Ormiston Spring Bike Ride
"Now freedom, for most, is just a word, like toast" ~ That's All, Seasick Steve
Yeah, I did say Aberlady, but Mother's Day got in the way, so we went to Ormiston, still in East Lothian. 22 people turned up for a quite lovely Spring ride. It was dry and a little cool, but there was a little brightness in the sky. Spring was here, and so were the views.
Traffic Light Hop
Traffic lights always split the group, but we suceeded in keeping together until the other side of the Meadows. Outside the Commonwealth Pool, regrouped, we head down to the Innocent Railway. A nice ride along the cycle path, and the sun is getting warm.
At Milton Rd road works mean I cannot safely stop and have to go further down the road than I would like. Everyone else goes in a different direction. Despite saying we would head down to Joppa, some people head towards Newcraighall. I do race up to them, but fortunately no one has gone too far, we regroup and we carry on down Milton Rd East to Joppa, then to Fisherrow.
Sun is shining, and the vista is pleasing.
The sea looks quite calm at Fisherrow, and the harbour is busy with people. The path along the coast is empty, save for a Council vehicle emptying litter bins. Over the Esk, passing the Swans, and head inland, ducking as we go under New Bridge along the Mall to join the River Esk path. It is lovely and quiet along the path, with families, some on bikes, enjoying the lovely spring sunshine. The trees are yet to leaf, but buds indicate that it will not be long before green reappears.
From Whitecraig, we head towards Carberry Rd, where we turn south and up through Crossgatheall. At the Pencaitland we wait for people to recover from the climb before we carry on. We turn off Carberry Rd to head up past Airybank House, a not so steep and more interesting road to cycle, to reach Cousland.
As we head down from Cousland, we take our time to stop and admire the view across to the Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills. Shame about the pylons, before heading down to the Pencaitland road as we are a little early. The A road is quiet, and even though we take our time, we arrive at the lunch venue at 12:20. Plenty of time to lock up the bikes before we head through for lunch. An almost easy morning bike ride.
Lunch for 18
We have a lovely lunch at the Hopetoun Arms Hotel in Ormiston, although some dishes take longer to make than others, no one is forgotten. Yes it does take a long time to serve everyone, but all get served, and have time for coffee. Luckily, the Hotel has a beer garden for those picnic lunchers.
The Threat of Rain
The weather changes as we head out of Ormiston, northwards toward Tranent, a quite fierce side wind cools us down rapidly, and people stop to put coats back on. No idea where this wind came from, as it wasn't forecast. The clouds were grey, but clear as we head north. On to the old A1, we travel eastward, and it appears clouds are racing down the Lammermuirs towards us. A nice downhil wind assisted ride through Macmerry and Gladsmuir. The best way to dodge them is to head north, so turn left on to a minor road for Elvingston and Traboun. A nice side wind, but this time no insects to supplement our diet. Brilliant views across the Forth to Fife, the water is simmering. As we head north, the road gets wetter. Hope we don't get rained on.
Slowly does it and deja vu
From Longniddry, we start to head back in to Edinburgh. Concern that the road here is wet is quickly replaced with concern that the wind is now in our face, and several white horses, well shetland ponies, race across the sea. I try to keep the pace nice and slow. the views are nice, apart from the power station. A steady pace sees us reach Musselburgh, where some people head home, others go for a bite to eat. The rest of us go along Inveresk Rd to Mall Ave.
Back on to the River Esk path we continued along to the footbridge to join NCR 1, through Stoneybank and past the new Univeristy building. The solar cells for the path lights are getting plenty of solar energy. A snaking shower cloud could be seen racing east, but it doesn't threaten us. The group further diminishes as we turn off Niddrie as people head for south Edinburgh. From here, the last few take the Innocent railway back in to Edinburgh. It is sunny and pleasant, but all too soon it is the end of the ride. A couple of people head up to Holyrood Park beneath Samson's Ribs. I meet them again at E. Parkside, whizzing past me.
Explore, Dream, Discover
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." ~ Max de Pree
Distance: 70km (43.5 miles)
Average Speed: 18.2kmh (11.3 mph) Max 47.3 kph
Total Climbing: 572m (1877 ft) Max 144m, Max Incline 11%
Time: 3 hours 51 minutes
Max. Temp.: 16 deg C (61 deg F)
Start: Usher Hall
Out: The Meadows, Innocent Railway, Joppa, Musselburgh, Esk Path, Cowpits, Carberry, Crossgatheall, Cousland, Ormiston
Return: Ormiston, Tranent, Macmerry, Gladsmuir, Trabroun, Longniddry, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Prestonpans, Musselburgh, Esk Cycle Path, Stoneybank, Whitheill Rd, Fort Kinnaird, Cycle Path
End: East Parkside