Next Spokes Ride

The next Spokes Ride will be on Sunday 5th November 2017. Meet 10:00am at on Lothian Road outside the Usher Hall.

Destination East Lothian. Slightly hilly ride, further south this time. Pub Lunch.

Please check your bike before the ride, i.e. tyre pressure, chain and brakes. Bring some money for lunch, emergencies and possible café stops or post ride refreshments. Don't forget snacks to keep your energy levels up and a drink to consume en-route.
Don't forget to bring a small toolkit to fit your bike and a spare inner tube in case you get a puncture. It is much easier to replace the tube than to repair a tube, especially if you have a slow puncture.

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Weather

This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget

 

A breezy ride to Peebles, one of the longest rides, but absolutely fantastic. Well done to everyone who took part, safe in the knowledge that we only visit Peebles occasionally. Hope you are feeling fine this morning. Photographs showing the nine people who did the whole trip are in Photo Gallery.

We met up at the Usher Hall, along with a load of Socialist Worker / Anarchist types who were having a meeting in the Usher Hall. We spotted one car with a Palestinian Flag. But apart from the odd shout of “Buy Socialist Worker”, they didn’t really bother us. It could be my new pirate flag cycling top made me seem a little intimidating and they left us alone. There were 12 of us at the start, we took the normal route out of Edinburgh when heading South (upwards!!), following the A702. Along, Lothian Road, Earl Grey Street, Home Street, Leven Street, Bruntsfield Place then turning left on to Whitehouse Loan. The Whitehouse Loan, Strathearn Place, Strathearn Road junction is open again. That allowed us to carry on to Newbattle Terrace, Canaan Lance, Woodburn Terrace, Braid Avenue, and Hermitage Drive. We rejoined the A702 at Braidburn Terrace. We carried on up Comiston Road, and Biggar Road, and then turn off on to the A703, Seafield Moor Road.

The breeze did make travelling up hill quite difficult, but where there was shelter from the wind, it was quite nice. As this was a long cycle ride, we went through Bush, past the Science park, briefly joining the A701 and then turning off on to The Brae and joining the Dalkeith – Penicuik cycle path at the Mill. We followed the path through to Valleyfield on the south side of Penicuik. Here we rejoined the A701, someone decided to race me up to, and beat me to, the top of the hill. We followed the A701 to Leadburn, and this becomes the A703 to Peebles. At Leadburn, three people turned back. One person because of exhaustion, one person not feeling very well, and one person in sympathy. Nine of us carried on to Peebles.

It’s not very often that you have to pedal down to Peebles, but in this case, the wind made this a necessity. Thankfully, it got easier as we moved further down to Eddleston, and we eventually reached Peebles at about 1pm. A quick visit to the supermarket to gain extra supplies, and then down to the south bank of the Tweed for a picnic lunch. Some sat on a bench, some on the grass. One person, a teacher, met one of her pupils, everyone admired the new full suspension recumbent bike, very fast.

We left just after 2pm, heading out along the Tweed cycleway to Traquair, along the B7063. We stopped to admire the view of Innerleithen in the valley, then further down the road to admire Traquair House. At Traquair, we headed on to the B709 to take us in to Innerleithen, took a short trip along the busy A72, before rejoining the A709. Whilst going around Dod Hill, an occasional participant of Spokes Rides came down the hill in the opposite direction pedalling furiously in to the wind, it took him by surprise when I shouted “Hello”. He did turn around and caught up fairly quickly. He explained he had been in Istanbul on a conference, that he’d just returned, so didn’t feel up to coming on a Spokes Ride. He then turned around again to carry on his afternoon trip.

The wind was now helping us up the hill, so much so that I had to sprint up to get people to wait at the first peak, 351 metres above sea-level, 200 metres in 10km. Although it does get steep towards the top, Dewar’s gill, it felt like we were cycling on the flat. Then we went downhill quite fast on the new road surface, the B709 turned in to the B7007, then turned upward again. Although this is a steeper climb, and I felt the wind might be against us just before the top, but it didn’t, someone else raced against me to the top, 404 metres above sea level at The Mound. This section is called “The Granites”, probably after the nearby quarry.  We waited at the top again for everyone, and rested for a little while, before descending in to Midlothian, from 404m above sea level to 271m above sea level in four km, my maximum speed reached 73.7 km/h, 45.8 mph. There were excellent views at the top across Midlothian, Edinburgh to Fife. Unfortunately, my camera battery took this moment to fail.

From thereon, it was practically downhill all the way, going via minor roads, through Middleton and Carrington to the B704. On the way to Carrington, by a weird looking covered conveyer belt, which someone wanted to use like a travelator until I pointed out it goes in the other direction, One person indicated had dinner at a friends at 6pm, but I thought she had to make a 3-course dinner for 6 people. I recommended serving a packet of crisps, pot noodle and a Kit Kat.

We followed the B704 through Bonnyrigg and Lasswade. At Lasswade, we joined the A768, then turning on to Lasswade Road, where I found 5p and a Venom action toy, Spiderman’s archenemy along the road. We hit the Edinburgh city boundary just after 6pm. The person expecting guests for dinner did make it, I was told her friends downed a three-course meal in half an hour and, as predicted, the team came second in the pub quiz.

I got home just in time for the Tour de France highlights on ITV2, available on FreeView, Digital Cable and Digital Sky. ITV2 will show highlights every night in an hour-long program starting at 7pm. There is a weekly update program on ITV late in the evening. I think there’s one on tonight.

Ride Stats

Distance:         107km (66.49 miles)
Average Speed:    18.4 km/h (11.43 mph) average speed
Total climbing:   1206m (3956 feet), not quite as high as Ben Nevis!!!
Time cycling:     5 hours 47 mins

Max Temperature:  20 deg C (68 deg F) starting from about 16deg C at the Usher Hall, and cooling off after lunch to about 15 deg C at the top of The Granites

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