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.

April 2020
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This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget


Winter still holds it cold grip on the Land

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death." ~ Anais Nin (1903 - 1977), Winter of Artifice

The last winter rides saw 22 people turn up at the Usher Hall for the March Spokes Ride. A repeat of last year's ride, with a bit of October thrown in, only more snow, and no canal path. This does make the ride a tad hilly. Yes, we all know it has been chilly, too slippy to ride the bike as often as we would like. You have to ask where would we be if we always took the safe option? Bored for a start. I've had a busy time of late, hence the silence.


The morning was the time to get those dusty lungs working, not because of the loads of hills, but because we were cycling in to the breeze. Not as bad as it could be, but I did warn everyone. The pace is ideal, fast enough to keep you warm in the cool weather, slow enough, apart form the odd burst, to keep everyone together. The sun is hazy, as light cloud Once out of Edinburgh, the pace always seems to speed up, so a regrouping exercise occurs in Kirkliston.

"No Canal Path please", so we carry on along the road to Winchburgh and the first hill of the morning. At the top, you can see the snow at Beescraig, like someone has erased parts of the countryside. The is little green, fields are either yellow, or brown. Dormant fields waiting for Spring to arrive. Where is the sky, all is white.

At Wester Ochiltree, we regroup again, to tackle the last three small hills before the descent in to Linlithgow. The light cloud is now clearing, and patches of blue can be seen, and the sun is brighter. It is still grey, but the sky is clearing, and the greens are no longer drab.

We remain below the snow line. As we descend in to Linlithgow, more green appears and the mist disappears. Lunch is at the Four Marys. A delicious Banoffee Pie.

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." ~ Anne Bradstreet (1612 - 1672)

Up to the snow line and beyond

After lunch we head back up the hill to Dark Entry, go down the former road, then turn left. The sky in now blue. The road then climbs 100m in 2 1/2 km. As we reach Wallace's Bed, we cross the snow line. By Kip's Farm the fields are all white. A winter landscape, all vegetation dormant beneath winter blanket. The sun shines. It is 6 deg here, cooler than in Linlithgow, but snow reflects the sun, and melting is slow. Blue sky, white land. The colour lies in the sky.

At the Scottish Korean War Memorial we wait. Ponder. A beautiful place to catch one's breath before continuing to Cairnpapple. Once at Cairnpapple, the road is fast, twisty and wondrous as we move from open bright sunlight to shaded tree lined lane. Although the sun is there, and the temperature is warmer, there is little warmth. You would need a very good sheltered place to enjoy this sun. A long ride down to the Wilderness, a climb up then another long descent. A final climb to West Binny.

"O Winter! ruler of the inverted year, . . . I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts that the lowly roof Of undisturb'd retirement, and the hours Of long uninterrupted evening, know." ~ William Cowper (1731 - 1800), Task (bk. IV, l. 120)

The long and winding down road

The snowline is reached again. With the Pentlands to our right and the Shale Bings in front, we headed down, leaving winter behind. The descent instant. 80 m in 2km doesn't seem steep, but we drop from 190m ASL to 120, ASL in less than a km. Big cheesy grins from most. Colour can now flood the eyes. Green field, orange bing and blue sky. I think its safe to say that we can now frame winter. The November storm to March early spring.

The sun is yellows as it sinks. We head back through Kirkliston The drab fields now bright green, and the trip to Cramond to Kirkliston is peaceful. A great spring ride. At Cramond Brig, nature is stirring. Perhaps it's going to be a good year.

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

"I dream of wayward gulls and all landless lovers, rare moments of winter sun, peace, privacy, for everyone." ~ William F. Claire

Ride Statistics

Distance:       72.8km (45.2 miles)
Average Speed:  19.7km (11.9 mph) Max 56.6 km/h
Total Climbing: 774m (2539ft) Max 256m
Time:           3 hours 49 minutes
Max. Temp.:     8 deg C (46 deg F)

Route Description

Start: Usher Hall
Out: Fountainpark, Roseburn, Silverknowes, Barnton, Cramond, Kirkliston, Niddry, Winchburgh, Faucheldean, Riccarton Farm, Dark Entry, Linlithgow
Return: Linlithgow, Dark Entry, Beescraig Country Park, The Scottish Korean War Memorial, Cairnpapple, West Binny, Ecclesmachan, Niddry, Kirkliston, Cramond, Barnton, Silverknowes, Roseburn
End: Dalry Rd.

Interactive Route Map

The map belows shows the route that we took on the March 2010 Spokes Ride.

Snowcycle Events

Sat Mar 14 @10:30 - 05:00PM
Sun Apr 05 @10:00 - 06:00PM
Spokes Sunday Rides
Sat Apr 11 @10:30 - 05:00PM
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