Another day, another hundred

Today’s picture is two pictures, contributed by my sister Mary, from the South Bank in London where, stealing an idea from Paris, they have created a beach…

beach

…and added some beach huts too.

huts

The day was forecast to be foggy and still and, once again, the forecast was right. It was sunny in our garden but quite foggy by the time I got to Skipper’s Bridge. I was on the speedy bike to take advantage of the continuing high pressure by going a decent distance. I hadn’t entirely chosen my route until I got to Longtown when I finally definitely decided to go to Dumfries by way of Caerlaverock. This is a largely flat route with some very nice views across the Solway and the Nith estuary. I went through Gretna and Annan before turning off on the coastal route to Cummertrees and Bankend.

It had been quite cold when I started and I had a light waterproof on. By the time I got to Gretna, the mist had cleared and the sun was out and this is how it stayed for the rest of the day. I just had a couple of bananas with me so I needed to stop for food. I chose the WWT  cafe at Caerlaverock at 37 miles for an early lunch of a cheese and tomato toastie and a bowl of soup. I was able to watch osprey cam while I ate because they have a big screen showing live pictures from the nest site. An osprey was sitting on the nest and it continued to do this while I ate my snack. It was interesting but not exciting.

The WWT is on a side road, a mile and a half from the main road so after my toastie, I had to go back to the road and turn left for the Nith estuary and the road into Dumfries. As I left the WWT, I took the picture of Criffel which dominates the view on this part of the ride.

criffel

You can see the last remnant of the morning mist drifting upwards from the hill side.

I whistled up the estuary into Dumfries, passing through Glencaple. When you are a mile or two out of town, there is a very nice bike path into the centre of Dumfries along the river bank but there were so many pedestrians out for a sunny walk that it was not very satisfactory. I turned for home to find that the wind had got up quite a bit and it was now straight in my face as I went back down the river side. The road surface was also very poor. This hadn’t bothered me too much when I was cycling up it with the wind behind but it was very uncomfortable battling back down it into the wind. The murk of the last few days had cleared off to a large extent and so I stopped to get a rest from the wind and the bumps to take another picture of Criffel across the river.

criffel

At the bottom of the estuary, the road turned to the east and the wind was now behind me. I stopped for another quick meal at the 57 mile mark. This time I tried the cafe at Caerlaverock Castle.

castle

It too offered soup and a toastie, which I took. The only difference was the price which was a good deal higher than the decent environmentalists of the WWT.

The next 40 miles were made very pleasant for me by the stiff wind mostly at my back. Even when it was from the side, it was still no problem. It is not often that the wind behaves exactly as it should and today was a day when it did. It is all the sweeter for its infrequency. The traffic was very light, the surface from Caerlaverock to Langholm was fine, I didn’t get a puncture, I couldn’t have asked for more. The only slight fly in the ointment was discovering that I was 3 miles short of the hundred when I got back to Langholm and this necessitated a short excursion up the Wauchope road to fill in the missing miles.

The flat route and the helpful wind conditions, combined with a temperature that never got too hot, meant that this was probably the easiest 100 miles I have ever pedalled. I didn’t go very fast, the outward journey being at 15.2 mph and the whole thing ending up at 15.6 mph.

When I got home I had a nice cup of tea and then met our B & B guests for the night. They were on a walk from Durham to Oban which is a pretty good hike. The man had done the London-Edinburgh-London bike event last time it was held. This entails doing 800 miles without stopping. He had taken four days. That put my little 100 into a proper perspective. I bow down to him.

The garden was looking lovely in the early evening sunshine.

sparrow
The birds are harder to see among the leaves
tulip
Not a typical tulip at all
tulip
The march of time. A tulip lets it all hang out.
tulip
Mrs Tootlepedal can't remember planting these tulips. A pleasant surprise.

The next big thing is  the arrival of the wall flowers. We are at the fist stage of this process.

orange wallflower

The old and the new..

 wallflower tulip

I showed selected apple and cherry blossom yesterday and by today the apple espaliers were nearly fully in flower.

apple

..and here is a fuller picture of our neighbours cherry.

cherry

Amongst all this brilliant colour, the blackbirds continue their work of denuding the soil of worms. Here is one of them sprinting across the lawn, a valuable soil conditioning expert in its beak.

sprinting blackbird

Still, they fill the garden with song so perhaps I shouldn’t grudge them a worm or two.

We shall see how the legs feel when I wake up tomorrow morning ready for the usual excursion with Dropscone.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “Another day, another hundred

  1. Well done for such a long bike ride. Glad you had the wind at your back for some of the time.

  2. What a wonderful bike ride, I am very impressed! Hope your legs were OK this morning.

    Magnificent tulips.

    1. I can only play one round of golf a week because of old bones, which considering the way I play, is pretty lucky..

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