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Saturday, 10 March 2018

The falls ride

The key word for today's ride was "falls". Firstly, the rain never stopped falling. We had two riders
fall in the slippery conditions and lunch was taken at the appropriately named, "Cramond Falls Cafe".

Last Saturday, lying snow kept most riders off their bikes. Yesterday had been a lovely sunny day giving the impression that perhaps spring wasn't too far off. Unfortunately, this morning we awoke to heavy rain that was to continue all day. We had a new leader and she must have wondered if anyone was going to turn up. We eventually mustered eleven riders, which was quite good given the conditions. Following a detailed briefing where the group was made aware of the pre-arranged muster points, Jenny led us towards the Innocent Tunnel. But instead of going through the tunnel, we made our way into Holyrood Park and down Queen's Drive. At St Margaret's Loch, we climbed the steep hill up to Dunsapie Loch. On this stretch we had to pull to the side to let a paramedic vehicle on a "shout" pass. Having circled Arthur's Seat, we returned to the point at which we had entered the park and headed to Duddingston village. Duddingston Road west took us to the gate leading into Figgate Park. We paused at Figgate Pond where cakes and sweets were passed round. Everyone was so wet that even if we'd gone for a swim in the pond, it's doubtful we would have come out much wetter! We left the park and headed down Brighton Place. Just beyond the railway bridge, we turned right onto the Christian Path. This delightful little path was new to most of us, even those that thought they knew Portobello well. We crossed Portobello High Street and took quiet back roads to the Portobello Swim Centre. Using the side of the building to try and shelter from the rain, we had another sweetie stop.
We still had a fair way to go to lunch and it's more important than ever to keep up morale on such a soggy day. One of the few benefits of  the weather was there were very few walkers, children or dogs to contend with on the prom. An easy ride alongside the choppy Forth took us to Seafield and on to Leith Links. A combination of wet road, muddy gutter and hard to see kerb resulted in a nasty fall for one of the group. At first it looked serious enough to have to call an ambulance. Fortunately that was not the case. A sore arm and hip and one badly shaken rider was the outcome. Having regained their composure, they were able to continue and finish the ride. They will probably be feeling quite sore by the time you read this. Down to The Shore, we headed towards Ocean Terminal. Around Victoria Quay in an area used for car parking are some disused tram lines. It was one of these that caught out another rider who hit the deck. No injury this time. But wet cobbles, standing water and disused tram lines was never going to be a good mix. We continued past Newhaven Harbour, along Lower Granton Road and paused briefly beside the Granton Gasometer. From there we made our way to Silverknowes Esplanade, which we sped along to the Cramond Falls Cafe for lunch. It was lovely to be in the warmth and out of the rain eating hot food.

All too soon it was time to venture back out into the rain. There were the inevitable moans that come
when wet clothes and gloves have to be put back on. At least it wouldn't take long to get back to town; most of the mileage had been covered before lunch. As so often seems to be the case straight after lunch (even on nice days), we had a stiff little climb up School Brae to contend with. The climb over, we had a stretch on the flat followed by a downhill. We were then on familiar territory. Through Barnton, paths took us back to Craighleith and onto the Roseburn Path, down the zig-zags, through the Telfer subway and along the canal to Leamington Bridge. Here the leader declared the ride over. Thanks to Jenny for leading an interesting ride and managing to keep our spirits up on such a miserable day. Next time she leads, let's hope the weather is kinder to us.

Leader: Jenny
Report: Glenn
Photos: Graham
Map trace: Jim

Monday, 5 March 2018

March ride this coming Saturday

This month's ride will take place on Saturday (10th March). Jenny Tizard will be leading us on a tour of Edinburgh's waterfront, from east to west. I understand the route will include a few wiggles that might be unfamiliar to most of us, which should make for an interesting ride.

For our lunch stop, we will aim for Cramond. Those of us who are foolish enough to bring a picnic will find a nice bench by the river. The rest of you can head for the comfort of the Cramond Falls cafe with its open fire.

After lunch, we'll head back to town via NCN 1, arriving back at the Meadows around mid-afternoon.

The total distance will be about 20 miles. There will be two steep-ish climbs, but there will be no other difficulties. The route will be almost entirely on well-surfaced roads and paths.

Time and place

We'll meet as usual at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk, leaving at 10.30.

Please keep in mind that the above details are provisional. We always reserve the right to alter the route or the lunch arrangements at the last minute - especially if the weather is bad or if there is a risk of ice or snow on the paths. But the meeting time and place won't change.