CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Leisure

Good beginner routes

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  1. Doogan-O
    Member

    Hi everyone. Apologies for starting a thread with my first post. I've been lurking for a while but decided to join up.

    I am fairly new to cycling. I got a hybrid bike around August last year and completely caught the bug. I ended up getting a road bike in January as I wanted to take it up a notch.

    I have been out on a couple of rides recently including Musselburgh to Gullane and Peebles to Walkerburn. I really enjoy the quieter roads and don't mind travelling a bit in the car to find them.

    Could anyone recommend some good quiet routes? I'm trying to build up my fitness, so don't mind a few gentle hills. My longest ride so far is about 40km, so aiming for between 30-60km ideally.

    Thanks!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    “Apologies for starting a thread with my first post.”

    Not a problem.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. gembo
    Member

    Hi Doogan-O. The Lang Whang is quite quiet but the cars do bomb along, sight lines not too bad. Bit icy just now of course. If you wanted to skip the Whang then you could drive to West Calder. Cycle from there south towards Harburn but then turn right along the long and quiet road to Woolfords. Then from Woolfords to Auchengray. Just after auchengray cross the railway at the level crossing and take the road again long, straight and quiet until it ends at the t junction down the hill from Braehead. Turn left and take the carstairs esker to Carnwath. Pop into the most excellent and very cheap Apple Pie Bakery. Get on to the A70 but then just past the girl guides place take the left and this road is nice and quiet, rolling hills takes you back to the junction just beyond auchengray where the level crossings. You can then retrace your steps to west Calder. You can also of course take the train to west Calder should you fancy that. There is also a nice quiet road from Murieston to harburn and the Woolfords route. If you want to park at Murieston Vilage.

    Hope that helps. Spokes maps of west Lothian (also east Lothian and mid Lothian) are great. If you drive to north Berwick there are some great quiet roads. Or from Gifford you can climb up red stone rig then down to whiteadder reservoir and hang left on the alpine route to garvald then back to Gifford. That is a great wee loop with much climbing and descending.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. Frenchy
    Member

    Are trains an option?

    If you can get to Eskbank/Bonnyrigg, there are some lovely quiet roads in Midlothian. NCN from Bonnyrigg to Innerleithen is a wonderful road, and from there you can follow the Tweed to Galashiels. Alternatively, you can turn off NCN towards Heriot, and then follow the old road to Stow. Stow and Gala both have stations on the Borders railway.

    There is a shared use path from Gilmerton to Dobbie's, which means getting across the bypass to Eskbank isn't too hairy. The road to Lasswade/Bonnyrigg isn't much fun, though (although there's a shared use path between Eskbank/Bonnyrigg).

    From Gilmerton, you can also get onto the Gilmerton-Roslin route, which takes you to, er, Roslin. From there, you can take quiet roads/off-road paths to Penicuik. A short stretch on the (fairly busy) A701 will then get you to the moor road to West Linton, which is very quiet.

    You also follow NCN 1 in the opposite direction, to get to Fife, and it connects to NCN 76, which takes you round the Firth of Forth. NCN routes get some stick for being indirect and having too many barriers on them, but they generally are useful quiet routes.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. Diarmid
    Member

    East Lothian is one of my favourite places to cycle here are a few routes out of Longniddry (you can park at the station)

    Route 1

    Route 2

    Route 3

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. paddyirish
    Member

    Welcome,

    I'd buy the spokes maps- covering Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian, they are great to pour over - traffic free and quiet routes are clearly marked and you can join them up to form a great variety of "home-made" routes.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. Frenchy
    Member

    "don't mind a few gentle hills"

    ...

    "red stone rig"

    !?!?!?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. amir
    Member

    With the Midlothian route eg Frenchy's, there are stations at Eskbank, Newtongrane and Gorebridge.
    The lanes around Carrington, Temple, Gladhouse, Middleton and Crichton are worth exploring.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. paulmilne
    Member

    Haddington - Gifford (coffee at the Lanterne Rouge) - Stenton - Dunbar - East Linton - Markle Mains - Aethelstaneford - back to Haddington via disused Longniddry-Haddington railway line.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. Vez
    Member

    Try going out with a group? It's a great way to discover new routes. Spokes Sunday rides or CTC Lothians 2nd and 4th Sundays are about 40 miles. Or Edinburgh Cycling Group on Meet-up has a mix of rides from 20-50 miles. CTC (actually Cycling UK) is a membership organisation but you can try a couple of rides and see if you like them. Mix of road, touring and hybrid bikes in all of those groups so not fast, but a bit further than you've been doing.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    @Diarmid, on your first route were you able to get from Biel Mill to Tyningehame on a road bike? I've been down that way and seem to remember it ending in a farm track.

    +1 for the old coaching road to Stow.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. Diarmid
    Member

    @Cyclingmollie - it's been a while since I ventured out this way but managed fine on my touring bike - 28mm tyres

    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. PS
    Member

    The lanes around Carrington, Temple, Gladhouse, Middleton and Crichton are worth exploring.

    +1
    I did most of my early cycling in this neck of the woods and never had any bother. The cycle there and back from central Edinburgh were relatively low traffic on Sunday mornings, and it didn't take long to start to feel stronger and fitter doing that route once a week.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. Doogan-O
    Member

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions - these should keep me going for a while!

    I'll possibly join a group ride as my fitness improves. and have picked up a copy of the spokes map.

    For this weekend I am thinking Bonnyrigg to Gladstone reservoir via Carrington and Temple. I can then head back via Rosewell.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  15. amir
    Member

    Just be aware of the greater chance of ice around Gladhouse. It's quite high and exposed and can still have ice when the Edinburgh area is clear

    Posted 3 months ago #
  16. Doogan-O
    Member

    So I attempted the Bonnyrigg to Gladhouse run today but have to confess that I bailed shortly after Temple as I was finding it quite steep! I had already taken a wrong turn earlier and climbed some hills and found myself in Gorebridge!

    The roads were nice and quiet when I got on NCN 1. I regret not following the route a bit further as I had a bit left in the tank. I was worried that I'd run out of steam for the journey back. I'll attempt it again soon after a few easier routes.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  17. gembo
    Member

    Midlothian is very up and down then back up again.

    Have the Bathgate Alps been mentioned yet? Also very up and downy for sure if approached north south BUT there are ridges east west that are not too bad. For example just before Broxburn heading west turn right from the A89 take the quiet road up towards Niddry Castle, then jink round to Faucheldean and follow that road along the ridge for as long as you fancy (helps if wiind not tnstrong from west, if it is you can reverse it). You can get to ochiltree (sits at top of kingscavil hill but avoids that climb) then turn back which would be our short two hour route (we have cycled from Balerno to the starting point) or you can push on into beecraigs where you have three other options on size of loop. Whenever you double back make sure you descend West Binny, great sightlines and nothing cuts across. You end up at ecclesmachan go over the crossroads and cycle back round the Bing towards Niddry Castle, on the road parallel to faucheldean. Look to your right just before rejoining the road you came up and you will see the nose cone of a pink aeroplane in someone's garage. True. From there it is back round to Niddry Castle and former Glenmorangie bottling plant. spokes west Lothian map will help you make sense of this. Further west on the same map there are many more quiet routes on the west Lothian, Falkirk north Lanarkshire borders.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. Doogan-O
    Member

    Can anyone confirm if the Longniddry to Haddington path is suitable for a road bike? Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. Frenchy
    Member

    It's a few years since I went down it, and I wasn't on a road bike at the time, but I think it's passable on a road bike. I would take something with bigger tyres if possible.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. amir
    Member

    I think it is passable on a road bike. But it wouldnt be pleasant at this time of year when it's wet. Although it's fairly firm, it does have a thin layer of mud along most of its length. There are reasonable alternatives on the minor roads between the start and end

    Posted 1 month ago #

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