RiverLife’s Guided Cycles are gaining momentum.  Saturday, 28th September was our 3rd guided ride event and our second event in collaboration with West Lothian Bike Library.  Our numbers increased to 11 participants, though this may have been mainly due to the fact that the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day for a riverside ride.

The cycle route follows the NCN 75 along the Almond and into Almondell and Calderwood Country Park.  Participants get a tour of some of the ecology and history of the area, including a stops at Dedridge ecology pond, Howden Rock Ramp, Rugby Club bypass channel, Mid Calder weir, and the lade and underpass at Camps viaduct.  And of course, a mandatory part of any good cycle, there is a coffee/treat stop in the country park to help weary travellers fuel their return to West Lothian Bike Library headquarters.

On Saturday we were on the lookout for (and spotted) several of the common riparian birds, plants and trees that can be found along the Almond.  Moorhens and mallards, brambles and oxeye daisies, rowan and downy birch – these were just some of the things our participants passed as they wound their way around the cycle path following the river’s course.  It was also a tour through the ages as Kyle and Amelia talked the riders through development in the Livingston area from projects as recent as the community led Dedridge environmental ecology project to regenerate Dedridge burn, to the original 17th century construction of West Mill weir (now known as Rugby Club weir) and its purpose as a corn mill.

Guided rides with West Lothian Bike Library are set to continue on the last Saturday of each month into 2020.  Our next route will be foraging themed and will follow the NCN 75 along a different direction through Seafield and into Bathgate.