I’d avoid the A7 like the plague as you said it’s a horrible busy road to ride but you can always ride across the Granites to Innerleithen then you have lots of options from there.I don't know Edinburgh but used to visit Galashiels regularly and cycle around that part of the Borders.
The A7 from Edinburgh to Gala isn't a very pleasant ride. Now the Waverley Line is reopened you could easily get the train to Gala and cycle around from there.
Unpleasant north of the Midlothian boundary, where it is at least wide and reasonably straight. Positively suicidal south of Heriot, but the unclassified road on the other side of the valley is a pleasant if rather hilly alternative.I don't know Edinburgh but used to visit Galashiels regularly and cycle around that part of the Borders.
The A7 from Edinburgh to Gala isn't a very pleasant ride.
Sunday's ride. The direct route north west from Gala towards Edinburgh follows the valley of the Gala Water (traditionally known as Wedale though I've no idea of the etymology of the name). The first 'modern' road was a turnpike built in the 1760s which followed the west bank of the river. It was built for post horses, for which gradients were not an issue, so rather than follow the meanderings of the valley it goes up and over all of the various obstacles. Most of it is still open as a minor road and in normal times is the only sensible way to go. The second road was a turnpike built around 1810 which was designed for wheeled (horse-drawn) traffic. It was well engineered to have an almost constant gentle gradient, and to achieve this is meanders as much as the river does. It is now the A7 and is the main road from the central and southern Borders to Edinburgh. It is not well suited to motor traffic and there have been a few improvements over the years but there are long stretches of double white lines and it is definitely not a road to cycle up. I did try once before when it was closed further north for the erection of the Hardengreen railway viaduct -
On that occasion traffic was less than half normal levels but I gave up as it was still too busy.
I thought it might be quiet, but was amazed at just how quiet it was. I rode the A7 as far as Heriot, as beyond that is a section that I have ridden before, but I made a short detour up a dead end road I've never had any reason to go up before. This is the view from the summit, only 16 miles from the centre of Edinburgh -
View attachment 514744
From there I turned round and retraced my route south, 19 miles to home. After a mile I was overtaken by a motorcycle -
View attachment 514745
After another five miles I was overtaken by a car -
View attachment 514746
A further nine miles and I pulled over to let the Aldi truck pass -
View attachment 514747
And again a quarter of a mile later for a car -
View attachment 514748
And one more, in Gala, just over a mile from home -View attachment 514750
FIVE motor vehicles in 19 miles on a road normally too busy to even consider cycling on.
Speaking of which I only saw three cycles, all on my northbound leg, all going south, including this tandem recumbent -
View attachment 514752
In other news, my Gopro is working again.
The map -
View attachment 514754
38.2 miles @ 16.1 mph, 393m up.
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