Sometimes the best rides are those that are a bit more off the cuff than planned turn by turn that was Wednesday’s ride with Carol. With good weather forecast and an unfinished trundle around cycle paths in the capital still on our agenda we headed over to Auld Reekie by train with a couple of objectives but no fixed plan.
Carol wanted to visit Evans and Edinburgh Bike Co-op to take a look at panniers for our trip to France so with some sort of loose plan we headed for the train station and the 10:33 to South Gyle. We headed along the path that you can see from the train when you come in from Fife to Edinburgh and cut off along the Water of Leith and the Union Canal to the Canal Basin at Fountainbridge. Once at the basin Evans is literally up the road about 200m. We spent about 45 mins in the shop and Carol tried a set of panniers on her Pug whilst I queried the guy about a Tour de Fer 20. We both left the shop empty handed and retraced our steps back to the canal basin for lunch in the sun. A sharing platter of smorgasbord.
Once we had eaten we mounted our trusty steeds again and pedalled off to the Meadows and Edinburgh Bike Co-op. Once again Carol tried a set of panniers on her Pug, the shop’s own brand whereas the others had been Altura. The Bike Co-op had a Tour de Fer 10 in but not a 20 so once again we left a bike shop empty handed! After a bit of to and froing on the path and a 180 degree turn we headed in the direction of the Forth.
Our next stop was Go Outdoors which was the other side of the town and meant cycling thru the city centre with not only traffic to contend with but TRAM LINES!!!
It must be said we negotiated both obstacles safely and were soon whizzing down Scotland Street on our way to Leith and Go Outdoors. It has been a while since I have been in the shop and it looks a great deal better than it used to with good prices on well known brands. The Leith shop has a large selection of bikes from Orbea, Viking and some other brands it also does servicing. After a quick look round we left and headed for a cafe. It was approaching 5 by this time and although we had not done many miles it was great in the sun and good practice for pedalling down the canals in France although it might be slightly warmer there. We stopped at a cafe just down from the Botanics and consumed a waffle each and a pot of Earl Grey. The waffles were amazing and so light.
Fed and watered we headed to Waverley station and the train home. The station now has a bike lane going down into it this was news to us and whilst I managed to get onto it Carol couldn’t and proceeded to cycle down the pedestrian way. At the bottom of the path she was approached by a man in blue and told to use the bike lane next time. Fine officer but your van is parked right in the middle of it! With 45 mins till the next train we decided to head outside and try and catch what was left of the sun in Princess Street Gardens. Unfortunately they were being locked up so after a quick circuit of the gardens we headed back to the station and our train home.
So with 21 miles pedalled 800ft climbed 3 bike shops visited and more of the capital’s bike paths explored it was rather a good day!!