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.

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This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget


We're not Pixies

"The riders come out, knights for the tournament, neck to thigh in slippery lycra with the sheen of deep space condoms, faired helmets on their heads like the glans from another galaxy and neoprene pixyboots to slide the air around their feet, mounted on gaudily caparisoned donkeys — the carbon fibre monocoque monoblade." ~ James Waddington, Bad to the Bone

An early start to the July Long Spokes Ride, and a weather forecast for heavy showers, I thought I might be riding alone, but the showers, or threat of them didn't stop 10 people turning up. The ride was shortened to 80km because the wind make cycling slow, one puncture (you can't help these, although this one was due to the inner tube). Worringly, in the afternoon one person wasn't feeling too bright, apparently in the first stages of 'Swine Flu'. No panic there tho', it turned out to be a chesty cold.

In to a Far Land

We went to Muiravonside Country Park in Falkirk District, taking a circular route through West Lothian, outwards through Linlithgow, returning through Torphichen and Mid Calder. A bit blustery in the face made the going slower than usual, but nothing onerous. Unfortunately, one puncture occurred as we passed Craigies, that didn't take long to fix. We continued through Kirkliston, Niddry and Winchburgh in sunshine. On the way out of Fauceldean, I was amazed how green the trees were. Sparkling almost.

The route was also winding, enabling us to avoid showers, and mostly up hill to Linlithgow. As we headed to Linlithgow, the dark gray rain clouds stayed to the south of us. A couple of spits and spots is not enough to put a waterproof on. As we came passed Whitecross along the B road, the blue sky pushed the rain clouds away just in time as we reached our lunchtime stop at Muiravonside Country Park in Falkirk District.

Lunch was really pleasant sitting outside. We did experience one short shower, but we managed to escape to one of the barns to finish lunch. Slower eaters managed to gain entrance to the small cafe. After the shower, peered out waiting for the blue sky to reappear, which it soon did.

Knights of the road

After lunch we head to Torphichen. From an earlier Spokes Ride report, you will know the Knights Hospitaller were based here. Thre Preceptory was built then, and the Torphichen Inn dates back to 1191 (Hugues de Payen). We stopped next to the relatively modern construction celebrating Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee!! History is all about perspective.

From here we dragged the bikes through Slackend and around Cairnpapple Hill (an even older Historic monument sits atop the hill, so a different perspective again, even though we didn't visit it.) and through the Wilderness at great speed. Wind assisted and going downhill, one water bottle leapt from its owner's bicycle, fortunately retrieved by a cyclist at the rear of the Pelaton. Up one slight incline, and then another monstrous downhill experience, which I split in two as I didn't want anyone to get too much excitement. There were some great view across to the Pentland Hills as we headed down to Dechmont.

At Uphall we headed south again, through the historic village of Pumpherston, the home of the Victorian Oil Shale Industry. The first part of the B road, very urban and industrial, heads south in a straight line. Like an aging river winding through a flood plain, the road too seems to age, eventually winding to a halt in Mid Calder. The top half devoid of trees, the lower half surrounded by vegetation.

Once at Mid Calder, we took the easy route in to Edinburgh, following the road, a mostly NCN route 75. Through East Calder to Kirknewton, along a minor road, fairly busy. The Long Dalmahoy Road didn't seem that long. I think that had we been travelling in the opposite direction, it may have seemed longer, but in no time reaching Ravelrig Rd., with the steep hill, up to Balerno. At Balerno, the walking wounded were given a chance of a rest, and they grabbed at the opportunity with all their might. Interesting conversations in the pub, as always, and the rain reappeared, but only while we were in the pub. Then homewards. I peeled off at Colinton, headed down to the Water of Leith path. It was, as we had all expected, totally sodden.

Thanks to everyone who turned up. I hope you enjoyed your ride, despite various ailments. Hope to see you on another ride.

Warm Regards,
Explore, Dream, Discover

"Cycling to work is an important issue for business – the more who do it, the more our communities will support it. Healthy and green, cycling is worthy of the support of every business in the land." ~ Sir Digby Jones, director general of the Confederation for British Industry, February 2006

Ride Statistics

Distance:       78.2km (48.5 miles)
Average Speed:  19.8km (12.3 mph) Max 57.6 km/h
Total Climbing: 1067m (3500ft) Max 250m
Time:           3 hours 56 minutes
Max. Temp.:     20 deg C (63 deg F)

Route Description

Start:  Usher Hall
Out:    Fountainbridge, Roseburn, Silverknowes, Cramong Brig, Burnshot, Kirkliston, Niddry, Winchburgh, Bridgend Farm, Dark Entry, Linlithgow, Linlithgow Bridge, Avon Viaduct, Muiravonside Country Park
Return: Muiravonside Country Park, Torphichen, Cairnpapple, West Mains, Dechmont, Pumpherston, Mid Calder, Kirknewton, Long Dalmahoy Rd, Balerno, Currie,
End:    Slateford

Interactive Route Map

The map below shows the route that we took on the July 2009 Summer Spokes Ride.

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Sat Aug 11 @10:30 - 05:00PM
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Spokes Sunday Rides
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