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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Flaming June?

Late again with the report, but I am now motoring on my website, hopefully adding more content over the next few weeks. Thanks to everyone who turned up on the cycle ride on the 3rd June.

If you saw my earlier note, you'll know Mark Symmonds had his red and white GT MTB stolen from the High St. recently. I'll put a couple of pictures on the website. The bike had a pair of Vaude waterproof panniers attached to it.

If you're doing the St. Andrew's ride today, well done.


Paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln: You can please some people all of the time and you can please all the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time! A great ride today, rather warm in the morning, little wind, and the rain was warm, so summer must be nearly upon us. We did take a few tracks, out and in bound. An email from a participant:

"just wanted to say sorry for being a moany git!"

If I can interject here. Just because someone has strong views, it doesn't mean they're a moany git, and I know this person is not a moany git!!!)

"As you'll have gathered, I'm not a fan of going off-tarmac, and we seemed to have been bouncing over rocks forever, and I was tired... but that's still no excuse, so I wanted to apologise!

I really enjoy Spokes rides and appreciate all the effort you put in. See you next month, I hope!


I try to highlight different aspects of the countryside around us. Unfortunately, tracks are bumpy, therein lies the rub. Spokes Rides avoid repetitive routes, despite using common destinations. (Actually "Therein lies the rub." is a common Shakespearean misquotation. The real lines, from Hamlet's soliloquy, are:

"To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;"

But I don't expect you to shuffle off this mortal coil on a Spokes Ride:-))


I digress. To explore, it would be nice to add elements of dream to the expedition. Believe me, it is not easy leading a ride. I could say here's a destination, see you at lunch and ride off. In Hamlet's soliloquy, he fights against troubled mind pondering suicide and / or fearing death. Hamlet had just discovered his uncle had killed his father. (People believing in reincarnation see the soliloquy as pointing to the 'dream' time before the next birth!!!). What do I see! We can create something that is out of the ordinary from the ordinary.

"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

So my response was:

"Don't worry about it. I think I would be more upset if I didn't get any criticism."

I used the tracks to give the ride a different perspective to avoid sameness. There were three people who cycled out to East Lothian yesterday, one to Aberlady, and a couple rode to Gullane. If I had stayed on the road I guaranteed they would have complained, ( these people had taken a coastal road route) so its swings and roundabouts. Some people complain I stick to the road too much :-)

But I do take criticisms on board. I have too, or the rides would fail. I might take Spokes Rides over the Pentlands, but I can guarantee that while it may be a little bumpy, the ride will be well within the technical riding abilities of a person riding any bike."


This allows us to explore what could be, in many aspects, an everyday journey. We could stick to the road all the time, but it wouldn't be very nice going to Aberdour or Aberlady along roads which can be very busy, especially on nice days. You could drive most of this route, and not notice half the things interesting things along the way. What did we see on the June Spokes Ride? Musselburgh Harbour, some distant wildlife along the coast, at the Ash Lagoons and Gosford Bay, two battlefields, four castles, an iron age fort, the East Lothian Arts Festival, fishing boats, cows / sheep and, finally, loads of picturesque countryside. All done with minimal carbon footprint!!!!I have found that monotony to be the enemy of the Spokes Ride. I know Spokes rides are well within the comfort zone of all cyclists on the Spokes Rides email list. The participant's reply was:

And yes, you're right about adding a different perspective - xxxxxxx just told me how much they enjoyed seeing all the new places. So there you go!

As Ernest Hemingway put it:

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle."


TreeFest was great fun, and it was nice to see those of you whom attending the event. Sorry if conversations ended suddenly, but this was due to other people making sudden requests for information or receiving payments for goods sold. A couple of times I did turn round to see you vanishing in to the distance. I do apologise, but I didn't mean to be rude. Free leaflets were gone in a flash, and the weather was very nice on Saturday, and cooler and cloudy on Sunday. We were close to the 7-Stanes MTB display, so my kids got to excited every hour or so. On Sunday, we had an cycle obstacle course for kids to try out. Thanks to Maggie of TryCycling in Edinburgh for organising all of this.


Next week is Bike Week. See here for more info, Breakfast, 20 June 2007 8:00am to 10 am at the City Chambers, 8:00am to 9:00 am at Edinburgh Park.There will be the familiar Spokes Bike Breakfast at the City Chambers. Orange juice, coffee, bacon/sausage/scrambled egg rolls and the chance to talk to Councillors and MSPs about cycling!At Edinburgh Park, The Ritz, Same idea as the City Chambers Bike Breakfast except here, you also get an opportunity to race multi-world champion Chris Hoy on a turbo trainer-mounted bike.There's also the Bicycle Film Festival at the Filmhouse, see for more info.

Extra Spokes Rides

I said I would put in the email again, so here's the info about the Extra Spokes Rides for Summer, all weather permitting!!! Possible destinations Culross, Peebles / Innerleithen and Beecraigs / Torphichen / Cairnpapple, or Yellowcraigs beach / North Berwick. All rides longer than Spokes Rides, about 100km (60 miles), or a little further, but will be at the speed of a normal Spokes Ride. Bring a picnic.Dates of all summer rides are: (Meet 9:30am at the Usher Hall)
15th July
19th August
23rd September
Discover a new world before you shuffle off this mortal coil. You might sweat, you may suffer a little discomfort from tracks and there may be a hill. But...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."~Mark Twain

Next Spokes Ride is on the 1st July. If the weather is nice, please bring a picnic.

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

Ride Stats:

Distance: 75.29 km (46.8 miles)

Height Climbed: 441m (1447 feet)(Gradient when climbing: Max climb 9%, Avg Climb 2%)

Average Speed: 18.8 km/h (11.7 mph) (Max 51.3 km/h)

Temperature: 22 deg C (71.6 deg F) falling to 16 deg C in the afternoon

The Route:

After discovering that The Port was still closed (due to unexpected collapse of the old Post Office there!!!), we head up Lothian Road to Melville Drive, from there on to the Meadows cycle path, heading east to Buccleugh St. Here we turned right, heading south to Causewayside, where we turned left in to West Preston St., crossing Clerk St. to head along Eat Preston St. At Old Dalkeith Rd, we turned right, then left on to Holyrood Park Road. We joined turned left on to East Parkside, then did a 180 to access National Cycle Route 1, heading down the Innocent Railway.We followed the cycle path out of town, then continued along the path through Bingham, Brunstane to Joppa / Musselburgh at the A199, Edinburgh Road.From there we headed in to Musselburgh, turning left on to New St, accessing the coastal footpath at Musselburgh Harbour. We followed the path along to the River Esk, where we headed a little inland to cross the River Esk at New St using the footbridge. We then headed back up to the coast along Goose Green Cres., turning left on to Goose Green Place. We then turned right following a track on the racecourse side of the lagoons, which took us to the Mining Museum.Here we turned left on to the B1348, which we followed to Cockenzie and Port Seton. We turned left here to head along the High St. to Port Seton harbour. We then followed a coastal path, which turns in to a shared coastal cycle / pavement access along the B1348 at Seton Sands caravan park. When the path ended, we rejoined the B1348, which we followed as it turns in to the A198 at Longniddry, passing the picturesque Gosford Bay on our left, along to Aberlady. We arrived at the Hotel for lunch at about 12:45.After lunch, we headed east to join the A6137, to Aberlady Mains, where we then turned left, and east, on to a minor road. At Luffness Mains, we turned right, heading south along another minor road, which passes the Motor Museum to join the B1377, turning left here for 1km to then turn right on to another minor road heading south. We took a short detour to and a quick peek at the remains of an Iron Age Fort at The Chesters.We returned to ours bikes, and continued south, through Camptoun, then turning right, and west, on to the B1343, passing the Hopetoun Monument, to rejoin the A6127, where we turned right. After about 800m, we turned right on to a minor road to continue west then south until we reached the old A1, now the A199.We turned right to head west to Gladsmuir, where we turned left on to a minor road, which then joins the B6363, still heading west. At Penston Farm, we joined one of several tracks making up the East Lothian Trail, heading through West Bank to New Winton. We turned right on the B6355, then left on to a minor road at New Winton. At Buxley, we turned right on to the B6371, the left on to another minor road, which passes Inveresk Research and North Elphinstone. Here we crossed over the B6414 to join a trail over Falside Hill, passing Falside Castle, down to Crookston and the A6094. We turned right here, heading over the A1, tuning left on to Salter's Road to access the cycle path, Crookston Road, to Inveresk.At Inveresk, we headed along Wedderburn Terrace to access a path to join the River Esk cycle path. We turn left, heading under the main railway line to cross the River Esk at Monktonhall footbridge. This joins Cowpits Road / Ferguson Drive, which we followed to Monktonhall Terr, B6415, which we crossed over to Monktonhall Place. We then followed the National Cycle Route 1 signs through Stoneybank to Musselburgh Station.Muckletts Road no longer exists, but we are able to follow the shared path , turning left under the A1 and on to Whitehill Road. Following Whitehill Road brought us to The Fort / Craig / Kinnard Park. We followed Niddrie Mains Road to Duddingston Park South to rejoin the cycle path at Bingham.We then followed the cycle path through the Innocent Railway Tunnel back to East Parkside, where we said goodbye.

Snowcycle Events

Sun May 03 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat May 09 @10:30 - 05:00PM
Sun Jun 07 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat Jun 13 @10:30 - 05:00PM
Sun Jul 05 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat Jul 11 @10:30 - 05:00PM