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Page history last edited by Jim Cameron 2 years, 7 months ago

5th Evening Ride - Hermitage of Braids, Burdiehouse burn valley, Straiton nature reserve, new cycle path to Shawfair.  


Date Leader Text Photos Trace Sunset
Thu 31 May Jenny 
Jim   Jim
Jim 21:45



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Nine of us gathered around a closing Victor Hugo (they are still closing at 6pm). It was dull as per forecast, but a wee bit of sun came through now and again, and it felt pleasant. Temperate's the word for it.  We'd been advised to leave our road bikes behind, and there were quite a lot of clunky hybrids in evidence. 


Off past the Cycle Co-op we rode, passing through Astley Grange and down to their boiler room and on to Cluny Avenue, were a quick climb saw us enter the Hermitage of braid at Braid Road.  Tracking Eastwards, and downwards, he had our first off road stretch of the evening.  Scooting quickly across the junction, we descended Double hedges Road, then turned right onto Gilmerton Road. This was the main gradient of the evening, a gentle one-mile climb up to the Morrisons at Gardwell Glen, which conceals a path to Burdiehouse  Park, which we then climbed up for about another gentle mile to the bypass, gingerly crossed under that, accompanied by a lunatic driving his car at 80mph round a roundabout.  


After the bypass came the Straiton Nature Reserve, a nicely wooded area enclosing a large pond. I belive some Suspects have called it the Smelly Pond in the past, as opposed to its true name, the Straiton Nature reserve Pond. I can't imagine who might have coined that, at any rate our nostrils weren't assailed at all, maybe because it's still quite early in the year.  We sat in a clearing by the pond and photographed our group - while a solitary swan put on quite a display for us, as we fed it morsels.


Next came the piece de resistance. Jenny took us down the (existing) Straiton path, leading North West to the new Shawfair path. A long, smooth ride on new Tarmac, exiting near Shawfarir station. Turning North, we rode a busy road past Newton village and Hilltown, turning Northeast along the quiet, rutted Shawfair Road and Whitehill Road. For the third time that evening, we were gad we had heeded advice and left our road bikes behind.  


Then, for a surprising grand finale, we suddenly exited to the very familiar Queen Margaret Path near Newcraighall.   From there we took the very familiar Bruntstane and Innocent paths home, or at least to the Bruntsfield hotel for a cooling beer.  


A great ride, and at last we've made use of the new Shawfair path. 







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