January 2016

Friday 1st – a New Year ride in very icy conditions went along the coast to Longniddry, up to Samuelston, Bolton, and the Saltouns, across to Windy Mains over the ford and back via Cousland. 38 miles.

Sunday 3rd – the fitness ride went out by Carberry, Saltouns, Gifford, stopped for coffee at Tyninghame then came home via Athelstaneford, Prestonpans – 52 miles in windy and wettish conditions. The leisure ride went to Gullane via Tranent, Haddington and Aberlady, then around West Fenton back to Aberlady and home along the coast. 35 miles.

Sunday 10th – it was cold and wet as we rode out along the coast road to Aberlady, then to N Berwick, round by Tantallon Castle to Whitekirk, Tyninghame for coffee and back by Markle, Athelstaneford and Longniddry. 46 miles.

Sunday 17th – after overnight snow, we stuck to the coast road to North Berwick, then inland to E Linton and back via Haddington and Tranent – 50 miles.

Sunday 24th – a big group turned out on a remarkably mild day to cycle via Sheriffhall, Loanhead and Roslin to Carlops, then back by minor roads to the Whitmuir cafe, over to Eddleston and home by Carrington. 52 miles.

Sunday 31st – up Fa’side hill, through Pencaitland to Garvald, then back past Gifford to the Humbie Hub for coffee, home via Cousland. 49 miles.

January 2016, regrouping at the top of Fa'side Hill

January 2016, regrouping at the top of Fa’side Hill

February 2016

Sunday 7th – The fitness ride went out via Newbattle, Carrington, Temple and Leadburn to Whitmuir cafe in a strong headwind, then fast home via Auchencorth Moss and Penicuik (46 miles). The leisure ride was 45 miles, to Carrington, Temple then via Gorebridge and Pathhead to cafe stop at House of Soutra, and back via Cousland and Carberry.

Sunday 14th – out through Musselburgh and Tranent, past Haddington towards N Berwick, where we stopped for coffee; home along the coast road with a tailwind (and a dramatic crash in Aberlady – no-one badly hurt).

Sunday 21st – out by Dalkeith, Gorebridge, West Linton, cafe stop at Whitmuir, then back through Gladhouse, Crichton, Pathhead and Carberry (65 miles).

Sunday 28th – out of Edinburgh via Cameron Toll, Loanhead, Carrington and Crichton to the Soutra cafe on the A68, then back by Humbie and Cousland – delayed by punctures, accidents and mechanical problems (49 miles).

March 2016

Sunday 6th – both groups rode out to near Sheriffhall, from where the leisure group dropped down to Musselburgh, along to Longniddry, up to Humbie for coffee and home from there (40 miles). The fitness ride went through Eskbank and Carrington to the Granites, left to Heriot, over Soutra and also to Humbie for coffee, then a loop home via Haddington in the sunshine (59 miles).

Sunday 13th – a big loop around the Pentland Hills, starting out through Balerno past Harperrig reservoir, left just before Carnwath, over to Blyth Bridge, coffee at Whitmuir and back by Leadburn and Bonnyrigg (66 miles).

Sunday 20th – out via Edgehead and Middleton, over the Granites to Innerleithen for coffee, then back via Walkerburn, Thornylee and the “coach road” to Heriot, home via Pathhead and Carberry (70 miles).


By the piper’s grave, Granites, March 2016


On the Granites, March 2016

Sunday 27th – on a wet day, with glimpses of sunshine: through Lasswade and the edge of Gorebridge, past Crichton Castle to Pathhead, then via Humbie, Gifford and Papple to E Linton, and back by Athelstaneford and Longniddry (60 miles).

April 2016

Sunday 3rd – Everyone rode out through Tranent, Pencaitland and East Saltoun to Gifford.  The fitness ride went up Redstone Rigg to Whiteadder Reservoir, over Chrichness Law to Spott, coffee at Tyninghame, and home via Drem and the coast road (68 miles). The leisure ride did a loop towards Haddington back up through Bolton to Humbie, and home to Edinburgh via Fala and Cousland (43 miles).


One for the hard men: up on the moors in the rain, April 2016

Sunday 10th – Delayed at the start by a puncture and mechanical problems, the group rode out through Pathhead, Borthwick and up the Granites in icy rain, then down to Heriot (where some went home), over to Soutra, and back by Humbie and Cousland (50 miles).

Sunday 17th – Another cold start for a ride through Carrington and over the moor to Eddleston, over the Meldons, then down the Stobo road and over Dreva to Broughton, back by Leadburn with a bit of a tailwind (65 miles).

Wednesday 20th – An evening ride up Carberry, through Pencaitland and Haddington to Aberlady and back along the coast (36 miles).

Sunday 24th – out by Elphinstone, Saltoun and Longyester, over Redstone Rig, back down to Garvald, Tyninghame for coffee and home in sunshine by Athelstaneford and Garleton hill (62 miles).

May 2016

Sunday 1st – out via Gilmerton, then on the cycle path to Roslin, from where the leisure ride went via Auchendinny to Leadburn then back by Penicuik, Bonnyrig and Musselburgh (35 miles); the fitness ride went via Rosslynlee hospital to Leadburn (catching up with the leisure ride again) then down the main road to Peebles, round Cademuir hill, over the Meldons to the Scots Pine cafe, and back via Carrington (61 miles).

Wednesday 4th – evening ride to Gladhouse reservoir via Bonnyrigg, then back through Gorebridge and Carberry.

Sunday 8th – starting in rain and fog, ending in sunshine, the group went up Carberry, via Pathhead, Tynehead and Heriot to Stow, over the moor (by the more direct route) to Lauder for coffee, then back to Stow (by the longer route to the south) and home by a similar route to the way out (63 miles).

Saturday 14th – a big group of adults and children (plus one dog) cycled in spring sunshine from Longniddry to Haddington on the railway path, then did a loop back on minor roads (mostly) including a stop at Butterdean woods near Gladsmuir for a walk (13 miles).


Family ride, May 2016 – taking a refreshment break near Haddington

Sunday 15th – on another sunny day, we went via Sheriffhall, Gorebridge and Gladhouse to Peebles, along to Innerleithen by Traquair, then back over the Granites and home through Gorebridge (again) and Musselburgh (68 miles).

Wednesday 18th – an evening “ride of silence” to remember cyclists killed or injured on public roads, along the coast road to Prestonpans, up Birsley Brae to the top of Fa’side, then back via the Inveresk river path and Musselburgh (13 miles).

Sunday 22nd – along the coast road to Longniddry, then inland via Spittal, Athelstaneford and Beech Hill to Garvald, steeply up onto the moors to Redstone Rig, down to Gifford’s new “Lanterne Rouge” cafe, then home via Humbie and Cousland (67 miles).

Sunday 29th – to avoid the marathon, the group went west, via Balerno, West Calder and Addiewell to Bathgate, over the hill to Torphichen, coffee by the canal, then back by Linlithgow, Philipstoun and the Dalmeny Estate (67 miles).

June 2016

Wednesday 1st – an evening ride up the Granites and back.

Sunday 5th – along the coast road to North Berwick, from where the leisure group went to the Tyninghame cafe before heading back via Athelstaneford and Longniddry (47 miles). The fitness ride went via Dunning Wood and Tyninghame to Dunbar for coffee, then back in sunshine via Spott, Stenton and Samuelston (63 miles).

Sunday 12th – a very wet ride out to Stow, via Carberry, Crichton and the A7, hampered by multiple punctures; back up the coach road to Heriot, from where some went straight back via Crichton, the rest went over the Granites and back by Rosebery Reservoir and Carrington (60 miles).

Wednesday 15th – four intrepid riders headed along the coast to Aberlady in the pouring rain and back inland via Macmerry and Tranent – 45km.

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th – the fourth Portovelo weekender saw 14 riders travel to Kirkby Stephen (Yorkshire Dales) for a long ride on the Saturday and a shorter ride on Sunday morning. The Saturday ride headed up Lamps Moss to Keld, then over Buttertubs to Hawes,  south to Ribblehead, left to Stainforth (with a cafe stop in Horton in Ribblesdale) then over the moors via Littondale to Kettlewell for lunch – fuel for the climb of Fleet Moss, back down to Hawes, returning to Kirkby Stephen northwards down the main valley (91 miles). On Sunday, we started north to Great Musgrave, then eastwards to Brough and up onto Stainmore Common, over to Mickleton, then a cafe stop at Barnard Castle, from where (accompanied by a procession of vintage cars), we tackled the Stang from the west, then Tan Hill, down to Kaber and back to Kirkby Stephen (56 miles).


Outside the Kirkby Stephen hostel, ready for the off, June 2016


Big sky, open road – the Yorkshire experience, June 2016


Weekender, June 2016 – Ribblehead viaduct in the background


In the cafe at Kettlewell, Yorkshire Dales, Portovelo weekender 2016


On Tan Hill, Portovelo weekender, June 2016

Sunday 19th – with so many away on the weekender, it was a relatively small group that went to Aberlady, Drem, Athelstaneford, Haddington and Gifford, and Longyester, and back via Humbie (48 miles).

Sunday 26th – a long ride mostly in sunshine, out via Roslin, Penicuik, West Linton, Dolphinton and Elsrickle to Biggar, on the back road to Broughton, to Dawyck for coffee, then back through Stobo, over the Meldons and home via Leadburn and Bonnyrigg (75 miles).

July 2016

Sunday 3rd – Both rides started together through Inveresk and up the Smeaton Farm Road.  The leisure ride went on to Pathhead, Humbie and Gifford for the cafe stop then returned through Samuelston, Pencaitland and Elphinstone (49 miles). The fitness ride went a different route to Pathhead, then Crichton, Middleton, Temple, Gladhouse, Shiplaw to Whitmuir for coffee, back by Blegbiehill and the moor road to Penicuik, then home by Lothianbridge, Eskbank and Musselburgh (60 miles).

Wednesday 6th – a small turnout for a ride to Gladhouse via Edgehead and Gorebridge, back by Carrington – 56km.

Sunday 10th – Apart from two riders doing a short East Lothian ride, everyone rode together to Eddleston, via Leadburn. From there, one group went over the Meldons, through Stobo to Dawyck for coffee, then down to Talla and Megget reservoirs, past St Mary’s loch, back up over Paddy Slacks to Innerleithen for lunch, along the south bank of the Tweed and up to Clovenfords, then up the A7 and the old coach road to Heriot, and home via Crichton and Carberry (106 miles, route here: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1150401259). The other group went from Eddleston to Peebles, along to Innerleithen for coffee and back over the Granites.

Sunday 17th – Up to the Granites via Crichton and Pathhead, then over Soutra hill to the café stop at Humbie and back via East Saltoun and Tranent  (53 miles)

Wednesday 20th – evening ride in the rain along the coast to Aberlady, up to Haddington, then Gifford, and back via the Saltouns – 68km.

Sunday 24th – The ride went out through Tranent to East Salton, Longyester and Garvald, up onto the Lammermuirs, then back down the Rig to Gifford for a cafe stop, then home via Samuelston and Port Seton (53 miles).

Sunday 31st – A long ride, mostly in sunshine, via Carrington and the Granites to Innerleithen, along the south of the Tweed, and back via Clovenfords, Stow and Crichton (70 miles).

August 2016

Wednesday 3rd – evening ride to Rosebery Resevoir via Lasswade, back via Tynehead and Fala (40 miles).

Sunday 7th – Although separate fitness and leisure rides were advertised, it was just one group that rode into the wind to Temple, past Gladhouse and then Shiplaw road to Whitmuir for coffee; back via west Linton and the moor road. 54 miles

Sunday 14th – A fast ride up Carberry, to Humbie, then via Stenton to Whitekirk (via a nettle-strewn track and a footbridge), North Berwick for coffee and home through Drem and Longniddry (62 miles).  In the afternoon, 11 adults and children did a 10-mile family ride round the Dalmeny Estate, and (via another nettle-strewn track) by Hound Point to South Queensferry.


Family ride, August 2016, arriving at South Queensferry from the Dalmeny Estate

Wednesday 17th – evening ride via Tranent to Gifford then home via Haddington, the Yak, Bangley Brae and the ‘Pans (39 miles).

Saturday 20th – An unusual, extra ride – out to Gifford via Pathhead, Fala and Humbie to meet two cyclists (Martin and Willie) on the final leg of a 1,600 mile “Rome to Home” charity ride and accompany them (and various other local cyclists) back to Erskine HQ in Gilmerton via the Saltouns and Eskbank, complete with police motorcycles stopping the traffic!

Rome to Home - Gifford1

Portovelo riders form part of an escort for Willie and Martin on the final 20-mile leg of their “Rome to Home 2016” charity ride.

Sunday 21st – Another unusual ride – accompanied by a journalist and photographer for a feature in Cycling Weekly. A big group rode out to the Granites via Smeaton and Borthwick, down to Heriot and over Soutra; after a cafe stop at the Humbie Hub, we rode back via the ford road and Cousland (51 miles).

Sunday 28th – A steady ride around the Pentlands – we rode out through Gilmerton and Balerno to the “Lang Whang”, then from Carnwath via Walston and Dolphinton to W Linton, and home via Penicuik (65 miles).

September 2016

Sunday 4th – The fitness and leisure rides started together through Musselburgh and Tranent. The leisure ride went to Gifford, then via Leehouses and Blegbie to Humbie, back over the Ford and home via Cousland (45 miles). The fitness ride took a winding route through Pencaitland, Glenkinchie and Haddington, over the “big Yak” to Athelstaneford and N Berwick, then home along the coast with detours inland first to Fenton Barns, then Fa’side Hill (58 miles).

Wednesday 7th – Evening ride straight to Gifford then to Humbie and back via Cousland (51km): https://www.strava.com/activities/704140459

Sunday 11th – Out through Eskbank, Carrington, Rosebery and Gladhouse reservoirs to Peebles, round Cademuir to Lyne Station (with a bit of rough-stuff thrown in), via Rommanobridge to Whitmuir for coffee, then back over the moor road to Penicuik and home via Roslin and Danderhall (65 miles).

Sunday 18th – A long skinny loop to Dunbar, crossing the A1 ten times: out through Musselburgh and Haddington, past Hailes Castle to E Linton, then minor roads to Stenton; back by Spott, Pitcox, Bolton, Gladsmuir and Fa’side hill (63 miles).

Wednesday 21st – A hilly loop out through Mayfield, Crichton and Whitburgh Mains; back in the dark and rain via Carberry (31 miles).

Saturday 24th – The annual bramble-picking family ride went to Musselburgh, along the first part of the River Esk path, up to Inveresk, then along Crookston Road to Fa’side hill. There and back was about 10 miles – and everyone got purple hands.

Sunday 25th – A big group went out through Tranent, Ormiston and Pathhead, then Crichton, Gladhouse and Shiplaw to Whitmuir for coffee, then home via Leadburn, Temple and Edgehead (61 miles).

October 2016

Sunday 2nd – A huge turnout in sunshine for a ride in West Lothian. The fitness ride did a tour of the Bathgate Alps, getting there via Cramond Brig, Kirkliston and Kingscavil, then up and down every hill in vicinity of Beecraigs and Torphichen, coffee at the Cupcake cafe, and back by Cairnpapple hill, Winchburgh, Kirkliston again and (most of us) Colinton and Gilmerton (71 miles). Route here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16935562. The leisure ride took the cycle path to Roseburn, joined the A70 and headed out past Balerno then via Ratho and Newbridge to Dalmeny for coffee at Craigies, then back via the cycle path to Leith (45 miles).

Sunday 9th – For most, a ride up the Rig – from Carberry to Cousland, Humbie and Longyester; back down past Nunraw abbey to Garvald, then Gifford for coffee and home via Pencaitland and Fa’side (60 miles). Some peeled off at Longyester for a shorter ride back through West Saltoun, Pencaitland and Tranent (37 miles).

Sunday 16th – An autumnal ride via Windy Mains and the Saltouns to Morham, north to East Linton and the cafe at Tyninghame before a fast run home via Kingston and Aberlady (63 miles).

Sunday 23rd – Everyone rode together in autumn sunshine to Humbie via Cousland before leisure and fitness rides split. The fitness ride went up Soutra then via Oxton, Lauder and Threepwood to Stow for coffee, back by Heriot and Tynehead (59 miles). The leisure ride went from Humbie in a loop via Blegbie to Gifford for coffee, back by Samuelston, Pencaitland and Carberry (44 miles).

Sunday 30th – A steady start along the coast road initially, then via Spittal and Athelstaneford to Garvald, up past Nunraw onto the moors, down Redstone Rig to the Gifford cafe, then back via East Saltoun, Pencaitland and Tranent (60 miles).

November 2016

Sunday 6th – The first 9 am start on a windy, cold day – out along the coast road, then through Longniddry, Ballencrieff and Haddington to Papple, down to E Linton and Tyninghame for coffee, home by Markle and Athelstaneford (49 miles).

Sunday 13th – Up Carberry then back roads to Fala Dam, a stretch on the A68, a little loop by Carfrae, then along the Coldstream road to Lauder for coffee; back by the A68 and then home by Humbie and Cousland (51 miles).

Sunday 20th – On a cold and grey day, along the coast to Aberlady, then through Fenton Barns, Kingston and Tyninghame to a cafe near West Barns; back by Pitcox, Traprain, Haddington and Prestonpans (52 miles).

Sunday 27th – 19 riders gathered at the bandstand for a ride through Musselburgh, inland via Pencaitland to Gifford, past Haddington and East Fortune and over the hill to North Berwick for coffee, then back along the coast road in two groups (49 miles).

December 2016

Sunday 4th – A big turnout for the joint fitness and intermediate rides – which started together along the coast road until just beyond Aberlady. The fitness ride carried on to N Berwick, then headed inland to the Tyninghame cafe via Whitekirk; the intermediate group went inland to the same cafe via Kingston; both rode back via Athelstaneford and Longniddry (48 miles).

Sunday 11th – Another large group started off up Fa’side, then through Elphinstone to Carberry, via Edgehead to Gorebridge, up the Granites, down to Heriot (from where three riders took a longer route over Soutra), then back via Crichton and Pathhead (50 miles).

Sunday 18th – A challenging wee route to Gladhouse reservoir via Dalkeith country park, Polton and Roslin, then through Tynehead and Windymains to Humbie for coffee, and back via Cousland (52 miles).

Monday 26th – A small group set off bravely for the Boxing Day Special – out through Longniddry in sunshine, over the level crossing, past the Hopetoun Monument, through Athelstaneford to N Berwick, then back along the coast road in the rain and into a tough headwind (42 miles).