Come cycling with us. Explore Edinburgh's bike paths at an easy pace.

Monday, 4 May 2015

May ride this coming Saturday

We've got our May ride this coming Saturday, when David will be our guide. He tells me that "parks, paths and rivers is the theme of the ride". In the morning, we'll head out to the Braidburn Valley, Colinton Dell, the Water of Leith and Roseburn Park. The afternoon leg will take in various bike paths in the north of the city, including a short stop at the Craigentinny Marbles. The total distance will about 24 miles.

Our lunch break will be at the Gallery of Modern Art in Belford Road (see photo). If the weather is good, we'll sit outside, so bring food for a picnic lunch. Alternatively, you can get a snack at the café.

The arrangements are the same as ever. We'll meet at the top of Middle Meadow Walk, and set out at 10.30.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Isn't it supposed to be spring?

Following a week of weather that made us all think that spring had finally arrived; today we ended up with another day that suggested otherwise. A good turnout of 32 riders gathered at the start. It was good to see several new faces in amongst them. On her first ride as leader, Verity turned tradition on its head by letting the second group head off first. With Julia leading the second group with typical Teutonic efficiency; this reversal of roles was a good idea and avoided the potential embarassment that would have resulted had the second group caught up with the first.

With the strong wind behind us, we zoomed out of town via the Innocent Railway towards Brunstane. A short stretch on the very busy Milton Road was followed by a more relaxed ride to the edge of Portobello via the cycle path and bridge over Sir Harry Lauder Road. Following a ride along the busy Portobello High Street, we made our way onto the promenade where the wind whipped up a sand storm. It now began to rain and the colour of the sky [in the direction we were heading] looked as if it would be more substantial than a passing shower. With waterproofs on we pressed on along the prom towards Leith. We took the cycle path through Restalrig, snaked around the back streets of Bonnington and came out on the Warriston Path. We went up the Goldenacre Path to Five Ways where we turned back and headed in the direction we had come from. This led to a little confusion in the group with questions of, "isn't this the direction we just came from?" To add to the confusion, the two groups met at one point travelling in opposite directions. We cut through and crossed the very busy Commercial Street and made our way to Ocean Terminal for lunch. Given the cold, wind and hail shower it was little surprise that no one wanted to picnic outside.

Suitably refreshed we headed off in the cold but dry weather onto the familiar cycle paths of north Edinburgh. As is now customary, we stopped briefly on the red bridge near Crewe Toll before carrying on down the Telford and Roseburn Paths. The familiar route down the zig-zags, along Dalry Road, through the Telfer subway, along the canal to Leamington Bridge and along Gilmore Place delivered us back to the Meadows.

 We had a couple of mechanical issues, one puncture and a bag that needed extracting from a rear wheel. We also endured cold, wind, rain, hail showers and a sand storm. One of the group blamed the weather on the geostrophic wind. No idea what it means, but it sounds impressive. Let's hope May's ride is blessed with better weather.

Leader: Verity
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael and Glenn
Trace: Jim

Monday, 6 April 2015

April ride this coming Saturday

For this month's ride, Verity and Julia will be taking us on a circuit of bike paths in the Portobello / Leith area. Our lunch stop will be the Ocean Terminal, where there are some nice picnic tables overlooking the harbour. For those who prefer not to bring their own food, there are several cafés and sandwich shops in the shopping centre where you can pick up a snack.

We'll meet at our habitual starting point, at the top of Middle Meadow Walk, ready to leave by 10.30.

The ride will end mid-afternoon - perhaps between 3 and 4 pm.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

A record turnout

Who would have thought that a dry but chilly and overcast March day would have resulted in an all-time record turnout for a 20 Milers ride? The previous record turnout of 38 in June 2013 was beaten as 43 turned up for today's ride. Other Edinburgh cycle groups must be wondering how we do it. There's no secret formula. We simply arrange interesting rides with good company and make sure everyone feels welcome. The unsung heros of the group are those that put in the effort behind the scenes planning and recce-ing the routes and deciding on suitable lunch stops to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

You could see the leader, Michael's jaw drop as more and more riders arrived. We split into the customary two groups and headed down to cross the canal at the Leamington bridge, before carrying on down through the Telfer subway. Russell Road was closed to traffic for bridge repairs; but fortunately not to cyclists. We pressed on through Roseburn Park and past Murrayfield Stadium to join the Water of Leith path which we stayed on until Curriehill. The leading five of the second group missed the turning and ended up in Balerno, whilst the remainder of the group were paying attention and took the correct turning. A minor detour via the busy Lanark Road West got them back on the right route and we all headed into the back entrance of the Heriot Watt Riccarton campus for our lunch stop.

The large canteen was ideal for accomodating such a large group. In addition to getting lunch, the group met up with 20 Milers regular Livia and 3 month old baby Matthew who was presented with a teddy bear (almost as big as him) wearing a 20 Milers tee shirt. The 20 Milers main man, Mike Lewis was also presented with a card from the group in recognition of his 70th birthday. Happy birthday Mike. Suitably refreshed, the group said "goodbye" to Livia and Matthew and set off towards Edinburgh Park. We went past the lochs and busts of poets and onwards towards the Gyle shopping centre. As we made our way through the busy car park, we were relieved to be cycling rather than shopping on a Saturday afternoon. We carried on past South Gyle station, through Broomhouse, past the back of the Forestry Commission headquarters and onto the cycle path skirting Carrick Knowe golf course. This took us back to Murrayfield and we returned to the start by the same route we had headed out on earlier.

Considering the record turnout, the ride went smoothly. The only mechanical issue of the day was a thrown chain which was quickly fixed. Leading a large group is quite a challenge. So all credit to Michael on a job well done. I wonder how long until this record is broken?

Leader: Michael Law
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael and Glenn
Trace: Jim


Sunday, 8 March 2015

March ride this coming Saturday

Our March ride will be this coming Saturday (14th). Michael (Law) will be leading us out of town along the Water of Leith, returning by way of Hermiston, the Gyle and Roseburn. This promises to be a pleasant run, with just a few moderate hills and one or two rough paths. The total distance should be about 22 miles.

For lunch, we'll stop at the Heriot-Watt campus, where there is a useful cafeteria as well as seating for those who bring their own food.

As always, we'll set out at 10.30 from the top of Middle Meadow Walk. Remember, there's no need to let us know in advance if you will be coming. Just turn up on the day.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Our next cycling weekend: Peebles in May

By Glenn Brearley

The 2015 20-Milers cycling weekend will be to Peebles on 16th - 17th May.

We'll leave Edinburgh on the Saturday morning and head to Peebles via Gladhouse Reservoir, Eddleston, the Meldons and Lyne Station. We'll  stay overnight (all meet up for dinner) in Peebles and return to Edinburgh on the Sunday via Innerleithen and Middleton.

The pace will be similar to a usual 20-Milers rides. The distance each day will be about 40 miles.

You will need to book your own accommodation. It's very likely that we'll end up in several different hotels / guest houses / bed &  breakfasts. A quick on-line search suggests that you should expect to pay about £50.00 each for accommodation. You may be able to find  somewhere cheaper or more expensive. Some may want to have a single room, whilst others will be happy to share.

I'm after an idea of how many might be interested in joining this ride. Please let me know if you are interested. This does not commit you to going. But I do need to know if there is sufficient interest in order for the trip to go ahead.

Please reply to me,  Glenn Brearley, at Glenn.BrearleyATTforestry.gsi.gov.uk. (Replace ATT by the usual at-sign.).

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Valentine's Day ride through the mist

The February 20 Milers began in murky and misty conditions. The weather forecast suggested that it would have cleared somewhat by lunchtime. This was not the case and peering through the gloom with lights on was the order of the day. There would have been some fine views, but they remained hidden in the mist. It was a pleasant change not having to worry about ice. Although it was milder than of late, the damp and misty weather made it feel colder than expected.

It was good to see a few new faces along with a recumbent rider that had not ridden with the group for several months. We set off with 26 riders split into two groups. Arriving at the canal, it was one of those rare occasions when the Leamington Bridge was raised. Most carried their bikes up the steps, whilst a few (including the recumbent rider) opted to ride down to the canal basin and up the other side.

We pressed on alongside the canal through Wester Hailes. On leaving the canal towpath to make towards the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ; the second group had a pleasant surprise. The first group had left them some heart-shaped chocolates on the barrier beside the path. Having polished off these surprise treats; one of the riders passed round some delicious homemade heart-shaped biscuits she had brought along. On past the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ, over the bridge and down the lovely sweeping path that brought us out beside the A8 and on beyond Gogar Roundabout. Along Turnhouse Road and onwards to whizz down Cammo Walk. We carried on making our way eventually to the steep climb up the road to Craigie Farm for a well-deserved lunch stop. During the course of the morning, the five minute gap between the two groups had increased considerably. As a result, a few minutes after the second group arrived, the first group headed off. On the run back into town, both groups suffered more punctures in addition to having to take a diversion through the Dalmeny Estate whilst NCN1 is closed for widening and resurfacing. Once the diversion had been navigated, it was back onto familiar territory and the run back to the start via Cramond Bridge, Barnton, Roseburn Path, Dalry, the Telfer subway and the canal.

Leader: Alan Orr
Report: Glenn
Photos: Michael
Trace: Jim