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


The Mood:

"No Spring nor Summer Beauty hath such grace As I have seen in one Autumnal face." - John Donne

Twenty Eight, yes 28, people turned up for this Sunday's Bike Ride. Flat light didn't seem to interfere with the autumnal colours on the trees. Amid the Green, Gold and Red we went to Mid Calder in West Lothian. The ride was shorter and slower, not helped by the westerly November breeze, but we still arrived at Mid Calder just after 12. We returned to Edinburgh via the scenic route, the Pentland Hills and Reservoirs following the track from Bavelaw to Harlaw, then from Easter Kinleith to Bonaly. As one person put it, "Simply beautiful.". That despite the fact the sun didn't even attempt at making an appearance, the light was flat, tempered now and again by coppery colours indicating Mother Nature is winding down for another year.

A Quiet Time

I am occasionally surprised at the number of people who turn up for the Spokes Rides. If the weather is good, November and February rides seem to popular, probably because they are in-between months. You cannot sit or do much outside, shopping hasn't yet got that Christmas or New Year Sales rush. It could be that there is a tranquillity on these rides, despite the number of people who turn up, that you do not seem to get at other times if year. This does not mean nobody talks, it is just the quiet that this time of year brings.

Save Money!!!

Now the dark days are here, you need to bring lights, not just because of shortening days, but also because it can get quite dark if it clouds over during the day. The problem, raised on the bike ride last Sunday, is that rechargeable batteries have a tendency to fail quite suddenly. The reason is that rechargeable tend to supply a constant voltage, normal batteries slowly fade, so you have some warning to replace them. For this reason, I prefer to use Alkaline batteries and I use a charger that rejuvenates normal batteries. This means I can get by for most of the winter on 2 sets of AA and 1 set of AAA batteries. You can get a similar charger from the WWF eco-shop at Select eco-household menu, then Green Gadgets link on that page. It recharges D, C, N, AA, AAA and PP3 type batteries for normal alkaline, Ni-Cad, Ni-Mh and rechargeable alkaline batteries.

Just to recap the meal on Friday 17th November is fully booked up. The table has been booked for 7:30 pm for 22 people at the Phuket Pavilion on Union Street, opposite the Playhouse. For those that are coming along, if you find that you cannot now make it, let me know ASAP and I can pass the place along or alter the booking.

And if I don't see you at the meal, I hope to see you on the next Spokes Ride on the 3rd of December, the last ride of 2006.

And if you don't come along next month, you'll be one month older when you do!!!!

Warm Regards,

p.s. I got my MSc!!!

p.p.s. I would like to state that if you wish to leave the email list, you can do so at anytime. Just let me know.

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!" - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ride Stats:

    Distance:            60 km (37.3 miles)

    Average Speed:   17.2 km/h (10.7 mph)

    Height Climbed: 694m (2276 ft)

    Time Cycling:        3 hours 32 mins

    Temperature:     10 deg C (50 deg F) for most of the day.

The Route:

We took National Cycle Route 75 out of Edinburgh. From the Usher Hall, we cycle up Lothian Road, along Fountainbridge turning left in to Gilmore Park, then right on to the canal towpath. We followed the towpath to Redhall, where we turned on to the Water of Leith path which we took all the way to Balerno. At the end of the cycle path, we turned right on to Bridge Road, left on to Lanark Road West, then right on to Ravelrig Road. At the end of Ravelrig Road, we turned left on to Long Dalmahoy Road to Kirknewton Main Street. We turned right on to Station Road, which we followed across the A71, then turned right down a track to Main Street, East Calder. We turned right, then left to access Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. We stopped for a wee while on Almondell Bridge, before taking the track on the north side of the River Almond, crossing the river on a footbridge, following the path to Mid Calder. From here, we headed in to the centre of Mid Calder to have lunch at the Black Bull.

After lunch we headed out of Mid Calder along the B7015. At East Calder we turned left on to Langton Road, turning left on to Station road to cross the A71. At Ormiston Mains Farm, we turned right on to a minor road, Leyden Road, at Ormiston Mains Farm. We followed this up to the A70. Here we turned left on to the A70 for 2km, before turning right on to a minor road. We then passed Haughhead Farm, Water of Leith Ford, Buteland Farm and Cockburnhill. At the Riggs, we halted for a while to take in the view of the Pentlands for a few minutes.

We headed east to Marchbank Hotel, turning right on Mansfield Road to head up to the Reservoirs. We took the path along Threipmuir and Harlaw Reservoirs to the Harlaw House Visitor Centre. We headed through the Car Park to join Harlaw Road at Harlaw Farm, where we turned right. We followed Harlaw Road passing several farms until the junction at Kirkgate. Here, we carried straight on, heading for Easter Kinleith, the organic farm. We then did a 180 to take an off-road track that follows the banks of Clubbiedean and Torduff Reservoirs. This track eventually turns in to a tarmac road, Fernielaw Ave, then Torduff Road, ending up at Bonaly Road near the Edinburgh By-Pass and the Bonaly Pentland Hills Car Park.

Not wishing to lose any altitude, remember I live near Fairmilehead, we said goodbye here. The rest headed down Bonaly Road, hopefully turning right, then left on to West Mill Road to join the Water of Leith cycle path and back in to Edinburgh.

Snowcycle Events

Sat Jun 13 @10:30 - 05:00PM
Sun Jul 05 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat Jul 11 @10:30 - 05:00PM
Sun Aug 02 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat Aug 08 @10:30 - 05:00PM
Sun Sep 06 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides