29-April-2018 – Almond Adventure

Knowing that such a lovely day would draw a healthy turnout for todays Easy Cycle prompted the leader to do a refresher reccie for part of the route, which resulted in cutting it fine for the start of the ride. So, slightly stressed and out of breath, it was somewhat unsettling to see what was, by anyone’s standards, an overwhelming number of participants. There were so many the leader never tried to count but thought he overheard a 20 Miler stalwart (Alan) saying that there were 39! Conventional wisdom would say split the group – so that was duly done – into 2 – with someone (Ken) suggesting 3 groups! The leader of group A quickly described the first section of the ride to the knowledgeable leader of Group B (Alan). So, off we set along the length of Middle Meadow Walk, turning right into Bruntsfield Links, down to the Leamington, Fountain Park bumps, Russell Road, Roseburn/Blackhall corridor to Silverknowes, then into Lauriston Castle grounds for a wander round the Kyoto Garden and a comfort break. Group B leader was then briefed about the next stage of the ride – but was a little unsure – so we arranged to re-join before the East Craigs section.
It was then onwards through Davidson’s Mains Park, over the busy Queensferry Road and onto Clermiston Drive. A right at Drumbrae Crescent revealed a panoramic view over to Fife with the Queensferry Crossing dominating. After passing the Drumbrae Leisure Centre, we crossed the Drumbrae North/South, through to Craigmount Avenue North and accessed the cycleway part the way down Bughtlin Burn before turning left and continuing to Craigmount High School. Down some inconvenient steps then a pedal along Dechmont Road and a short stretch along the Glasgow Road took us to our lunch stop at The Gyle Shopping Centre.
For the purposes of trying something new, and as it was such a nice day, the leader decided to take the option of a cycle down the banks of the River Almond. So off we set – through the tunnel at Edinburgh Gateway Station, along Turnhouse Road, Turnhouse Farm Road, Lennymuir and onto the rough path that leads to and along The River Almond. In retrospect this part proved very tricky indeed for New and Returning cyclists.  Eventually, we reached the Grotto Bridge where we regrouped before setting off again down Cammo Road over Queensferry Road again, Braehead Road, Barnton Grove/Crescent and then into the woods that lead back to Davidson’s Mains Park. Through Tesco’s car park and onto the cycleway and, reversing the route we had taken in the morning, we arrived back at Middle meadow Walk, where the ride was declared over.
The gamble of going down the river backfired, notwithstanding the fact that it increased the ride length, and the leader can only apologise to everyone adversely affected.
‘Relive’ video of the day:-
(I have permission from Ida to post this ‘Relive’ video).
‘Map My Ride’ (manual plot):-
‘Strava’ of the reccie:-
Thanks to Alan Orr for leading Group B, Sarah Jane Davidson and Stuart Grant for backmarking duties and Ida Silkenat for the ‘Relive’ video.

Lead:Graham+Alan Trace:Graham (see links)  Photos:Graham  Text:Graham
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