We are an Edinburgh based group who enjoy cycling in the countryside

 

Weekend trips and Day rides

Great cycle routes using roads, tracks and paths

Inaugural Ride

Saturday 30th March 2019

We'll meet at Roseburn Bridge at 10.00. Going through Dalmeny Estate to Abercorn, we'll have lunch at New Hopetoun Garden Centre. Passing Duntarvie Castle, we'll enter the Dundas Estate cycling north east of Kirkliston to return to Cramond Brig. An alternative route home via Cramond may be possible. About 15 miles will be off road - on good tracks. Total: 35 miles approx.

If you're interested in joining us for the ride, please email Barbara on 

Spokes Sunday Rides

Sun 3rd March and first Sunday of each month.

Meet at Usher Hall 10 am for 10:15 am depart - 40 or so miles - destination decided on weather and fitness of participants.

Contact Stuart on

Vale of Leven to Stirling

Sat 27th April 2019

The idea is to take a train direct from Edinburgh to Vale of Leven, cycle to Stirling along the north side of the Fintry and Gargunnock Hills with a west wind behind us, then take a train direct back to Edinburgh. The highest point reached is only 522 feet, and there is no major climb, but there are many small ups and downs. Mainly on OS sheet 57.

CYCLING. By 10:03, dep DALREOCH station (west of Dumbarton), cycle by NCR7 along Vale of Leven to BALLOCH (coffee), then north-east by NCR7, then through Killearn to BALFRON (lunch), then ENE on minor road, no villages, crossing B822 near Craigend Farm, and continuing as a gated and sometimes unfenced road eventually reaching GARGUNNOCK (tea). All this is tarred except for 1.1 miles of moderately smooth gravel road. Then continue east, mainly on minor roads, through Cambusbarron, cross the M9 by a purpose-built footbridge and reach STIRLING station about 17:15.

Total cycling distance 38 miles, or 32 if you start from Balloch station. From Gargunnock, an alternative, but less elegant route, 3 miles longer, would be to go north then east across the Carse, choose between a bridge over or under the M9, descend a few steps and skirt the Raploch to reach Stirling station about 17:35.

TRAINS FROM EDINBURGH TO VALE OF LEVEN
From Waverley (0749 or 0820) direct via Airdrie to Dalreoch (0932 or 1003) or
From Waverley (0800 or 0830) changing from Queen Street High to Low level, to Dalreoch and Balloch (1000 or 1030)

TRAINS FROM STIRLING TO EDINBURGH
From Stirling (1705 or 1737 or 1809) direct to Haymarket (1750 or 1828 or 1852), or
From Stirling (1726 or 1756 or 1819) changing at Croy, to Haymarket (1846 or 1912 or 1942)

If interested, please contact Alastair M on .

Inverness to Dyce

Fri 17th or Sat 18th - Mon 20th May 2019

Following NCN route 1 (mainly quiet C roads and disused railways) along the coast from Inverness to Banff then south to Dyce. Good countryside and sea views. Early booking strongly recommended due to limited accommodation / bike spaces on trains.

Friday – Train to Inverness, then cycle 40 miles via Culloden, Nairn and Brodie Castle to Forres. Stay at B&B.
(Option1 - Evening train to Forres.)

Saturday – Cycle to Elgin (16 miles). Time to look at Cathedral and garden.
(Option2 – train to Elgin to arrive 1.30pm)
After lunch cycle 30 miles to Portsoy via Buckie. Stay at Portsoy hostel.

Sunday – Cycle 36 miles to the old railway junction of Maud via Banff and Turriff. Stay at the B&B in Old Deer.

Monday – Cycle the traffic free 25 miles along old railway to Dyce (or 28 miles of minor roads) for afternoon train south.

Phone Keith’s mobile to request more information or book on the meet.

Maytime in Angus

Sat 25th - Sun 26th May 2019

Ride from Arbroath - Glen Prosen (and back). We'll go by train to/from Arbroath.

The hostel has just 18 beds so don't leave it too late to book. Beds are available for £21.50 on Glen Prosen hostel website. We'll do our own meals.

On Saturday May 25, we hope to leave Arbroath station at 10.30 a.m.
On the Sunday we should be back in Arbroath by 6 p.m.

If interested please contact Barbara on

Kirk Yetholm - Four cafes and a pub!

Sat 8th - Sun 9th June 2019

We'll take the train to Berwick-upon-tweed on the Saturday to depart from there around 10:30. There are trains leaving Waverley at 09:08 (Cross Country), 09:30 (LNER) and 10:06 (CC) arriving at Berwick at 09:52, 10:11 and 10:47 respectively. The CC trains have two reservable bike spaces and one additional unreserved space. The LNER train has 3-5 reservable bike spaces. Given that reservations are compulsory on the trains to Berwick, please book a space as soon as possible. There are earlier trains too, if required.

There are a number of potential cafe and refreshment stops on this weekend and we can adapt and lengthen the routes between each one which may be weather dependent.

We'll head out of town on NCR1 towards the honey farm where coffee and refreshments can be purchased if wished. They have a shop and exhibits too and we could spend some time there. Then heading towards Norham and picking up the NCR68 to Etal and the Lavender tea rooms where lunch can be taken. We then head towards Kirk Yetholm with a variety of routes available. We can head to Wooler, via Doddington, to burn off calories and, or, to purchase food from the Co-op if desired as there are cooking facilities at the hostel.

Please book online, or by phoning, the hostel direct. It is booked through the Friends of Nature website. As of early April, there were plenty of beds available for the night of 8 June. They range from £18 per night in a single sex dorm to twin rooms at £40 per room.

In Kirk Yetholm itself there is the Border Hotel for dinner, a short walk away from the hostel. They have got accommodation too, if preferred to the hostel.

Please bring breakfast cereal/muesli with you for Sunday morning. There will be tea and coffee available in the hostel for a voluntary contribution.

On Sunday we'll head towards Kelso on B6352 and then head to Coldstream. There is a cafe at nearby Cornhill on Tweed for morning coffee if required.

Then we head towards Paxton House by whichever route is most suitable according to weather. The route there can be lengthened if desired. It'll be our mid-day stop for lunch before heading back towards Berwick on NCR76 for the train home.

With regard to the journey back to Edinburgh. There are trains departing at 17:37 (LNER), 18:18 (Cross Country) and 18:37 (LNER). The same requirements for cycle reservations apply as described above.

Please let me (Jan M) on know asap if you are interested in coming along and again once you have booked a bike reservation and a bed at the hostel.

Edinburgh - St Andrews

Saturday 15th June 2019 - CANCELLED

This is a ride, not a race, and you can go at your own pace sure in the knowledge that you are supported by repair vans for that unexpected puncture. At the highest and often the hottest point an ice cream van awaits you. Home cooked lunches and afternoon teas are available along the way and lots of friendly encouragement and support. When you arrive in St Andrew's no need to contemplate the return ride, vans transport the bikes and buses take cyclists back to Edinburgh. It is a relaxing and enjoyable event in support of LEPRA.

Details are on the cycling_edinburgh site

More information from Lepra

Contact Lepra on

Pitlochry and Loch Tay

Sat 29th June - Mon 1st July 2019

Saturday - approx. 47 mls.
Meet Pitlochry Station 10.30 am. Cycle south side of Loch Tummel to Kinloch Rannoch for lunch.
Take small road past Schiehallion to join B846 and to Coshieville, Fortingall and Fearnan, and north side of Loch Tay to Kiltyrie Farmhouse B&B. Evening meal provided.

There is a shorter option - which is to cycle to Tummel Bridge for lunch, and then over hill to Loch Tay. approx. 35mls. - depending on time and weather.

Sunday – approx. 35 mls (some hills!)
Up lovely Glen Lochay and over a big hill to grand Glen Lyon. Down Glen Lyon to beautiful Bridge of Balgie and the pretty Glen Lyon Post Office Tearoom for lunch. Over hill, past Ben Lawers, to Kiltyrie B&B. Evening meal provided. There may be opportunity for a wild swim, if weather is good.

Monday – approx. 43 mls.
Downhill to Killin, and along the south side of Loch Tay to Kenmore for lunch. (undulating)
From Kenmore to Pitlochry via Weem, Strathtay and Logierait.

This weekend we will be staying at our favourite B&B, Kiltyrie Farmhouse. (4 mls from Killin)

Jane has kindly agreed to provide evening meals. Costs are as follows:-
B&B £35 pppn and £10 pp per evening meal.
£70 for 2 nights B&B +£20 for 2 evening meals = £90 total cost per person.

This is excellent value in a lovely friendly B&B, with hospitable hostess and good food! Deposit of £30 required – please write cheques to me - Sheelagh Michael.

There are 3 twin rooms, so only 6 places available, at Kiltyrie. First come, first served! Any further people can find B&B accommodation in Killin.

Please contact Sheelagh if interested on

North Pennines (Alston area)

Sat 13th - Sun 14th July 2019

Overview
On the Sat morning, take train from Edinburgh to Penrith (which is at 450ft), and cycle over Hartside Height (1902feet, but the climb is well-graded). Stay overnight in Alston (900ft plus), because it is named after me: “Al’s toun”. On Sunday, cycle to the station at Carlisle (at 50ft ASL), and get train back to Edinburgh. For details of possible routes, see the following map extract, which is from Sustrans website.

Saturday
Mellow Velo usually aims to do 40 miles per day. By the main road (A686), Penrith to Alston is only 20 miles, but the ascent of Hartside Height will slow things down to the equivalent of 30 miles on the Saturday. By the main road, the climb is only 1590ft, and well graded. If we follow NCN7 instead of the main road, this would bring the distance to 23 miles and the ascent to 2220ft, including some steeper climbs. If we wish to add further miles, instead of going directly to Alston, we could make a circuit though Garrigill, which would give a total of 29 miles and 2700 ft of ascent; or through Garrigill, Nenthead and Nenthall (34 miles and 3240ft ascent), which we might feel is equivalent to more than 40 miles on the flat.

Sunday
Alston to Carlisle by the direct main road through Hallbankgate and Brampton (A689 and A69), would be only 28 miles, with a total ascent of 360ft. As Alston is at 900ft above sea level, and Carlisle is below 50ft, there is certain to be 900ft more downhill than uphill today, whichever way we go.

(It would be tempting to follow NCN68 along the railway path to Haltwhistle, then NCN72 all the way to Carlisle. But NCN72 has many hills, arranged so that a lot of our hard-earned potential energy would be wasted in braking. Also, last year, eight regular Mellow Velo riders followed exactly the same route as part of their Roman Wall ride, so I think we should avoid the NCN72.)

I suggest we branch off the A689 at Hallbankgate, and follow minor roads via Talkin Tarn (picnic?), Castle Carrock, and Cumwhitton, push our bikes across the rail viaduct over the River Eden at Wetheral, then continue by Cumwhinton and Upperby, approaching Carlisle from the south-east instead of the north-east. This would give a total distance of 36 miles and ascent of only 480 ft.

Accommodation.
The proposed accommodation is the YHA hostel in Alston, which is close to shops, etc. The hostel has male and female dorms (£25 per person per night), and private rooms with either 2, 4 or 6 bunks, charges per room being £45, £82 and £120 respectively. At present, the hostel has vacancies in all types of accommodation on this date, Sat 13 July 2019. But it is already fully booked for several Sat nights in May and June, and for some midweek nights in July, so we need to book as promptly as possible.

When I have 5 names in addition to myself, I will hope to be able to book one 4-bedded and one 2-bedded room, in such a way that these will be single gender, though this may not be possible. If additional names arrive after this, I will invite them to book directly in the appropriate dorm.

Train times
I have looked at the times of direct trains from Edinburgh or Glasgow which stop at Penrith. These are for Sat 20th April 2019, which is the last Sat currently given by Traveline. I have put in italic the trains which seem likely to be used by those living near Edinburgh or Glasgow. Maybe there will be additional trains in the summer timetable. Usually cycle bookings open 12 weeks in advance, which means 20th April (Easter). First come, first served. If either of the trains from Haymarket have 11 coaches, you will not be able to book a cycle on it, so try booking from Waverley. Some people may prefer to travel down on the Fri evening, and stay in Penrith overnight. I can recommend a b&b we have used previously. There should be less difficulty about trains returning on Sunday evening.

Dep Edinburgh Haymarket 6.19   6.56   8.16    
Dep Glasgow Central   6.30   7.10   8.40 9.07
Arr Penrith 7.49 8.00 8.21 8.49 9.49 10.02 10.47

 

 

 

I propose the following procedure: after the programme is published, and you have decided you would like to join this weekend ride, Email Alastair M on

Biggar and New Lanark: Gas works and cotton mills

Sat 3rd - Sun 4th August 2019

Meet at a café near Shotts station and ride to Braehead for lunch at the Last Shift Inn. Continue to Biggar and visit the Gasworks Museum. The smell alone is enough to remind me of the gasworks that used to be an eyesore in every town! Continue after a cuppa to New Lanark. About 35 miles.

Stay at the Wee Row Hostel (formerly SYHA, now affiliate). It costs about £22 per person and it appears that you have to reserve rooms for 2 to 4 guests rather than individual beds so please contact me before booking.

Plenty of options on Sunday including attractive routes around the Clyde valley used on previous rides in this area. Returning to Edinburgh might be popular if we get a brisk wind from the southwest!

Please contact John on

Dayride to Craigie Farm

Sun 25th August 2019

Shake off that "Festival Fatigue"!!

Meet at 9.15am at Cycle path Tunnel next to Tesco's at Broughton Road.
We will cycle via Cramond Brig to Craigie Farm for coffee and cake - Hopefully sitting outside to enjoy the views and count the planes!!

From Craigie Farm to Ratho, via Boathouse Bridge (to watch a few more planes close up!) Kirkliston and Newbridge to Ratho.

Bring your own picnic to enjoy by the canal at Ratho.(there is also The Bridge Inn nearby)
Cycle home along the canal towpath to Lochrin Basin.

A leisurely cycle day out - about 25mls.

If you'd like to come please contact Sheelagh on

Night skies at Kielder

Sat 31st August - Sun 1st/Mon 2nd September 2019

The purpose of the trip is to go to the Kielder Observatory to see the Milky Way on either Sat 31st August at 8.15-11.15pm (£28.60 / £26.40 conc.) or Sun 1st Sept at 8-11pm. (£26.95 / £22.83 conc. and another £2 off if you don’t gift aid.)
It is not compulsory to go to the viewing of course - you can stay in the pub all evening.

I have managed to change the booking to Sat 31st and Sunday 1st.

At the campsite there are two static caravans that sleep 4 (1dbl + 2sgl) at £60pn min 2 night stay. These have facilities including a kitchenette, but we have to bring sheet sleeping bags and towels.
Also there are pods that are basic empty shells that sleep three (bring sleeping bags) for £40pn no min stay. There is ordinary tent camping of course…

I have hired one of the static caravans. Unfortunately there are now no pods available on the Saturday. Those camping can then have breakfast in the static. All depends on how many come and how long we want to stay. The consensus (from the early birds) is to stay two nights and visit the Observatory on the Sunday.

The route

Saturday - take train to Carlisle
Preferably this is the 8.11 (TP) from Edinburgh arr 9.31 Carlisle. TP take two bikes
There is also the 8.53 (V) that arrives at 10.07.
or 8.00 (V) from Glasgow Cent. arr 9.10 Carlisle. Virgin take four bikes.

Route N out of Carlisle to Longtown (c.10 miles) where there is a café. Continue to Newcastleton (16 miles) for another café stop and stock up at the shop. Continue to Kielder campsite (15 miles). Total 41 miles.

Have meal at the Anglers Arms in Kielder (main meal c. £8.50)

Sunday – This will be a day cycling round Kielder Water and surrounding area. Stock up on emergency rations.

Have early meal at the Anglers Arms in Kielder and leave by 7.15pm to get to Observatory 2.5 miles up the forestry track road for 7.45pm. Return to campsite at c 11.30pm.

Monday - Head north back to Saughtree, Bonchester Bridge and Denholm. (23 miles). The Horse and Hound at Bonchester Bridge has reopened under new management and is serving food (no times given). On Mondays in Denholm, only the Auld Cross Keys is open. On Sundays, the Denholm Meet is also open.

Continue north to Tweedbank station (14 miles) Total 37 miles.

Maps 85,86,79,80 and 73

If interested please email Tiana on

Borders Circuit from Melrose

Mon 2nd September 2019

Please note change of date

Leaving the Green House Cafe, (formerly the Abbey café beside the Abbey Car Park) Melrose at 10:00. This will allow folk to get either the 8:23 or the 8:52 train from Edinburgh to Tweedbank.

The route will go over Scott’s View, crossing the Tweed on the suspension bridge at Dryburgh then along to Lilliesleaf where we will have our first café stop in the Jammy Coo Cafe. We will continue across to the Ettrick Valley via Midlem and Selkirk and around by Bowhill to the Yarrow before our next stop at the Waterwheel Cafe and then back to Tweedbank.

The route is about 42 miles but if there are any enthusiastic climbers in the group we could extend it by 10 miles and continue further up the Ettrick Valley and cross over to the Yarrow Valley by the “Squire” which is a great big hill pass with fantastic views across both valleys.

If interested please email Eibhlin on

East Neuk of Fife

Sat 14th - Sun 15th September 2019

Saturday: Train to Ladybank. Cycle via Newburgh, Cupar and Pittenweem to Anstruther. Overnight at Murray Library Hostel.

Sunday: cycle to Crail, St Andrews and Ceres to Markinch. Train back from Markinch or Thornton.

About 35 miles each day. Some long but gentle hills.

If interested please contact Alec on 

Peebles Day Ride

Sun 29th September 2019

Annual "Ken Maskell" Memorial ride.

Start from Peebles at the carpark on south side of river, leaving at 9.00am.

Route:- Peebles via Broughton, Tweedsmuir, Talla and Megget Reservoirs to St Mary's Loch, Traquair, Cardrona and back to Peebles.

It's a 50 mile ride at a moderate pace. Tea/coffee at the Laurelbank tearoom in Broughton and eat our picnic near St Mary's Loch, with a possible short stop at Gordon Arms if the weather's poor.

Contact Peter on

Sanquhar/Caerlaverock

Fri 11th - Sun 13th October 2019

Day 1 Friday - Sanquhar to Glencaple (about 40miles)

Given the late season, we would aim to leave Sanquhar around 8.30. Cycle via the lovely country of the Nith valley from Sanquhar (notable for its tiny post office, claimed to be the oldest working post office in the world), Penpont (coffee stop), Dunscore, Cluden Water . The Martyr’s tomb near Kirkpatrick Irongray Church where two covenanters were hanged in 1685 is worth a visit (picnic lunch).

Following cycle paths through Dumfries along the Nith, we end our day at Glencaple where 2 of us – sadly only only 2 singles available due to a block booking- can stay at the Nith Hotel £35 per person/night. There is another B&B (Hutton Lodge) a couple of miles away which has 1 twin and 1 Dble available at £35 per person/night.

Evening meals are available at the Nith Hotel and at the Boathouse café opposite.

There are several self catering places in Glencaple but this would only be feasible if enough people were going. The cost is £299 for 6-10 people which would make it between £30 and £50 for the 2 nights depending on numbers (actually the cost covers 3 nights).

Day 2 Saturday - Caerlaverock Castle and WWT Reserve (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust)
These lie about 3 miles from the accommodation.

The Castle: (Historic Scotland) With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, this medieval stronghold is one of the finest castles in Scotland. £6.00/ £4.80 concession).

The Reserve: Almost the entire Svalbard population of barnacle goose overwinters in the Solway Firth area, with many of the birds often at Caerlaverock for part or all of the winter; their protection by the reserve has enabled the population to recover from just 500 birds in the 1940s, to over 25,000 now.

On Saturday Caerlaverock celebrates a Goose Weekend with talks from WWT scientists on the latest research into geese, talks from local authors, guided goose walks and workshops and walks to see thousands of barnacle geese flying out to roost at dusk. There is a Dawn event on Sunday too (6.45 am to watch birds fly in from the mudflats, café open early).
Booking is essential. Admission £7.28/£6.21 conc

Day 3 Sunday - return options
There are various options for this day.
1. Cycle back to Sanquhar, mostly by a similar route to Day 1 but via Drumlanrig rather than Penpont. This would be only be appealing if weather is fine!
2. It would be possible to concentrate on the reserve on Saturday and visit the castle on Sunday morning and then cycle back to Dumfries to catch a train to Sanquhar (and thence home) at 13.51
3. Cycle to Lockerbie (20 miles) and return to Edinburgh by train.
4. Visit the Burns Museum in Dumfries and catch a train as in (2)

Transport
Train travel to Sanquhar via Glasgow is possible (see times below). Return via Lockerbie also possible.

Friday Edinburgh Glasgow QS

Glasgow Cent

Sanquhar  
  5.33 6.51 7.07 8.33  
           
Sunday Dumfries Sanquhar Glasgow Cent Glasgow QS Edinburgh
  13.51 14.17 15.42 16.30 17.17
  19.50 20.16 21.35 22.30 23.17
           
  Lockerbie Edinburgh   Lockerbie Glasgow
  16.32 17.33   15.37 16.42
  18.34 19.35   17.37 18.43

Maps: OS 78 Nithsdale and OS 84 Dumfries

Food
Breakfast included if we are in B&Bs. A packed lunch and snacks needed for Friday. There’s a café at the reserve and would need to carry food for Sunday if cycling back to Sanquhar on Sunday.

If interested please contact Elaine on

Loch Katrine

Sat 26th October 2019

This ride is an annual event to mark the end of Summer Time. The route is an anticlockwise loop around Loch Katrine of about 32–38 miles. Last year the forecast was for wind and heavy rain, which was fairly typical, but like the year before turned out much better. It is late October, after all, but there are plenty of cafés for shelter if the forecast is correct.

The cyclists' cafe played a role in events in 2018 but not to feed us. To thank them for their help some thought it a good idea to meet there instead of at the Scottish Wool Centre. So this year we will meet at 10.00am in the café at Aberfoyle Bike hire in Main St, opposite the car park in Aberfoyle. This ride is not practicable without a car unless you are unusually fit so please contact the organiser if you need a lift or can offer one.

The first part is through the forest on good tracks and involves a steepish climb… perfectly permissible to walk. Some people may prefer to stay on tarmac and ride over the Duke’s pass. Both routes climb about 700 feet. The rest of the route is all on tarmac. It takes us down to the east end of Loch Katrine (café), around the loch along the water board road to Stronachlachar (café) and from there back to Aberfoyle via Loch Ard (another café).

The road around the loch has several short, steep sections. OS Landranger maps 56 and 57.

Tiana’s account of the 2010 trip on the Past Rides page captures the spirit perfectly.

We usually stop for lunch at the east end of Loch Katrine and for tea and cakes at the west end.

Although the whole ride can be done on tarmac, parts are likely to be wet and covered with leaves (it’s autumn). Skinny or slick tyres are not really suitable; touring, hybrid or mountain bikes are fine.

Contact Simon on