Flat out

I thought I needed a sunny picture for today so I stole this shot of Maisie eating quiche from her mother’s excellent blog.  Cool kid.

maisie with quiche

Yet again there was a marked absence of sun today and for those of you who enjoy pictures of the garden birds,I apologise for their absence but there isn’t anything that can be done about it.  For those who you are are thoroughly bored with incessant chaffinch and brambling shots, enjoy it while you can,  The sun must must shine again some day.   I hope.

Still, once again it was a warmish day and there was little or no wind so when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I got the (fairly) speedy bike out and set off for a flat forty.  In the good old days (i.e. two years ago) I could get up early, do the forty miles and be back well before lunch but these days it seems to take me longer to get up and get going and I have lost a couple of miles an hour of speed so the whole thing is rather more drawn out.

Still, it did give me time to shoot a couple of visitors before I left.  (Flying birds were out of the question in the gloom.)

smooth greenfinch
A very smooth greenfinch
blue tit
A welcome blue tit

I had sandycam in my back pocket and since I was in no hurry, I stopped at Longtown to admire the gravel pits which were looking quite romantic with a hint of possible sunlight in the sky behind them.

gravel pits

On the other side of the road, one of the pervasive puddles reflected the green sign showing my way home.

Longtown puddle

While I was taking these pictures, a cyclist passed me and as I cycled on along the road to Brampton, I passed him again quite soon.  Later on, I stopped to take a picture of the banks of the river Lyne and he passed me again.

passing cyclist

I expect that he thought that I was a very frivolous cyclist.  These were the pictures I was taking as he passed me.

Cliffs at the river Lyne
Looking west from the bridge.  The rock really is this colour.
Lyne bridge
Looking east.

I was struck by the tree growing out of the rock so I took a closer shot of it.

tree on Lyne banl
That’s a miracle of clinging on.

The promise of a bit of sunshine always seemed to recede as I cycled along under grey clouds.


It was always bright ahead but I never caught it up.  Maybe the fact that I stopped now and then to take another picture didn’t help but I think that you will agree that it would be impossible to pass these ponies without stopping.


I stopped finally at Newtown on the Roman Wall and enjoyed a banana with a cardboard and maple syrup healthy bar while I was watching the hens on the village green there.


One of them came up for a closer look.

newtown chicken

Then it was time to turn for home.  I started off at a good speed with a light wind behind me but it dropped as I went along and the weather got greyer and greyer.  It had obviously rained in places between my outward and return journey so I didn’t want to linger for photo opportunities on the way home.  I made a short stop at the border to have a final refreshment and look sadly southwards at the good weather that I never quite got to.

good weather

Going north, it got even greyer and greyer until by the time that I got to Langholm, it was actually raining.  I found the last five miles hard work and I was pleased to flop into a chair when I got home and have a couple of slices of toast and honey and a cup of tea. Although it was only two o’clock, it was really dark outside and I shot one picture of a resting brambling….


…but there was no real chance of any more useful photographs so I took myself off to the bath and enjoyed a good soak.

And that was that for the day.  I was pleased to have pedalled forty miles, the furthest that I have gone since October but rather peeved by how tired I felt after it, considering the fact that my average was only 14.7  mph for a very flat route.  Still, it’s a step in the right direction.

I did just capture a gloomy flying bird of the day.

flying chffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

7 thoughts on “Flat out

  1. Lots of interesting pictures today, the rock colours were very unusual and I liked the reflections at Longtown.

  2. Very well done indeed for managing such a long ride. Excellent shot of the gravel pits at Longtown.

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