Today’s guest picture is the final one from my Newcastle correspondent, Fiona’s trip to the Netherlands with her family for Easter. Her daughter Hannah is enjoying the prospect of a ride on one of the white bikes from the Hoge Veluwe National Park. They are included in the entrance to the park and you can just take one and ride around as much as you like.

white bikesIt is a rather brief blog today as I didn’t do much except sit around while Mrs Tootlepedal went to Edinburgh and then did more painting when she got back.

Fortunately the weather was ideal for sitting around, not too hot but nice and sunny and with nothing more than a light breeze.  I was hoping to get out early but at 3 degrees C it was too cold.  Cycling when the temperature is 3°C, if properly dressed for it, is not problem in winter but when spring comes, being properly dressed for 3° at breakfast means being boiled when it hits 10° at lunch time so I waited until it hit 6° and then set out, dressed for all occasions.

I had in mind a more adventurous ride than of late so I headed up to Bailliehill and Eskdalemuir.  This took me through Castle O’er on one of my favourite roads.

Castle O'er roadCastle O'er road…and looking back down the valley from near Eskdalemuir.

Castle O'er roadOnce at Eskdalemuir, I turned west and climbed out of the White Esk valley…

Eskdalemuir…and took the winding road across the hills via the Black Esk and Boreland to the Dryfe Water.

Boreland roadThis is a brilliant road for cycling as it is kept in very good condition for the use of timber wagons but as I only saw three today, they were not much of a bother to me.

I left the Dryfe Water behind and crossed first the motorway at Seven’s Croft and then the River Annan at Millhousebridge.

This is a very fine bridge but I can find no way of getting down to the riverside to photogrpah it.

My next stop was Lochmaben where I had a cup of hot chocolate and took pictures of the three lochs which give the town its name.

This is Mill Loch
Kirk Loch
This is Kirk Loch which has a golf course on its shores.
Castle Loch
And finally Castle Loch, the biggest of the three
Castle Loch
It even has a yacht club.

By this time, the sun was dimmed  by some thin cloud which was welcome to me as a cyclist, as I was getting too warm, even though it meant that I didn’t get the phone out for any more pictures.  My route was in rather duller country from now on as I wisely decided that some flat roads would be helpful in getting me up to my target distance.

I stopped in Annan for a cheese toastie and a cup of tea before heading to Gretna, Canonbie and home.  Annoyingly i arrived with a  mile and a half still needed so I had to make a short excursion up the Wauchope road and back to get to my target of 73 and a bit miles.

The distance was significant as it matches my 73 and a bit years, a target that I hope to be able to hit for a few more years yet.

Judging by the bird feeder, there didn’t seem to have been many avian visitors during the day and I was strangely tired when it came to the thought of lifting up a heavy camera and staring out of the window so, for once, there are no chaffinch pictures today.

I had a couple of fish cakes for my tea and these gave me enough strength to go to our local community choir practice where we had another well organised sing.

Instead of a flying bird, I am putting in a map link to today’s ride for those with time hanging heavy on their hands.   Slow but steady was my motto and I was surprised how well my legs were still working by the end of it.

garmin route 8 April 2015

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Bikeage

  1. Fish cakes and tea. Now I am hungry! You have some beautiful back roads there. We have many logging trucks on our local roads here, a bit discouraging for biking.

  2. Brr! I find that sort of day annoying, had one gardening recently, first too hot, then to cold, changing from warm to cool to warm overshirt every ten minutes. That is an impressive distance!

  3. Well done on the distance covered! That is impressive. I am also impressed by the bikes available free in the Netherlands National Park! What a great idea. What beautiful scenery. More blue skies for you. How lovely.

  4. Your legs have improved very quickly it seems to me, well done indeed for cycling so far and with strength left in them at the end. Lovely views as you went along.

  5. I don’t know many people who would start a blog in which they cycled 74 + miles with the words “…I didn’t do much…” Those photos are like postcards (I hope that is a compliment in photographic circles; I meant it as such 🙂 )

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