25th to 26th October 2020 - Bike ride, Edinburgh to Roslin (October day out)
Roslin cycle round
Despite the slightly experimental nature of the first Covid EMC bike ride and the relatively short notice we had 7 attendees for our local adventure, who all agreed to follow the Covid risk assessment produced by the freshly qualified EMC Covid officer team.It was a special pleasure to have the 2 longest standing EMC members amongst our riders –
John W and Kenny R.
Claire H, Kenny R and I met at 9am at Holyrood Park and started our ride along the Innocent Railway Path to the second meeting point at Bingham. David T had positioned himself on a vantage point on the way to take photographs of us as
we cycled past – and also took snaps of two unrelated riders who were just behind us, resulting in slightly puzzled faces.
Shortly after that Helen B joined the crowd, and Fiona C and John W made the septet complete. Proud to note that we all mastered the first hurdle of the day – being on time despite the clock changing the night before.
We followed the NCN1 to Whitecraig, and shortly after the golf course a completely non- forecasted shower made us huddle under a bridge to wait out the worst (what has become of the EMC during lockdown!?! we seem to have softened up and are now really trying hard to avoid the rain!). We then continued on to Dalkeith, Eskbank and Bonnyrigg, where we had a brief brunch stop and admired Claire’s mightily dirt splattered rucksack and bum.
After the energy boost we followed the NCN196 further west. This was probably the nicest and most scenic part of the route – but also the muddiest. Claire even managed to get mud splatters onto her hood and helmet! My originally proposed plan was to leave the NCN196 at Lea Farm and head down into Roslin Glen, and from there up into Roslin – but John & Helen suggested a variation via Auchendinny to reduce the hilliness of the route, which indeed was much more pleasant; so – thanks for that (despite being a maybe slightly bizarre aim for a mountaineering club)!
In Roslin we had a socially distanced lunch break, cheekily profiting from several picnic benches in front of the closed pub. We got our face coverings out to safely purchase hot beverages and cakes from the café over the street providing a very necessary energy kick for the final push.
We then joined the NCN61. Fiona left us at Gilmerton, and the rest of us continued until Danderhall. There, we had to leave the safety and enjoyment of the segregated cycle routes and progressed for a bit on quite busy roads (with Helen bidding her farewell at that point) before heading down the serpentines in Little France Park and returning back onto the
Innocent Railway Path. I’m very pleased to report that we didn’t have any mechanicals, zero punctures, no collisions, nae injuries and nobody gave up early – the return from/to Holyrood park was 49km, so well done everyone! This was a great opportunity to swap lockdown stories, catch up on summer adventures and enjoy laughter in company.
The only complaint brought to my attention came from Kenny – apparently the route was 89% uphill. I should have planned it the other way around…
I really hope everyone enjoyed this outing as much as I did, and that we have a similar trip again soon.