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



"When a cyclist roams freely on his steely steed in the Godly world of nature, his heart rises and he bewonders the splendor of creation." ~

A cool ride down to the Usher Hall, despite the thermometer registering 11 deg C, the NE wind was extremely keen. Twenty four keen people turned up to go to Aberlady in East Lothian. There was cloud, but it is May, light is more apparent. There are a few thousand runners in the city.

Diversionery Tactics - Sight and Smell

The 10k race had closed most of the NCR through the Meadows, so we took a greener route through town, heading up to Whitehouse Loan, then east across Bruntsfield Links. Race Helpers standing Dormant as 24 cyclists flew by in the opposite direction. As we sped along, it was becoming apparent that green is becoming dominant. As we reached the Commonwealth Pool, the route to the Park was blocked, so we headed down Dalkeith Rd. The speeding motorcyclist races us. But he is caught at every traffic light, a regular tortoise and hare race. Being a tortoise, it doesn't matter much as we hit read lights. We turn off through Prestonfield. The roads were quiet, but it is nice when we get back on the cycle path to Brunstane.

Back on the road, down Milton Rd. E. to Joppa, then Musselburgh and Fisherrow Harbour, very quiet again. All the car drivers must be running. The usual coastal path. Clear views. Smell of the sea.

Along the coastal track a wee bit of rough track, then tarmac path. A wee detour around detritus washed up, mainly plastic Mussel Nets, in the late March winter storm. Parts of this track are not lovely, ash pits being washed and cooled before the furnaces are again emptied. At least heading west, you do not have the blot of the power station as we do against some very industrial landscape. This is the history of the area. Mining and fishing. Coal and Nets.

The cold wind is in our face. After the power station, head down Port Seton High Street, the old shops and the harbour. Much discussion about Fish and Chips.

"Cycling does it all --- you have the complete satisfaction of arriving because your mind has chosen the path and steered you over it; your eyes have seen it; your muscles have felt it; your breathing, circulatory and digestive systems have all done their natural functions better than ever, and every part of your being knows you have travelled and arrived." ~ John Forester, Effective Cycling, Chapter 22

Steer the Path

After lunch we headed inland. Managing a group of cyclists spread out is difficult. At the top of the hill, one person noticed his tyre was bulging quite alarmingly, so he headed home in the fastest possible manner. He made it home, collecting a new tyre along the way, without the inner tube exploding. The rest of us headed down to the old A1 to Gladsmuir, a long downhill section after the only climb. Although the A199 is a nice road to cycle, it can get a little monotonous, a result of a road not meant for travelling, but for getting there at speed. A choice between country lanes with the ever changing vista that winds and speed. It's still early afternoon, so country roads it is.

The track to New Winton is a little rough, and comments about swinging through trees. One puncture to road bike. On the road to Buxley, another puncture, thorn on the road. Tube replaced, which, a few metres later, also turned out to have punctures. We carried on through Elphinstone to Crossgatehall and whiz down another hill through Carberry, which has links to Mary Queen of Scots. There is a wee plaque on a wall near an old gate that runs along the road from Elphinstone. Read it sometime.

From Crossgatehall, the group starts to shrink as people head home at the nearest convenient point, in one case getting a train home. The ride along the River Esk is whizzy too, even up through Stoneybank and around the new Uni buildings. Musselburgh isn't a bad place to stop if you haven't ridden the bike for a few months. At Millerhill, one last puncture, quickly fixed in slightly hazy sunshine. Group enlarged by 2 as puncture victim catches up, we set off home. Good job as it was cooling rapidly.

Along the railway path, an arc of white blossom welcomed us back to Edinburgh. Up the hill, through the tunnel to the end of the ride.

Next Spokes Rides and other stuff

I will be at the Meadows festival on the 5th and 6th June, so will be unable to lead the ride. The Next Spokes Ride meets at 10:00am on Sunday 6th June at the Usher Hall, Lothian Road to somewhere in Lothian (weather dependant!!). Distance will be around 72km (45 miles) or not, leader's knee dependant. If nice, bring a picnic.

Normal Service will resume in July, and include some longer summer bike rides.

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

Ride Statistics

Distance:       68.1km (42.3miles)
Average Speed:  18.5km (11.5 mph) Max 51 km/h
Total Climbing: 464m (1522ft) Max 131m
Time:           3 hours 41 minutes
Max. Temp.:     11 deg C (52 deg F)

Route Description

Start: Usher Hall
Out: Tollcross, Bruntsfield Links, Preston field, Craigmillar, Bingham, Brunstane, Joppa, Fisherrow, River Esk, Coastal NCR 76 through Prestonpans, Cockenzie, Port Seton, Longniddry, A198 to Aberlady
Return: Aberlady, Ballencrieff, Gladsmuir, Buxley, Elphinstone, Crossgatehall, Carberry, Cowpits, Stoneybank, University, Millerhill, The Fort, Bingham, Innocent Railway
End: E. Parkside

Interactive Route Map

The map belows shows the route that we took on the May 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