Pedal mania

Today’s guest picture comes from my daughter.  She has worked out how to email pictures directly from her phone and sent me this nice waterfall from her recent Devon holiday.


The forecast was for a sunny day today and the forecast was right.  It seemed like a good day for cycling so after breakfast I got out the speedy bike, packed a banana or two and set off slowly in the general direction of Ecclefechan.  I was going slowly because the forecast had been a bit coy about a lively breeze in my face. My plan was to see how I felt when I got to Ecclefechan after 15 miles and adjust my route accordingly.

I felt very good so I pressed on to Lockerbie before swinging round and heading south.  I was now in the valley of the river Annan.  Annandale is broad and gentle compared with the narrower and hilly Eskdale.  I enjoyed the expansive views….


….and the quiet lanes.


I crossed the River Annan twice, once near Dalton on a metal bridge….

river annan bridge near dalton

…which is older than it looks….

river annan bridge near dalton

…and back again at Brydekirk where a splendidly pink public house can be seen in the background.

River annan bridge at Brydekirk

This bridge is in the village where Mrs Tootlepedal comes to help with the driving for the disabled.  It is just under 17 miles from Langholm by the direct route.  I had done 30 miles by this time but for the first time in the ride, the wind was now behind me and I resolved to add an extra mile or two to the homeward route to bring up a nice round 50 miles.

(Those interested may see the route here.   Dropscone did a route of his own today with just a little more climbing than me but in half the distance as he went over the hill to Newcastelton.  Hard work.)

My route home took me to Eaglesfield where I met a lady cyclist coming towards me looking for all the world like Emma Pooley on a training run.   It was Mrs Tootlepedal, who had decided to pedal the 34 miles to Brydekirk and back.   I caught a glimpse of her as she flashed past.

Mrs Tootlepdal in Eaglesfield

Her 34 miles were on top of the cycling that she had to do while accompanying the pony traps as they are driven along.  The organisers had decided to take the traps on an outing to Hoddom Castle for an ice cream treat and this involved another 6 miles cycling.    This might have daunted even the redoubtable Mrs Tootlepedal but for the fact that the volunteers have been provided with electric bicycles which made light of the journey.

I was at home while this was going on, having enjoyed my wind assisted 20 miles back and was just having a restorative cup of tea when a knock on the door heralded the arrival of Sandy.  He was wearing a cycling helmet.  He was planning a little ride and was looking for some company.  I was delighted.  We had a cup of tea and a biscuit and I got the slow bike out and we went off to Westwater.  Luckily Sandy had had a vigorous 15 mile ride yesterday and was quite happy with a shorter excursion today.

When we got to the bridge at Westwater, we spent a little time listening to the gurgling of the stream….


…and admired the shiny new bridge….

westwater bridge
It was slightly damaged in a flood but has been repaired.

…before being blown home.

This time I did get a good sit down before it was time to make my tea and then welcome Mrs Tootlepedal back.  She too had been grateful for the favouring gale.

Somewhere in all this, I found a moment to walk round the garden.

poppies and crocosmia

Mrs Tootlepedal’s poppy and crocosmia confection is coming on well, though it is annoying that the crocosmia in the veg garden is doing better than the one among the poppies.

Perhaps it has less competition

When I was looking at the veg garden crocosmia, I noticed a patch of odd colour on the phlox behind it.  It was a peacock butterfly stretching its wings in the sun.

peacock butterfly
Always a welcome visitor to the garden.

In the evening, Sandy appeared again and we went up the Archive Centre.  On our way, we went in to the Thomas Hope Hospital to visit Jean who is still stuck in there.  She has had to move house to a ground floor dwelling as the stairs to her old flat are now impossible for her but she can’t move in until all the arrangements have been properly made and meanwhile she is being well looked after but getting increasingly bored.

She was pleased to see us.

When we got to the Archive Centre, Sandy changed our window display to show some of our photographs from the First World War and I put two weeks of the newspaper index into the database.  All this took so long that we had to forgo our usual glass of wine afterwards.

I did catch a flying siskin of the day.

flying siskin


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Pedal mania

  1. The landscapes are beautiful but it’s too bad the new bridge was damaged already, That butterfly is a beauty too.
    It’s too bad that your friend jean’s life has been so disrupted. Aging alone doesn’t sound too pleasant sometimes.

    1. She is surrounded by family and friends. It is just the business of moving house and getting the arrangements done that has left her high and dry at the moment.

  2. So glad to read you’re back to full-on adventure mode, loved the sunny photos and the Emma Pooley ref made me chuckle, but horrified you had to forgo your glass of wine!

  3. I love the phlox crocosmia combo. Very glad you were able to do such a big pedal and not you’re not too done in. I am impressed by Mrs TPs epic cycle too!

  4. I had typed a comment worthy of this post, but a hiccup in my internet service sent it off into the unknown, so I’ll just say that it’s great that you were able to favor us with your wonderful photos.

  5. Lovely views, I liked the pink pub, and a splendid butterfly. You don’t mention your hip and seem to have biked quite a lot, dare we hope it is a bit better as a result of your visit to the physiotherapist? Hope Jean gets home soon.

  6. Some lovely views, and a striking picture of the butterfly. Hope the hip has survived all that pedalling. Well done to you and Mrs T for all that exercise!

  7. What gorgeous weather you’re having! We are too, oddly enough the last few days have been picture perfect even if I’ve had to waste them inside an office. Love the bridge shots. And the butterfly is spectacular.

      1. That is a consideration. Of course you always make your own cooling breeze as you pedal along….but 105 might be too many degrees at that.

  8. Seems to have been a truly splendid day. So glad your hip is resolving its issue and you were able to take a nice, long pedal. That peacock butterfly is a real gem!

  9. You certainly fit in the miles on your bike! Mrs T seems to be an intrepid cyclist too. The garden looks lovely and well done for catching the butterfly. I like the old stone bridge best of all the bridges.

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