Up the (Edinburgh) Castle

That wasn’t actually the plan.  The plan was to go down to the seafront, and then along the seafront on the cycle paths, until I got to Musselburgh and come back through town and home.

The thing is with Edinburgh’s cycle routes is that the signposting, once you’re on them, is great, but if you deviate, or find yourself in an unfamiliar part of the city, then you try finding them again!.  They are leisure routes, not transit routes to get you from A to B, and as such you can end up going a long way out of your way and they aren’t always logical.  They also don’t always join up!  For a leisure cycle this might be quite nice, but for a practical trip it can be a nightmare.  It also means they’ve not been made very easy to find the entry points to them, and sometimes the entry points can be down steps or not signed at all, you have to know it to find it.

With all the new cyclists coming on board now, this really isn’t good enough.  But, I am going to stop there as I don’t want my blog to become one long wingeing session about inadequate infrastructure, we know that’s a problem and we know we are trying to get it fixed.

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No, today is about a little run that turned into a 22 mile trip, and featured a good few hills, including the great long one up from the Scottish Parliament to Edinburgh Castle:

If you cannot see the video above then a one minute video of this can also be found here

You will note that the pictures are quite shaky.  That is because I am on very bad cobbles, many of which have sunk and deformed under the weight of vehicle traffic on roads which were designed for the horse and cart.  Some of the deformations are so bad it is possible to loose a wheel in the gaps, and they will probably make a good attempt to have you off in the wet.  In fact, it was so dangerous in places, and thankfully so very quiet, I do confess that you will find me on the pedestrian walkway at the top most section. Yes, I rode on the pavement.   But I made sure there were NO pedestrians anywhere near, and I was not therefore not endangering anyone.  It would have been more dangerous for me to carry on with the cobbles at this point.

I only saw three other cyclists, and two people walking, on the whole route up the hill, and all three cyclists also took the smoother paved areas where I did.

You never normally get anything like a chance to do any photography of Edinburgh Castle like this, ie. with no people in shot, and so lockdown is still having some little benefits.

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I enjoyed the ride, except I had overtightened my Brooks saddle which resulted in some very painful damage to my undercarriage.  Entirely my own fault, and I’ve never had any problem with the saddle before.  I have now dialled it back again, and hope I haven’t ruined the leather!

This route therefore wrapped up the end of my 49th year on planet Earth.  As I write this I am celebrating my 50th Birthday with cake, coffee, and no cycling as I am watching the drizzle on the windows for the first time in six weeks.  Of course it had to rain constantly on my Birthday, in the midst of the driest Spring/Summer in decades.

I am aiming to do a fairly decent cycle tomorrow instead, and I need to make up for all the cake I’ve been eating!

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I am a very lucky girl who has been spoiled rotten by her partner today…and many of my presents seem to have a theme to them…

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Right I’m off to enjoy my two person and a dog party.  See you all on the other side!

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