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

 

February wet am, unexpectedly dry pm, but still cool.

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour." ~ John Boswell

8 people turned up on a cold, wet day. The forecast wasn't good, cloud in the morning, heavy rain in the afternoon. Reality was a little different, it was light rain when I got to the Usher Hall. I wasn't expecting anyone to cycle back to Edinburgh, quite a few were wondering what time the trains from Linlithgow to Edinburgh. Actually at 40 minutes past the hour as it turns out, not twice an hour as originally thought.

Dreich

There was a South Easterly breeze, so at least the rain would be on our back, and wouldn't stop us cycling. The cycle path at Roseburn was now clear of ice. Only soggy smelly autumnal residue mixed in with the very small amount of grit remained. Despite the weather, there were quite a few people out on the path. The toucan crossing at Barton was easily crossed as there was very little traffic out on the road, as though everybody had given up on Sunday, and decided to stay home.

A cyclist followed us to Cramond Brig, where he then overtook us. We carried on up the path to Burnshot, then headed out to Kirkliston. Along the way, several impatient motorists couldn't wait to overtake us, speeding in to the distance. Perhaps cars don't like the rain. Travelling in the opposite direction, several cyclists heading in to Edinburgh, probably riding home after a morning bike ride, despite the rain, they had an occasional smile for us, than again we had the rain on our backs. Kirkliston was quiet and very little traffic. On the west side, two cyclists were fixing a puncture, I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere.

Remember Kostas

We stopped for a minute to remember a fellow social cyclist.

West Lothian, and a Dark Entry to Linlithgow

Turning off the B road, we headed for Niddry along a road with potholes hidden by pools of water. The rain was a bit heavier now, but still not bothersome as the wind was still a south easterly. By the time we had reached the top of the hill, the rain was off, but it still felt damp. We waited at Bridgend farm, before taking the swooping downhill, the up past Riccarton Farm to the top of Linlithgow.

At Dark Entry, I stopped in a puddle, as my tyre was making a regular whooshing noise. Yes I had a puncture, a slow one. We dashed down in to Linlithgow. I sent everyone else to the pub to get warm while I replaced the inner tube. Better to fix it before I went to get something to eat, rather than let everyone hang around with everyone tutting at me, either wanting to go to the pub. Of course heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon. while the rain had stopped, it was a better idea to fix it now, and replace the inner tube. I also removed the sharp piece of grit that had worked its way in to the tyre to cause the puncture.

Lunch

Was at the Four Marys. A lovely lunch, we had time for coffee without rushing. Chatting about lots of things.

Brightening up, no rain to stop play

As we left the Four Marys, the heavy rain had not appeared, in fact it seemed to be brightening up. Our lucky day? One person had to leave to get back to Edinburgh and got the train. The rest decided to follow me. To avoid any nasty hills, we would be travelling in to the wind, we head east, then north east. The Bistro by the canal was busy with families, who afraid of the weather had travelled using metal boxes on wheels. The park in Philpstoun was empty. The play park looks very new and exciting, none of those slippery metal climbing frame set in solid tarmac that I had to endure when I was a kid. I resisted the temptation, and carried on toward Abercorn, following NCR 76. As we travelled east the sky became brighter. No free range chickens were out on the road, but there was a free range family enjoying the unexpected end of the day's rain.

At the Hopetoun Estate, there was the usual one cyclist at a time through the kissing gate. At the other side a couple of deer were spotted on the left hand side. We watched each other for a while until the deer decided they'd had enough. Through the Hopetoun Estate, the grass track was very soggy and challenging. A little fun as well, but I didn't have mud tyres on, so the back end of the bike would skid sideways quite unexpectedly. To our right more deer appeared along the top of the hill as though if they we waiting with their camcorders waiting to catch something exciting to get £250 off You've Been Framed. No one fell off, though some did walk. The deer were probably disappointed.

Bridge View

Through the next kissing gate, and on to tarmac surface again. We followed the drive way down to the Firth of Forth and on to Society Rd. As we head down in to South Queensferry, the sun almost came out, so we stopped for a while. The clouds moved slowly as we gazed across the Forth. We carried on along the high street to the path that took us up to the Railway Path, apart from one cyclist who continued east to go through the Dalmeny Estate. The railway path was covered in loads of twigs, a record of the stormy week that had just been. The the last two roads from Dalmeny to Cramond Brig passed, as it always does, quite quietly. The hazy sun shine on the wet road. Planes landed and took off from the Airport.

As we waited, the cyclist who went through Dalmeny Estate turned up. The end of the ride, so we went our own way. Very soon we were all like Mr Benn returning to Festive Rd returning to our ordinary homes and our ordinary lives.

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

"If you let yourself be absorbed completely, if you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments." ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Ride Statistics

Distance:       61.5km (38.2 miles)
Average Speed:  17.1kmh (10.6 mph) Max 54.9 kph
Total Climbing: 665m (2182 ft) Max 162m, Max Incline 11%
Time:           3 hours 36 minutes
Max. Temp.:     5 deg C (41 deg F)

Route Description

Start:  Usher Hall
Out:    Fountainbridge, Russell Rd, Cycle Path, Silverknowes, Barnton, Cramond Brig, Kirkliston, Niddry, Winchburgh, Faucheldean, Linlithgow
Return: Linlithgow, Philpstoun, Abercorn, Hopetoun Estate, South Queensferry, Cramond Brig, Barnton, Silverknowes, Cycle Path
End:    Russell Road

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