Meander With The Scenic Cyclists
Today I went on my first group cycle with the Edinburgh Scenic Cyclists. To my surprise there are many pluses to group cycling – I have listed below;
1. You meet loads of nice people also into the outdoors and cycling
2. You can chill out whilst someone else navigates your route
3. You discover places you’ve never been – even though I grew up in Edinburgh I found cycle paths I never new existed.
4. You have a good excuse for a lunch stop and don’t feel guilty eating whatever you fancy!
5. You have feel good pain from exercise meaning you can relax after and enjoy a well earned beverage!
On arrival at the meeting point (the meadows) I meet the group leader Helen and a few others introduce themselves to me. There’s two other newbies which is always nice to know. One of the newbies also used to live in Dalston (London), my former abode.
Chatting to some of the group I discover that the Edinburgh Scenic Cyclists are more of the Meandering type of cyclist that I like – rather than a lycra clad race crew. These guys are all about the scenery (as their namesake indicates), a 20 odd mile cycle through cycle paths and quiet roads with a stop for lunch.
Once everyone has arrived (making a crew of around 20 of us) we follow our leader Helen through the Meadows. We cycle in pairs when cycle paths allow and I chat to a number of the crew. The pace is easy going which I like. A nice pace whilst I get back in the saddle. We head along the cycle path and through the meadows to St Leonards and then jump back on the cycle path which is part of the innocent railway. We pass through a long dark tunnel which is kind of fun. The cycle continues along through cycle paths, part of which is a bit overgrown and forestry. It’s like a cool little secret overgrown path that we all meander along. It starts in Brunstane area and come out just before Musselburgh.
Once we hit Musselburgh we’re on the home stretch (at least to the pub lunch) We jump on the coastal path and follow this to The Pans (as it known to some). At this point I’m thinking that Edinburgh Scenic Cycles is a breeze! I’ve barely broke a sweat and we’re almost at the pub. The next section of cycle path is a bit rocky and I’m slightly concerned my skinny tires aren’t going to last the distance. Either I’m going to fall off (embarrassing) or I’m going to get a puncture. I have a spare inner tube but no idea how to change a tyre (embarrassing also!). I make a mental note that I will def learn how to fix a puncture.
We stop for lunch at The Goth pub in Prestonpans; http://www.thegoth.co.uk
I have to say I’m slightly scared by the name – I’m no Goth! But hey I’m hungry so I’m happy we can eat. Inside it turns out to be a Swedish place and slightly less scary than the name suggests. Thank fully there are no goths.
After lunch it’s back they way we came, this time on a full stomach (slightly regretting the veggie burger at this point!). The pace also seems to have picked up and the wind is in my face!
I manage to keep up and actually enjoy the slightly harder pace home. I chat to a few more scenic cyclists and learn a few things about other groups. This group was formed after the group leader Helen and a couple of others dropped out the Lothian Cyclists which apparently became a bit too hard core! I also hear from another member of the group that she tried out the Saturday morning cycle that Rhonde http://www.rondebike.com/contact/ do. Apparently another one not for the easy going cyclist. These guys are lycra clad and die hard! This no surprise to me as I’ve seen them speed pass me before in their lycra outfit. I had considered joining this cycle previously as Rhonde is one of the cooler bike shops in Stockbridge and it has a café! Always a plus for me to mix cycling and cake. I decide I’ll leave Rhonde until I’ve upped the Aunty and the speedometer!
We depart where we started and I make my way back to my pad (unfortunately it’s all uphill home and my legs are starting to ache!)
A great day out with the Scenic cyclists and looking forward to doing this again. The time has come for my well earned beverage!