28 December 2013 : A devious ride to Colinton

For today’s ride, Logan led eight of us out to Colinton. Now, most of us have cycled to that particular suburb countless times before. Yet our leader still managed to find a route that was – at least, in part – new to us all.

We started with an interesting wiggle through the Grange and Morningside. From Balcarres Street, we cut through Morningside Park towards Craighouse and Myreside Road. Then came a stretch along a very narrow path that I for one never knew existed. This skirted the South Suburban railway line before disgorging us into Colinton Road. After that we enjoyed a couple of miles along the reassuringly familiar canal towpath and Water of Leith path, ending in a loop of West Mill Road and Woodhall Road.

And so to our lunch venue: the Spylaw Tavern, where a pair of friendly staff members served us quickly and efficiently. In fact, the service was so good that they made us feel we were their most important customers. (Come to think of it, we were their only customers, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.)

For the return leg, we started back along Colinton Road. But after a couple of hundred metres our leader steered us through a pair of imposing gates and along a winding driveway, which turned out to belong to Merchiston Castle School. It seems that this is Logan’s alma mater – or, as he prefers to call it, The Penitentiary. Either way, I’m glad we had a former in-mate to guide us as we would probably not have found our way out otherwise. I’m still not sure  exactly where we exited the school grounds, but we somehow found ourselves in Colinton Dell, from where we quickly regained  the Water of Leith path and the canal.

After that, it was plain sailing all the way to the Leamington Basin. Up to now, the day had been bright and dry, albeit with a bracing cold wind. But as we reached the lift bridge, a few spots of rain appeared, so your humble scribe beetled off for home, while sturdier members of the group headed back to the Meadows for the usual post-ride beverages at Peter’s Yard.

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