Next Spokes Ride

Sorry, but due to the COVID-19 Social Distancing and Lockdown restrictions all Spokes Rides are cancelled until further notice.

If you're feeling fine, go out for a bike ride and enjoy the fresh air.

Hope to see you when it's all over.

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This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget


"Every man spins a web of light circles
And hangs this web in the sky
Or finds it hanging, already hung for him
Written as a path to travel" ~
Carl Sandburg, Webs (Good Morning, America)

It was nice seeing all those who turned up on Sunday. It was free entry weekend for Historic Scotland, so we went to Seton Collegiate Church and had lunch in Aberlady. Not a good weather forecast, which put some people off, but not the mad 16 who actually turned up, plus one who joined quite unexpectedly at the River Esk!!! Details of today's bike ride, with stats, further down this email. Even though it was 6 degrees C in the morning, the brisk wind made it feel quite raw and colder than rides earlier in the year. Fortunately it was warmer in the afternoon.

The Same as Rosslyn Chapel

The Historic Scotland worker gave us a brief, and useful, introduction to Seton Collegiate Church. He pointed out that the church was based around a chapel originally built in the 13th century. This was demolished and rebuilt in the 15th century by the St. Clair family. It has many of the masonic symbols that exist at Rosslyn chapel like a Green Man. There is between the St. Clair family of Seton and the Rosslyn Sinclair family and the Templar knights. As with Rosslyn chapel, Seton Church was never finished, despite becoming a collegiate church. The Seton family then took over the church, which became a private chapel after the reformation and the merging of Port Seton and Tranent parishes. Unfortunately the Reformation and various acts of wanton vandalism destroyed much of the current church, as well as theft of many of the holy artefacts the church contained.

As with Rosslyn Chapel, there is also a tale of a murdered apprentice, taking on work forbidden to him, though there is no apprentice column at Seton. It is believed to be the same mason who worked on the Rosslyn Chapel. According to 'local' legend, the mason did not commit suicide after murdering the apprentice at Rosslyn. Rather he moved to Seton to design and build this chapel, which resulted in another death. The picture shows the arch support stones inside the church, which is the murdered apprentice with a death grimace.

We then went to Aberlady for lunch, as there is no café / restaurant at Seton Collegiate Church. A wee bit more expensive than our usual haunts, but welcoming staff and the warm atmosphere more than made up for a little extra expense. A nice ride along the coastal road, which gave, in places, shelter from the easterly breeze. The light was still a little flat across the Firth of Forth.

"When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart" ~ Diane Ackerman

Of course, there were other historic sites along the way. There was the memorial to Mary Queen of Scots at Crossgatehall. This is where Queen Mary spent her last hours of freedom before the Battle of Carberry Hill in June 1567, the plaque at Meadowmill for the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans (or Gladsmuir) where the Jacobite army routed the British Army. In the afternoon, we passed the Hopetoun monument near Haddington. It was erected in 1824 in memory of the Fourth Earl of Hopetoun by “grateful tenantry”.

This is your very last call for the Cyclists' meal THIS FRIDAY 7th April, 7:30pm at the Annpurna St. Patrick's at Annpurna, St. Patrick's Sq. I have already booked 14, but I can increase numbers a little if need be! Let me know by tomorrow. If I don't see you at the meal, hopefully I'll see you on the next Spokes Ride on the 7th May. Hopefully it will be considerably warmer by then. In the meantime, go spin a web of light circles.

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

"Nothing is less real than realism; details are confusing.
It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis that we get the real meaning of things" ~
Georgia O'Keeffe(1922)

Ride Statistics

Distance:       73.1 km (45.4 miles)
Average Speed:  18 km/h (11.18 mph)
Total Climbing: 645m (2116 feet)
Time:           4 hours 17 mins
Max. Temp.:     9 deg C in the afternoon (48.2 deg F) 6 deg C (42.6 deg F) for most of the morning

Route Description

We left the Usher Hall and headed up Grindlay St., then along Spittal St, Lady Lawson St, Lauriston St and Lauriston Gdns to the Meadows. Here we followed the cycle path east to Buccleuch St, where we turned right, straight across the traffic lights at Melville Drive, turning left at the next set of lights on to W. Preston St., E. Preston St turning right on to Dalkeith Road. Left at the next set of lights on to Holyrood Park Rd. Just before Holyrood Park gates, we turned left in to East Parkside. We went though Holyrood Park through Duddingston village and turned right on to Duddingston Rd West We turned on to the cycle path which took us through Bingham before crossing the footbridge across Niddrie Burn, and across the Sport’s Field to turn right on to Duddingston Park South. Here we went up to the crossroad junction, where we turned left on to Niddrie Mains Road. At The Fort, we took a right at the first roundabout, then a left on to Whitehill Road.

We followed National Cycle Route 1 and ended up with a little hitch near the new Musselburgh campus of Queen Margaret's University. The path that we had used last time was now closed, and a new tarmac'd was on the other side of a wire fence. So we went over the fence, and carried on to Musselburgh Station. At Musselburgh station, we continued along the National Cycle Route through Stoneybank, down Ferguson Rd, along Cowpits Ford Road to the River Esk cycle path.

Here we turned right to head towards Whitecraig. At the end of the path, we turned left on a minor road, at the end of this road we turned right on to Carberry Road, the A6124. We went straight across the roundabout junction with the A6094, passing Carberry Tower, the candle factory and Findlay's original haggis farm, up to Crossgatehall junction.

We turned left to carry on up the hill to Elphinstone along the B6414, passing a memorial to Queen Mary on the way. We carried on to Tranent, where we joined a small cycle path through to Prestonpans. At Meadowmill sports Centre, there is a memorial to the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans set on top of a grass pyramid, which used to have a small learner ski slope on.

We followed the road away from the sports centre and turned right on to the B1361, straight across the roundabout on to the A198 for another kilometre and a half before turning left on to a path which took us to Seton Collegiate Church.

After looking around, we continued down the path to Seton Sands Caravan Park. The road here is the B1348, so we turned right following this coastal road. The road turns in to the A198 just after Longniddry. We had lunch in Aberlady.

After lunch we headed up the A6137, passing Ballencrieff Cottages and the Hopetoun Monument. We took the next right after the monument on to a minor road, passing Bangly Hill, before turning right on to Bangly Brae. Just past Coates, we turned left on to another minor road, which leads under the under the Longniddry cycle path at Cottyburn, straight across the B6363 until the road runs out at St. Germains Crossing. Unfortunately 4 of the slower cyclists got caught out at the level crossing here and had to wait for the local train to North Berwick to pass.

We continued along the A198, B1361 and A199 to end up, quite remarkably, at Luca's ice cream shop. Some of us had an ice-cream. After, we went down to Kerr’s Wynd, carried along Millhill, to cross the River Esk via the footbridge to North High Street, down Eskside West to the coast. We took the coastal path to the Harbour before turning right on to New Street, then right on to Edinburgh Road.

Just inside the Edinburgh City boundary, a few said their goodbyes to proceed through / to Portobello to north Edinburgh. The rest of us turned on to the Brunstane Burn path to Daiches Braes and Brunstane Road South, over the railway bridge, to connect with the cycle path and National Cycle Route 1. This took us back through Bingham, along the Innocent Railway path and tunnel to arrive back at East Parkside at about 5pm.

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Sat Jun 13 @10:30 - 05:00PM
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