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
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 1


This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget


A Flock of Cyclists

"All creatures who have ever walked have wished that they might fly. With highwheelers a flesh and blood man can hitch wings to his feet." ~ Karl Kron, Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle

16 people turned up for the Spokes Ride to Gifford. A weather forecast that was not too good turned out to be not as bad as expected, but I was prepared for it. However, it was a very pleasant ride, rolling and climbing slowly in the morning, descending in the afternoon, followed by a damp spell on the way home.

Urban Ride

The traffic light god favoured us as we headed out to the Meadows, heading up Lothian road can be a hit and miss affair. However, at Causewayside, the traffic light god had realised there was a bike ride on, so we got split in to three groups. However, some careful group management meant we were all back together by the time we reached Dalkeith Rd. The day is warm and conducive to a bike ride. We zip along, passing the Commonwealth Pool, then left and a 180, we zoom in to the black hole of the Innocent Railway tunnel. Bell ringing to warn pedestrians, we emerge from the cold darkness back in to sunshine, a speeding bullet bicycle train.

We come to a temporary halt at the two road crossing, then head around Fort Kinnaird to Whitehill Rd. Unusually quiet for a Sunday morning, it still takes time for all the cyclists to navigate the roundabout, then up on to Whitehill Rd. Down a unloved forgotten cycle path. Here scraps of technology, bits of cars and furniture lie abandoned amongst the hastily planted trees, which look like they were abandoned too, we pass under the A1 and on to the NCR 1 path. We have the new University buildings in our view, then a path through Stoneybank. Looking forward to vistas that are not so harsh. Once over the main road, under the railway, golfers avoided, green is our colour.

Then Countryside

The River Esk path sees peace and nature restored. Crossing on the bridge, the peaceful sound of water from a burn tumbling in to the Esk. A quick headcount, and we head away from urban noise. Nature stifles the noise as we pass back under the A1. Then the small climb up to the road at Cowpits. On the A road, over the roundabout and the first part of the only real climb passing Carberry is not too bad. As we climb the trees shelter us from the sun. As we continue up towards Elphinstone, the temperature also goes up, reaching 25 Deg C at the top of the hill. One person found it too hot, and so decided to go home. Suntan lotion was applied.

As the cyclists set off once more, the clouds covered the sun. The ride to Elphinstone was pretty cool. Some of that was cloud, another was the flatter landscape. This is not the Alps, no more climbing, only rolling. Whizz down and up. By the time we had reached New Winton, the temperature had dropped to a more pleasant 22 Deg C. At East Saltoun, there was a problem with a contact lens. Two people did not hear the request to stop, and carried on to Gifford. The rest of us waited, and then the main group continued along one of the nicest roads for views, if not for smoothness. At Gifford, it looked like Vintage cars owners had bagged all the pub spaces. We headed to the park.

Gobblin' Time

Gifford was very sunny, just the right amount of warmth. The clouds kindly skirted around the sun. A peaceful and interesting lunch break. However, the village was very busy so various options for refreshments were discussed.

It's a Bugs' Life

Longniddry was the option offered, and quickly grabbed, so we set off, initially the way we came, then down the back roads passing Bolton along roads with wonderful names like Birk Hedges, and through sleepy commuter villages of Samuelston and Elvingston. The thunderbugs were out in force. It was warm, and humid. The flies weren't just on the teeth of happy cyclists, as every light coloured top was dotted with them, and the skin itched. In the distance Fife had disappeared behind a dark grey curtain of rain, which was being drawn towards us as we descended. We reached Longniddry just as the sun went behind a light cloud, and just as the first refreshments from the Inn had been purchased the rain started, and all cyclists scurried inside.

Rain Inn

While it rained, at times very heavily, we remained inside. We set off when the rain had eased, well had eased for the second time. It did ease after the first refreshments had been consumed, but this was just a test. As soon as a couple of cyclists thought it was time to go, the rain got heavier again. So we all had a coffee, and waited until it eased once more. Or had the Inn just switched on the sprinkler system to gain more business? As we set off, 2 down as a couple decided to wait a bit longer, presumably until their helmets had dried out, never leave helmets on your bike, it was light rain, very quickly turning wee bit drizzly, but not too damp. It was pretty cool, the temperature had dropped to 15 Deg C, and the puddles were pretty big. In fact by the time we reached Cockenzie power station, the rain was off, but the jackets stayed on. The change in weather slowed the ride down.


We took the coastal road to Musselburgh, a comfort break, too much coffee, then carried. On the west bank of the River Esk, a flock of geese were waddling around two bemused fishermen. As we headed up Milton Rd E., the sun stated to break through once more with, it must be said, a lot less intensity than earlier in the day, but it warmed the air. Jackets stayed on, as showers were hiding around every corner waiting to pounce upon the first unsuspecting cyclist. As we headed up the road, I had to chase down a leading group, and brought the group back together. Along the cycle path, we sped along

Warm Regards,

Explore, Dream, Discover

"I am not riding fast. I am flying low" ~ Bicycle T-shirt slogan

Ride Statistics

Distance:       72.9km (45.3 miles)
Average Speed:  20.4kmh (12.7mph) Max 46.5 kmh
Total Climbing: 585m (1919ft) Max 159m
Time:           3 hours 34 minutes
Max. Temp.:     25 deg C (77 deg F), but generally around 22 Deg C

Route Description

Start: Usher Hall
Out: Lothian Rd, The Meadows, Commonwealth Pool, Innocent Railway (NCR 1), Bingham, Duddingston Park S., Fort Kinnaird, Whitehill Rd, Stoneybank, River Esk Path, Cowpits, Carberry, Elphinstone, Buxley, New Winton, Pencaitland, East Saltoun, Gifford
Mid: Gifford, Samuelston, Birk Hedges, Elvingston, Longniddry
Return: Longniddry, Seton Sands, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Prestonpans, Levenhall, Musselburgh, Joppa, Brunstane (NCR 1), Magdalene, Bingham, Innocent Railway
End: Commonwealth Pool

Interactive Route Map

The map belows shows the route that we took on the August 2009 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