27-January-2018 Craigmillar Calm

A refuge in Wind and Rain – Portobello and Craigmillar castle park.

Four faces turned up at Peter’s Yard. All experienced hands – no new joiners. That’s hardly surprising – The day before had seen horrendous gales with cyclists blown sideways & knocked off bikes. Today’s forecast had been for more of the same but with lots of rain too!

The actual weather wasn’t that bad (but who’s to know that beforehand.) a bit of wind started up, and the air felt wet but didn’t actually rain much.  Actually we’d better stop calling it Peter’s Yard, it’s Söderberg the Meadows now, like it or lump it.

Anyway we set off down the Innocent and across the Jewel, plunging into the nicely tarmacced Bruntstane Burn path, pursuing the gentle climb and exiting at Joppa.  Gentle when riding Eastwards that is.

Turning Westwards on exit, we ran to the prom, then noticed the wind for the first time that day. We pushed upwind to the Baths then turned Left to exit the wind. Ha Ha no chance!  the wind followed us round the corner. There being no escape, we shared our sweeties  in a draughty Bellfield St, wondering if it was actually less windy on the prom.

Up over the long footbridge and onto the new path that reaches to Duddingston Crescent. We should’ve turned onto the A6106, but we got lured off course at Bailie Place by a promising looking blue bike path sign. But it soon fizzled out into unsigned side streets and so we wiggled across to the A6106 where we should’ve gone in the first place.

Back Westwards on the Innocent path at Forkenford, then Peffermill road and into Craigmillar Park, and sight of the Castle. It was too wet to ride the grass again, so we followed tarmac into inch park. Emerging, we decided against the planned visit to Hermitage of Braid (to avoid a probable mudbath) and rode Mayfield Rd back into Town. Lunch was at Summerhall.

No-one wanted to take up the option of a further post lunch ride. It just wasn’t the weather for it. So, a good ride, and proof that it’s possible to defy the elements and have a good time!

See y’all and let’s hope we have better weather in February.

Jim

Click here for map

Lead:Jim Trace:Jim    Photos:none  Text:Jim
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31-December-2017 Hogmanay Hurricane

The Easycycle that never was

There were 30mph average winds, with blasts up to 50mph. So it’s not surprising no-one turned up for the December ride.

Lead: none  Trace:  none  Photos: none   Text: Jim
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26-November-2017 Craigiefarm Comfort

A visit to an old favourite – the Craigie Farm farm shop and cafe

Alan (Orr) took this ride, and advised of 4 new faces and a good time had by all. Craigie is one of our nicer lunch stops, although it takes a wee bit of leg power to get to it.

Lead:Alan Trace:None    Photos:none  Text:Jim
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29-October-2017 Perishing Portobello

A ride to Portobello, visiting some old favourites. 20.1 miles including a facultative extension.

A bright, cold sunny day greeted eight of Easycycle’s most intrepid riders. In fact it was suddenly very cold, and a few said it felt like snow.   There were no absolute new faces among the eight, although three had started Easycycling the month before.

We took advantage of the Sunday road closure, to ride down Queen’s Drive to Duddingston village. Passing the Sheep Heid, we turned into Cavalry park Road for a trip near the Golf course, emerging at Milton Rd West. Using the residential streets to avoid heavy traffic,  we came out at Duddingston Rd and too a spin around the lovely Figgate park.

Impossible to resist circling the pond, so we did, and rode out to our first curiosity – the Craigentinny marbles – a giant mausoleum, unexpectedly nestled in an estate of 1930s bungalows.

Regaining the Fishwives Causeway, we rode straight into Portobello, to admire the last two bottle kilns in Scotland. There’s a lot of information here about them: http://gaukartifact.com/2013/03/04/history-of-the-bottle-kiln/

The old monochrome photo here shows a few, not just the two we saw on the ride. You can see more of them by clicking on the photo and zooming in: https://www.capitalcollections.org.uk/index.php?a=ZoomItem&key=QnsiTiI6MSwiUCI6eyJpdGVtX2lkIjpbIjEwNjI4Il19fQ==&pg=1&WINID=1509562455272#1V482pya3f0AAAFfeO8Qyg/10628

We had the coice of a quick way back, along the Innocent, but chose instead to take the Restalraig path to Leith Links, then the long nothern path system back to the russel Rd zigsags. AN excellent way of climbing back into edinburgh from seal level withiout meeting any steep gradients.

From the zigsags we rode to Gorie Rd, then the bumpy steps to Fountainbride and the Canal, then the Meadows.

The ride being closed, the remainder enjoyed a coffee in the Victor Hugo lounge, looking back on a cheery ride in fortunate sunshine.

Trace

Lead:Jim Trace:Jim Photos:none Text:Jim
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24 Sep 2017 – A Musselburgh Meander

A Musselburgh Meander

We’ve been enjoying a bit of an Indian summer this month, with some warm sunny afternoons and temperatures often reaching the mid-teens. That might be the reason for today’s good turnout: 18 cyclists joined our ride, including several newcomers – all very welcome.

With Glenn in the leader’s seat, we headed eastward from the Meadows. Eschewing the usual route through the Innocent tunnel, we turned up St. Leonard’s Lane, and then along the delightful but little-used St. Leonard’s Bank, giving fine views over Holyrood Park. From the main entrance to the park, we zoomed down the road to Duddingston Village, then headed through Cavalry Park, past Duddingston House, and through the imposing gates in Milton Road West. A short stretch on the Innocent path took us to Brunstane Station where we picked up the narrow track alongside the Brunstane Burn.

After a short pause to regroup, we took the final leg into Musselburgh, which was our planned lunch stop. But such was our progress that it was only 11.30 am when we reached the Honest Toun. So after a toilet break at Fisherrow Harbour, we set out on a circuit of the paths to the north of the racecourse.

An interesting feature on these paths is the huge concrete arrow embedded in the ground near the mouth of Esk, pointing out to the Firth of Forth. As our leader explained, this was used during World War II to direct bombers to training targets moored in the firth. Dozens of similar structures were built around the country, but the one in Musselburgh is one of the few that is still visible, thanks mainly to the restoration work done on it by cadets of the nearby 297 Squadron.

And so to lunch. Back in the town centre, we spread ourselves among the three cafes in the High Street. Unfortunately, our visit coincided with the finish of the Scottish Half Marathon, which meant that the eateries were much busier than usual. Some of our group had to wait over 40 minutes to be served with a hot drink and a sandwich, which was annoying. But at least it gave us a chance for a good blether.

Back on the road, we took a pleasant route through Inveresk Village and on to the River Esk Walkway. From there, we followed the familiar NCN 1 route via Musselburgh Station, Queen Margaret University, Newcraighall, and back to the Innocent path. With a few riders peeling off at the foot of the tunnel, the remnants of the group made their way back to the Meadows, reaching there at around 3 pm: another very successful outing for EasyCycle.

Leader and photos: Glenn

Backmarker: Hilary

Report: Mike

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Sunday 27th August 2017 – Curios on Campus

It was a fine dry, windless morning as cyclists began to assemble at Peters Yard for an excursion to Heriot Watt University campus on an ‘Easy Cycle’ or a ‘Cycle for Softies’, depending on how the ride was brought to their attention. The fact that the ride had been posted on Cycling for Softies was the very probable reason there were a more than healthy 26, ready to go at the advertised 10.30 start time. No problem, we’ll have two groups. Well, yes there was a problem, our illustrious leader, Jim, had a recurring puncture and was unable to come on the ride. 26 riders and only one leader – oh what fun we were going to have…. Hastily, the back marker was ‘volunteered’ and, as a back-up, a marshall was ‘appointed’ to oversee the ride – pressing buttons at crossings and alerting the leader of any problems etc..
So, after a quiet word about safety to the ‘newbies’, we set off at about 10.40, on the well worn path down Middle Meadow Walk, over Melville Drive, through Bruntsfield Links and down to the Leamington Lift Bridge. It was here we had a minor mechanical. The bumps on Leamington Terrace had loosened a mudguard bolt. Luckily, the nut hadn’t fallen off and a quick tighten, whilst pulling the mudguard away from the tyre,  was all that was required. Onwards along the canal and over the Slateford Aqueduct to our exit from the canal at Kilncroft Side. Thence, over Lanark Road and on to the somewhat muddy path adjacent to the Water of Leith. Onwards again past various waterfalls, through the crescent which is Colinton Station Tunnel and under the City Bypass (A720) on a constantly elevating path, stopping for a cake bar and a breather, before continuing on up to Balerno. We then crossed the surprisingly busy Bridge Road onto Lanark Road, where we turned in along the almost concealed corridor through to Dalmahoy Crescent. We were now going to enjoy withdrawing the energy, we had earlier banked along the riverside path, on our descent on Ravelrig Road. The easy, slightly tailwind assisted, stretch along Old Dalmahoy Road and Curriehill Road saw us entering Heriott Watt University Campus at the rear gate. It was there that one of the team, a project Leader on gender equality at Heriot Watt, took over the lead, showing us the Fire Pond, Ice House and family graveyard which exist from when the Campus was a grand estate, We were also guided round the picturesque lake.
Lunchtime was upon us – but we eschewed the Student Union café (which we believe was shut in any case!) and headed to the Oriam café situated in the cloud like structure which contains the sports halls. This has only been open a matter of months and easily catered for our numerous group with no problems. A few, however, elected to dine outside as the weather was so favourable – although more outdoor seating would have been appreciated.
Some, who lived in the area, saw no reason to come back into town, so a reduced number of 21 set off on the return journey, over Calder Road and down Gogar Station Road, through the tunnel under the bypass, then past Krispy Kreme and on to the cycleway alongside the tram tracks towards the Jenners Depository. Then through Balgreen, Roseburn, Murrayfield, Dalry, up the bumps at Fountain Park and back up onto the canal. Over the Lift Bridge and along to the five ways junction at Middle Meadow Walk, where, at 15.05, the ride was declared over. The numbers had dwindled steadily on the return leg and the remaining three went for a tea/coffee at Victor Hugo’s, where we were re-joined by Jim. Although the beverage was very welcome, it didn’t feel quite as well earned as the leaders previous Easy Cycle. Good riders, good weather, negligible mechanicals, served up with a huge slice of luck, meant that the anticipated ‘fun’ was actually that.
Approximate Map-My-Ride trace:-
(Approximate because Map-My-Ride doesn’t recognise some of the paths on the campus)

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30-July-2017 Couthy Colinton

Colinton. 15 miles approx.

(Your scribe was off on a well earned holiday and so this post is a placeholder until I can talk to folk/ gather photos. )

I can see 12 plus probably the photographer making 13. Is that 6 new faces?

Alan took us North via Kings Buildings and Ellen Glen Road, to Colinton where we had lunch in the Spylaw tavern.

Lead:Alan Trace:None    Photos:Sarah   Text:Jim


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