|More photos from today's ride|
Rather than taking the obvious (and somewhat boring) out-and-back route along the Union Canal, our leader, Alan Orr, conducted us through the streets of Morningside and across the northern slopes of Easter Craiglockhart Hill. After crossing Colinton Road, we took a handy cut-through to reach the canal at Allan Park.
After a fast three miles along the towpath, we left the canal at Hermiston House Road (see photo). A couple more road miles took us into Ratho. Then came the only hard work of the day: hauling our bikes up the double flight of steps to our lunch stop at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.
The EICA is always a good choice for lunch. The café has a spectacular view of the 30-metre high climbing wall, which is built right into the face of an old quarry - the largest facility of its kind in the world. There are also plenty of picnic tables; these have a somewhat less spectacular view of the Union Canal.
For the return leg, Alan led us back through Ratho village and then across the Ratho Park Golf Club. I don't know if this is an official bike route (were those golfers shouting at us, or were they just being exuberant?), but it certainly makes for pleasant cycling. After a nice freewheel down Gogar Station Road, we passed under the City Bypass into Edinburgh Park, and then headed for home via South Gyle, Corstorphine and Roseburn.
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Report and photo: Mike