I know, I know, Wednesday evenings are for club. However the thought of riding in the Pentlands in the sunshine won out and a good choice it proved to be. I haven't run since Sunday and planned to test my legs tonight but Mike was going to try out his cyclo-cross bike and I asked if I could tag along. Unlike last time I didn't have a heavy pannier bag with wetsuit and u-lock and felt a bit more up to the task.
I met Mike outside his work at the bottom of Leith Walk. We followed the WoL up to the canal then followed the canal over the aquaduct and back onto the WoL, through the tunnel, across the wee bridge and along the other side towards Curry/Blinkbonny. It was good to get out of the rush-hour city and away from the canal-path dogwalkers with suicidal dogs anxious to be under your wheels. If you have ever done the Harrison Pk run on Sunday you will know the way. We then took Poets Glen, which is a rocky little path up the side of Doug Runner's neck of the woods. This was definitely easier on my bike with front shocks and fat tyres, although on the upper bit where it gets smoother Mike zoomed off. Anytime Mike was significantly ahead tonight was because I was cycling one handed taking photos! I look forward to trying this path again and doing bottom to top "clean". There are a couple of hazards including a bridge with handrails narrower than my bars but just fractionally lower. There is a terrible quality youtube video of someone descending the path here. I think they were doing it in a wheelbarrow and filming it with a jam jar.
W then took the 7 Res's path up into the hills. The sun was out and it was really very pleasant. At the top we turned left following the main trail towards Maiden's Cleugh but before getting there turned off left and climbed and contoured round to Bonaly.
Mike is far braver, wearing spds - I have always used toeclips and am not keen on being clipped into the pedals. I wasn't sure of the advantage of his cx home-build - until I felt the weight. It's 11kg he tells me, which felt about half the weight of mine. However there were many times tonight when I was glad of the fat tyres. And one of us wasn't on the ground several times.
That gravel was murder to ride over and the grassy path at the side not much more confidence inspiring.
Through the gate and instead of going a bit down the path then turning right Mike points to a small single track and says any idea where that goes. Bad move!
At least I was wearing trail shoes.
However it met up to the path we were after which we followed for a bit then took a slightly wrong turn and then a lot of fun cycle paths across swathes of the city I have never been on before from Dreghorn to the South side. We were going too fast to get the camera out. Great wee jaunt for a schoolnight. Nothing too technical and it gives you a great appetite.