A tour of bike shops outside Edinburgh 17 miles.
A fine sunny day, quite warm too, greeted 12 Easycyclists, among them four new, and one new last month returning. Today we went to see some out of town bike shops, with the aim of showing cyclists how to get to them, and introducing a few that might not be well known.
We didn’t visit the more central bike shops like Evans, Cycle Co-op, Bike Traxx etc, simply because riding around the centre of town just isn’t that great. but a list is here.
Our first target was Hermiston Gait Shopping Centre. So we climbed the customary trail up to Leamington and down to the canal, where our way was blocked by path works. Nothing else for it but to drop down to Fountainbridge to get past them, and that was hard because of heavy traffic. But, back on the Canal, we rode Westwards past Harrison Park, Corstorphine, Slateford Aqueduct (dismounted), Wester Hailes where the canal was once filled in (you couldn’t cycle it back then), to Sighthill and eventually we turned right just before the Bypass, onto Cultins Road. A spin downhill and then a left turn into the Shopping centre, took us to a Halfords and a Decathlon.
We had about 20 mins to shop, and the lead got two inner tubes, but I suspect the nearby TkMax got more business from us than distant Decathlon.
Exiting to Edinburgh Park, we spun down to the Gyle Centre (but no bike shops there) and past South Gyle rail station, and down the marked path ‘8’ almost to Dovecot Rd. Instead of going down Dovecot, we turned left along Ladywell Ave and Featherhall Ave (both Corstorphine), which led us North to Hart’s Cyclery. This is a shop that does a £100 ‘Super Service’, a total strip down and rebuild, in which every ball bearing will be replaced. £100 is very much a ‘From’ figure as most bikes will have worn parts to replace too.
Crossing at the lights, we continued North via Templeland Rd and Craigs Rd/Craigmount Ave. This lets us cross the Queensferry Rd with the lights, and Barnton Park View/Ave took us into a short stretch of woods and into Davidsons Mains Park, and into ye Olde Inn.
Regulars may note, we eschewed a lot of our usual haunts: parks/ woods / Dovecots/ East Craigs estate. This is because the Bike shop ride is for us to understand where we’ve been and how we got there, something that’s often a bit mysterious with our usual indirect routes.
Anyway, we entered the beer garden directly from the path (back door) and were able to find three adjacent benches where all twelve could sit outside. A fabulous day for a fine outdoor lunch.
Exiting the pub, were took the Blackhall Path to Craigleith. Here we had a quick spin Westwards to visit Blackhall Cycles near Craigcrook Road. This is another place that does a £100 super service. Returning to the paths (two peeled off), we spun down to the Zig Zags and Russel Rd, where we visited one last bike shop: Grease Monkey, who can be called out to pick up broken bikes. (Actually, we just visited a sign).
More riders spun off here, and a lot more again when we returned to the Meadows, where the remaining four had a well earned coffee at Victor Hugo, looking back at an enjoyable ride in the sun. Long may it continue!
Lead:Jim Trace:Jim Photos:Graham Text:Jim