Today’s guest picture is the last that I have at present from my siblings’ visit to Barcelona. My brother likes museums and art galleries. This is the Catalan Museum.
The forecast was quite promising, the main features being no rain and very light winds so I was looking forward to a decent pedal. The light winds meant that temperatures were too low to start pedalling after breakfast so I spent a little time peering out of the window at the mist filled garden.
I kept an eye on the thermometer and got quite excited when it hit four degrees C but less so when it it subsequently dropped back to 3 degrees. I considered my options.
Finally, the thermometer edged back to 3.9 so I piled on as many clothes as I could wear and still cycle and set off up the Wauchope road after a quick stop to buy some fuel for the journey from John’s shop.
First signs were a bit gloomy…
…but I pedalled on hopefully, turning left over the hill and eventually getting onto the Annan road. I stopped in Annan after 22 miles for a cheese toastie and a cappucino and then headed out to the road along the Solway shore. By this time, the mist had gone and the sky was blue. It was still chilly but the splendid row of very out of character houses at Cummertrees looked at their best.
I quote from the Dumfriesshire Companion of Haig Gordon:
There were brash new beginnings at Kinmount when the Yorkshire businessman Edward Brook took over the estate in the 1890s (adding it to his other big acquisition, Hoddom estate near Ecclefechan). He had plans for creating a vast seaside resort between Cummertrees and Powfoot. The scheme never took off but at the east end of the village a flavour of what he had envisaged remains in Queensberry Terrace, a row of properties originally intended as holiday apartments – ‘like a cross between Blackpool and Chelsea’, commented one architectural historian.
Anyone who has seen the mud flats along the Solway shore at Powfoot will not have to think hard as to why this grandiose scheme failed.
I was soon through Cummertrees and Ruthwell and looking across the flat fields towards Criffel and the mist covered Nith Estuary.
I paused for a moment at the Brow Well…
…a not very appetising looking mineral spring. It has a claim to fame though as a notice suggests.
The notice doesn’t add that the poet died shortly after his visit. He drank the chalybeate waters and was dunked in the icy Solway near here in an attempt to cure his misdiagnosed gout. I prefer the pills I get for my rheumatic arthritis and feel thankful in this case for the march of medical science.
I enjoyed a little bridge beside the well.
This stretch of road is genuinely flat and a great pleasure to pedal along. My target was the small village of Bankend…
…where, in spite of the lovely day, the bridge had a lot of water flowing under it. This is the Lochar Water.
I would have to liked to have my long lens with me as there was an interesting tower a few hundred yards up stream.
I turned for home at Bankend as the days are still quite short and I didn’t want to be caught in the gloaming still pedalling.
As well as big sky, the Solway shore had some big puddles in the roadside fields as well. This was the biggest of the day.
I stopped at Ruthwell to eat my fuel from John’s shop, an egg roll, a banana and a very sticky tray bake. There was a convenient bench there but it had been designed by someone with very short legs and I kept banging my chin as I ate.
Leaving Ruthwell, I pedalled on tiny back roads down to the shore at Powfoot. The last time Mrs Tootlepdal and I had been here, a very high tide and angry seas were threatening to overwhelm the car park. Today it was playing host to a group of keen bird watchers.
Once back through Annan, I took the road to Gretna and enjoyed the last of my food on a bench opposite the Old Blacksmith’s Shop at Gretna Green.
This is just one of three marriage rooms in Gretna and marriage is big business there. It was the nearest place to the border where English couples could get married under Scottish law and was popular as a destination for eloping youngsters. Mysteriously, to me at any rate, it remains seriously popular still and is a bus tour destination.
My literal mind looked at the sign on the side of the blacksmith’s shop….
…and wondered what colour it had been before 1754.
From Gretna, I took a winding trail that led me down to Canonbie and a return to Langholm by the morning run cycle route.
The sky had clouded over by the time that I got home and the temperature was still only a meagre 6 degrees but the light winds had meant that I had enjoyed a very good day out on the bike. Details of the ride may be found by clicking on the map.
Not by coincidence but by design, my Garmin device recorded exactly 72 miles as I reached my house. This corresponds with my age and it is my intention in future years to keep cycling at least once a year as far as I am old for as long as possible.
The ride brought my total for February up to 500 miles which is well above target and gives me a little leeway in the month to come.
Mike and Alison, Maisie’s and Frances’ grandparents have arrived back from New Zealand and came round for their customary Friday evening visit. I enjoyed playing some sonatas on flute and recorder with Alison at the keyboard while Mrs Tootlepedal heard from Mike of their adventures down under. I hope to have some photos of their trip, which included a visit to Singapore, in future posts.
I did just manage to get a flying bird picture in the morning mist before I left the house.
28 thoughts on “Acting my age”
That’s a seriously impressive cycle ride! Wonderful photos too.
It’s wonderful what a little sunshine will do.
500 miles. And there were only 28 days! Well done, Mr. Tootlepedal. Well done.
But temperatures stayed above freezing whihc was the key.
Looks like a great ride!
It was a grand day out.
That’s quite a puddle. I’m glad you’re finally seeing some sun.
We are more than glad. Delirious would express the feeling better.
Your day’s cycle is truly impressive – I congratulate you and have no doubt that you’ll do 73 miles next year. We’re back in the Manitoba deep freeze with a low of -37 and no end in sight – your lovely photos of flowers and cycling routes are making me very, very envious!
-37 seems unbelievable to us over here.
Most enjoyable, love the bridges and puddle and that is a very silly bench!
Wow, what a triumph, well done indeed, I salute your strength and determination.
What a glorious day you had. So many wonderful things seen too. Poor old Robbie Burns, what had he done to deserve that.
Got ill before the doctors got a grip on things.
Congratulations on your impressive total miles for both the day and the month!
I loved all the photos with green grass and blue skies, a feast for the soul!
I am glad to be able to bring a little colour into your life.
Congratulations on completing the “Tootlepedal Ride Your Age” challenge. Do you do this in the vicinity of your birthday? If so, then best wishes from the frozen Canadian prairies. And what an excellent route, with so many interesting features. I will add old stone wells to the enviable list of stoneworks that your part of the world features.
No, it was just the first really good pedalling day when I had enough time since my birthday in November. I should have cycled seventy two and a half miles really.
What a splendid day’s pedalling!
Your longest ride this year is far longer than mine. Nicely done.
Slow and steady is my motto these days.
What a pedal! All with lovely blue skies too. That bench looks like it was made for me 🙂
I think it may have been a victim of road imprisonments. The bank in front of it looks to be suspiciously high.
Beautiful pictures, and quite an amazing ride! So glad you decided to venture out that day and take us along for the ride…
Thank you for virtually joining me.
I just can’t believe that many miles biking in one day! You are most impressive!! Well done, and with gorgeous photos to boot. ~SueBee
It quite easy with practice, if the weather is kind and if you don’t try to go too fast.