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

 

Wonderful views riding my bicycle produces autumn bliss

"If I can just keep riding, thru wind and rain and sun
I might return to that special place, where I think that I begun" ~
The Endless Ride

Nine people turned up for a lazy autumn ride to Leadburn. As I was returning from the cash machine, the BBC weather forecast was being shown on the large screen in Festival Square. According to them, it wasn't going to be a good day on the bike. Heavy rain until 3pm. It was already raining, but very lightly. I suppose we could get to the pub quickly and then sit out the rest of the rain then head home, but we are not all racers, so the most direct route, nice and easy. Then we'll see how it goes from there.

A Damp Start

There was climbing involved, but but riding slowly the climbs might be longer, but we don't wait so long at the top, as everyone is taking it easy. We set off the drizzle doesn't feel too bad, in fact it is getting a lot lighter as we head out along Whitehouse Loan. The Bike Co-Op is open, and while warming and enticing, we're not stopping. I can't help feeling the interior might benefit from a coffee shop, but can you imagine what it would be like in the sales. :-D.

As we head in to Morningside, Blackford Hill looms over us holding the clouds. We zoom down Canaan Lane before starting to climb again up Braid Ave and access Comiston Rd at Braidburn Terr. Up Comiston Rd, where we wait at the Tusitala for everyone to catch up, rest a little then carry on, passing Hillend and on to the Seafield Moor road, then through Bush to the Auchendinny Road.

Heading out of Auchendinny, the Pentlands bear a grey cloak across the tops. The cloud is now a little lighter where we are, and we had not noticed the rain stopping. It was quite clear and fresh. Quite nice, but still grey. We continue through Loanstone to the junction with the B6372. Being a little early, we take the long road to Howgate and reach Leadburn just after 12. Not a very exciting morning, I can only hope it clears up in the afternoon.

The Leadburn Inn

Of course the new Leadburn does not have the character of the old Inn. The Leadburn Inn had a cosy bar set around a wood burning stove, the restaurant with the and the conservatory, warm in the depth of winter. That hint of age and comfort that you get with a really good whisky. In the new Leadburn, we were sat in the bar. It's all change with a modern restaurant bar and soft play area. The emphasis has changed.

A Bright Blue sky.

The rain had gone, and we headed south along the A703 towards Peebles, not that we were going there, but to take an alternative route back to Edinburgh. We turn left at the road signed Gladhouse Reservoir, and start to climb through a series of switchbacks. Not too steep, but it climbs up from the A703 to reveal blue sky to the north of us. As we ride across the moor, you cannot fail to notice just how beautiful it all looks. We pass a barn where a horse shelters from the breeze to create a low spot to get the most of the sun's warmth. It is quite surreal. No one is sure if the horse is real as in the sunshine, its grey glossy coat looks like plastic. The horse occasionally moves to prove that it is alive.

A nice long descent from the farm, with a small climb, to the turn off for the road around Gladhouse Reservoir. Just after where the road crosses the spillway, the start of the River S. Esk, we stop. A lovely view across the water. The clouds have cleared halfway. Darkness to our left, bright sunshine to our right. Migrating birds fly overhead, which stay in formation as they descend slowly to land on the water. Full marks from the judges in the synchronised landing. Time to head north along quiet country roads. There is a small steep climb at Yorkston, but generally the riding is easy, mainly downhill. Lovely views from here of Edinburgh, the Forth and Fife. Blue sky mixes with yellow and green. At the road junction, the sign read like a mad poem. Castleton, Outerston, Esperston, Middleton. We turn left down to Temple village, over the South Esk, which has now grown since our last crossing at Gladhouse Reservoir. We follow NCR 1 mostly downhill, using momentum to get up the rough up hill bits. Carrington is quiet.

Over the crossroad in the centre of Bonnyrigg, which takes the usual two changes of traffic lights, as the hill before has strung the group out a bit. We carry on passing the Scotmid before we climb a little more. Then we are swooping down towards Lasswade, remembering to slow down at the junction, turn left, and follow the road through Lasswade, over the rive, then head out. The slow climb We wait after the lights for everyone to catch up. Everyone when is there, and had a drink, we continue in to Edinburgh along Lasswade Road. There is the last climb up toward the Lang Loan Roundabout, where we wait again before the descent to Captain's Rd. Here, we bid each other farewell, and head home.

Links

Spokes tenements & flats bike storage project - http://www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/downloads/technical-and-research/spokes-tenementsflats-bike-storage-project/

Camping mats from Peter - http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16534&category_id=289

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

"The sweet calm sunshine of October, now warms the low spot; upon its grassy mould.
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold." ~
Bear Bryant

Ride Statistics

Distance:       53.8km (33.4 miles)
Average Speed:  18.8kmh (11.7mph) Max 47.0 kmh
Total Climbing: 608m (1995ft) Max 307m, Max Incline 9%
Time:           2 hours 52 minutes
Max. Temp.:     14 deg C (57 deg F)

Route Description

Start: Usher Hall
Out: Tollcross, Morningside, Comiston, Fairmilehead, Damhead, Easter Bush, Auchendinny, Loanstone, Howgate, Leadburn
Return: Leadburn, A703, Gladhouse Reservoir, Yorkstone, Temple, Carrington, Bonnyrigg, Lasswade
End: Captain's Road

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