Saturday, 11 November 2017
It's always good when someone that hasn't led a ride before steps up and volunteers. It often results in
a new approach, new ideas and a new route. It also bodes well for the future of the 20 Milers. Most of
today's route wasn't new, but we have usually done it in the opposite direction - so, different in that
way. The ride took us out to Musselburgh, then on to Dobbies Garden Centre via Dalkeith. We returned to town via Gilmerton and Craigmillar.
We had a fine, dry, sunny, if slightly chilly day. It was beginning to look as if a small turnout was on the cards. But, as the departure time grew closer, more and more riders arrived. Some cut it so fine that they arrived midway through the briefing. By the time we rolled away, there were thirty of us. Very impressive for a November ride. Two stalwarts of the group (who have only missed a handful of rides between them over a number of years) noted how often there has been the situation where a rookie leader has had to contend with a rather large group. Today was no exception. For a number of reasons, we also ended up riding as one group. From the Meadows we headed to the Innocent railway. Through the tunnel and on familiar paths as far as Musselburgh station. We had a stop there in the sunshine for sweets and cake. All replenished, we headed off again. We crossed the main road into Musselburgh. It was easier than usual as the traffic was snarled up and going nowhere due to what looked like a nasty accident. From there the delightful path beside the River Esk took us to Whitecraig and on to Dalkeith. Some twiddling through back streets, through parkland and we found ourselves at a kissing gate that brought us out into a new housing estate. Not sure who thought it would be a good idea to put a kissing gate on a recognised cycle path. It certainly made getting thirty cyclists through quite a chore. After that we negotiated the horrible Eskbank roundabout, crossed the busy A7 and arrived at Dobbies for lunch. The leader told everyone we would be leaving at 1345. Despite how busy the resturant was, we all got served quite quickly. Thirty-five minutes earlier than expected, the leader told us all that we were ready to leave. Alas, one rider had just gone to get a second coffee and a cake. As their bike was locked to two others, that meant at least three of us would not be leaving early. What with that and others wandering round the garden centre, we eventually left at 1345.
Leader: Julia L
Map trace: Jim
Monday, 6 November 2017
We've got our November ride this coming Saturday (11th). This should be a particularly interesting ride because our leader, Julia (Loecherbach), has succeeded in finding a lunch venue which we never visited before as a group (as far as I know). It is the spacious self-service restaurant at Dobbies Garden Centre in Lasswade. They do a good range of soups, sandwiches and snacks, and the service is reasonably fast. There are also seats outside for those of us who want to brave the November temperatures for a picnic.
The route will be fairly straightforward: about 22 miles in total. There will be a couple of moderate hills, just before and after lunch, but nothing else to worry about. We'll head out via the Innocent path, the River Esk walkway and Dalkeith, returning by way of Danderhall and Gilmerton.
The meeting time and place are as constant as the Northern Star: 10:30 at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. And as usual the ride is completely free and open, so there is no need to reply to this post.
Now that the clocks have gone back, this would be a good time for us all to check that our lights are in good order. Sunset on Saturday will be at 16:15. Although the ride should have finished by then, it might well be dark by the time you get home. So be sure to bring your lights on the ride, and check that they have plenty of juice.
Some of you have asked me if our traditional Christmas morning ride will take place this year. Yes, we will definitely have a ride that morning. I don't have any further information just yet, but will post full details here in due course.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Today's ride was billed as an Edinburgh coast to coast. It saw us head to Cramond and follow the coast round as far as Portobello, before heading inland and back to the Meadows. We had another first for a 20 Milers ride today when a cargo bike turned up carrying a family of four. This explains how we managed to have 28 participants, but only 25 bikes.
Map trace: Jim
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
We've got our October ride this coming Saturday (14th).
Verity will be leading us on a tour of Edinburgh's north coast, heading out first to Cramond and then working our way round to Leith and Portobello. We'll be on quiet roads and well-surfaced paths for most of the time, with just a couple of stretches on roads that might be busy with traffic. The total distance will be about 23 miles, with no serious hills to worry about.
For lunch, we'll stop at the Ocean Terminal in Leith. There are several food outlets there, both to sit in or take away. For those of us who like to picnic, there is a particularly nice spot behind the building with good views of the harbour.
The meeting time and place for this ride are the same as ever: 10.30 at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk. Remember, all our rides are free and open to all, so feel free to bring your friends. There's no advance booking. Just turn up on the day.
Saturday, 23 September 2017
Today's ride saw us head into uncharted territory. The leader who was leading his second Extra ride in as many months, took us into the depths of Midlothian - to Pathhead and beyond. For most this was somewhere new and unexplored.
Map trace: David.
Sunday, 17 September 2017
We've got one of our Extra rides coming up on Saturday (23rd).
Given that our group has been on the road for 13 years, it's inevitable that we often do the same rides many times. Today's run will be different: a completely new route that we have never before done as a group. What's more, it will take in some particularly attractive countryside with above-average scenery. It will essentially be a circuit of the eastern fringes of Midlothian, including Mayfield, the Tyne Water and Crichton Castle, with a pub lunch in Pathhead.
But be warned. The ride will be quite a bit longer and faster than most of our runs, and there will be a fair bit of climbing. Although we'll mainly be riding on quiet roads, there will be one short stretch on a busy main road, and another where we might have to walk along the pavement.
We'll meet at Fisherrow Harbour in Musselburgh in time for a 10.30 start. The route is about 35 miles from Fisherrow back to Fisherrow, but if you are coming from central Edinburgh, you will need to add about 12 miles to the total. Depending on progress, you can expect to get back to Edinburgh between 4 and 5 pm.
As always, there's no need to let us know in advance whether or not you will make it for this ride. Just turn up on the day.
Saturday, 9 September 2017
Today's ride saw us head south-west to Colinton, followed by a big loop round to Leith and Craigentinny in the north-west. Our route took us through a number of Edinburgh's many parks, and saw us navigate several flights of steps.
riding through to Glasgow for the following day's Pedal for Scotland; the weather was quite pleasant - so the relatively low turnout was a bit of a mystery. At least it meant we only needed one group and we did have a couple of new faces. We left the Meadows behind and threaded our way through the backstreets of Morningside and on through Braidburn Valley Park. On through Colinton Mains Park, Spylaw Park and bypassing Colinton village, we rode through the curved Colinton Tunnel. That tunnel so reminds the writer of a scene from the film "The Italian Job", that he now finds it impossible to ride through it without whistling, "We're all members of the self-preservation society". Each to their own! We followed NCN75 before joining the Union Canal towpath. A short run along the canal and we dismounted to walk across the Slateford Aqueduct. Once across, we negotiated the steep flight of steps down to the Water of Leith path. Past the cemetery and allotments, across Gorgie Road and into Saughton Park. Major works in the park resulted in a detour that brought us out on Stevenson Drive. A twiddle through the backstreets of Saughton took us past Murrayfield Stadium and into Roseburn Park. Across the busy Roseburn Terrace and another flight of steps got us back on the Water of Leith path. We left the path at the rear of the Britannia Hotel and climbed up to Belford Terrace. From there a short ride saw us arrive at the Gallery of Modern Art - our lunch stop. The cafe was the quietest many of us had ever seen it. We quickly got served and enjoyed lunch sitting in the garden making the most of the sunshine.
Map trace: David