Brig and hence along familiar cycle paths to Roseburn, and eventually to Murryfield Stadium, where we arrived at the finish line shortly before 4.30pm. Having left the starting point a little after 10am, that made a journey time of just over 6 hours with stops, not a bad time considering, and a tremendous day's cycling.

Report: Michael
Photos: Michael