Extending the range

The jaunts from North Berwick to Edinburgh last weekend and the weekend before that were fairly flat. We both wanted to see if we could go further, on more undulating terrain. So Elly suggested cycling via Kirkliston to Linlithgow and back. We’re just back, and despite a few grumbles, my legs kept going. The Rose SPD sandals worked well too. Here’s the inevitable cyclemeter map:

cycle-route from Edinburgh to Linlithgow and back

click he graphic to see ride details

The official cycle route past the airport isn’t very good. The wiggles at the Maybury Road junction leave a lot to be desired – with hindsight, we should have stayed on the main road and turned right into Maybury Road. The next half mile is OK, but there are a couple of momentum-killing sharp right turns at the Gogarburn bridge. After that, the cyclepath bumps up and down kerbs and crosses some very blind junctions. Previously, I’ve got onto the actual road as soon as possible, but I don’t currently have the speed I want to stay on the A8 at the airport junction. Unfortunately, some badly-placed road signs prevented slingshotting up and out of the junction roundabout.

The next obstacle is the horrendous stepped bridge at Ratho Station. This is supposedly a premier cycle-route, so what on earth is this monstrosity for? Elly and I can wheel our bikes over the lumps, but what about people in wheelchairs? The only good thing about it is that it put us on the appropriate side of the road to go to Kirkliston. The alternative would have been to go around the Newbridge roundabout and come back to the turn into Lochend Road. Neither of us fancied this today, although I have done that roundabout before.

After that, the route to Linlithgow was a quiet slog. As usual, Elly was faster than me – by the time we reached Champfleurie (the beginning of the drop into Linlithgow, she was about 2 minutes ahead of me.

We had lunch at the So Strawberry Caffe, and pondered our return. Neither of us fancied the route from the airport back into central Edinburgh, so Elly suggested cycling to Linlithgow, then turning north to Queensferry and joining cycle-route 1. The run back from Linlithgow to Kirkliston was OK (partly due to a slight tailwind but mostly the gradient out of Linlithgow is steep, then there is mostly gentle downhill. North of Kirkliston, there is good shared-use path, but we should have rejoined the road just after crossing the A90. Instead we were caught by multiple traffic lights when going around the roundabout.

The run from Queensferry, via Dalmeny, is pleasant – there’s also a lovely drop down towards the A90 where you can gain momentum to get over the next lump to Cramond Brig. After that, it’s just keeping going through suburbs to get home.

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