Next Spokes Ride

The next Spokes Ride will be on Sunday 1st July 2018.

Forecast is dry, light cloud. Max Temp 21°C NE Wind. (Bring sunscreen)

Meet 10:00am at on Lothian Road outside the Usher Hall.

Destination Linlithgow, West Lothian. Slightly hilly ride, with few inclines but not too steep. Distance about 45 mi. Picnic Lunch, so please a packed lunch with you. Tea / coffee provided at the lunch spot, so RSVP to register your interest through the Contacts page.

This ride will be visiting one of the Open Gardens in Linlithgow, the lunch time stop. If you wish to visit the rest gardens, a guide, costing £5 is also available. This will allow you to visit to all the other gardens open to the public on Sunday. Please RSVP through the Contacts page. (Please remember to bring £5 with you, and you can pick up the guide at the lunch time stop)

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.

July 2018
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This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget


The Eye of a Painter

"This is what a picture should give us, an abyss in which the eye is lost,
a secret germination, a coloured state of grace, loose consciousness.
Descend with the painter in to the dim tangled roots of things,
And rise again from them in colours,
Be steeped in the light of them" ~
Paul Cézanne

The rain ceased on Saturday, but the Sunday forecast wasn’t that good, heavy showers. 10 people turned up for the longer ride to the Borders, which didn’t turn out to be as long as it should, but it was a wonderful ride. There was a fair breeze, but it didn’t make cycling too difficult, however, as we cycled south, grey clouds and yellow green of moorland grass gave the landscape a flat apperance. This of course, could have also have been the result of their being no more hills to climb as we were at the top!!! Unfortunately, we did have to use the A7, but on Sunday morning, traffic was extremely light, and the road is fairly wide.

Quietly we slunk over the Border

As we ventured through Heriot, and on to a minor road, the colours returned, first different crops striping green contours across the landscape, and intermittent fences of purple rosebay willowherb lining the road, itself the winding, rolling kind built for cycling. The uphills were not too long, and the downhills just the right length and the vistas breathtaking.

As we reached Stow, the clouds turned greyer, and a short rain shower persuaded us to have our lunch here. We had lunch outside (it had dried up by the time I found the public convenience, which wasn’t widely signposted) I managed to find the only pub in Stow, where we met the landlord who had only just bought the place, and we had a wee drink as a company of friends.

The Glory of Colour

After lunch, we headed back from Stow the way we came, black clouds hung to the right, sun behind, blue sky to the left, purple flowers fenced the road, and up ahead a shower curtain descended from the sky. The road was initially dry. As we headed north, where rain had fallen, the road reflected purple flowers as though a Renoir had been painted in black and white. Even though we were climbing back up to Heriot, the road never really gave any indication of increasing altitude, there were ups and downs as before.

Further on, the road became wetter, taking on the appearance of marble, reflecting a blackened sky. The rain was ahead of us, and we were catching up. Fortunately, we turned left at Heirot on to the B709, and headed west. The black clouds receded, leaving us in sunshine on a country lane. As the road climbed, so did the peaks. Soon a truly Scottish landscape was revealed, hills with purple heather cascading down to the side of the road. At Garvald, we headed north to The Granites. Here we stopped for a truly spectacular views, from the Pentlands stretching south west, through Edinburgh across to Trapain Law, with North Berwick Law behind.

From the Moorfoot Hills, it was mostly downhill, every twist and turn taken taking us nearer home, and Arthur’s Seat growing larger. Grit on the road and hidden potholes made the riding more technical than it should be for a National Cycle Route, but it was fun. By the time we reached Bonnyrigg, every face had a big grin on it.

Thank you to everyone who turned up on Sunday. You all added to the experience of a wonderful day.

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

"The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

Ride Statistics

Distance:       98.7 km (61.2 miles)
Average Speed:  19.2 km/h (11.9 mph) (Max 48.6 km/h)
Total Climbing: 1478m (4849 feet) (Max Height 404m)
Time:           5 hours 20 minutes
Max. Temp.:     18 deg C (71.6 deg F)

Route Description

Start:  Usher Hall
Out:    Meadows, Causewayside, Liberton, Lasswade, Bonnyrigg, Carrington, Castleton, Middleton, Heriot, Fountainhall, Stow
Return: Stow, Fountainhall, Heriot, The Granites, Middleton, Castleton, Carrington, Bonnyrigg, Lasswade,
End:    Captain's Rd.

Interactive Route Map

The map belows shows the route that we took on the August 2008 Summer Spokes Ride.

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Sat Jul 14 @10:30 - 05:00PM
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Sat Aug 11 @10:30 - 05:00PM
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Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat Sep 08 @10:30 - 05:00PM