Slight miscalculation


I had occasion to give my friend Sue a ring today but she didn’t answer her phone.  It turned out, as you can see from today’s guest picture, that she was picking chanterelles for her tea at an intensive fungus weekend in the Lake District.  Some people have all the fun.


The reason that I rang her was to see if she would like to join me for part of a cycle ride that I was doing which passed not far from her house.  After a couple of wet and windy days, the forecast was good and as Mrs Tootlepedal was busy with an Embroiderers’ Guild meeting, I hoped to make good use of the day with a long ride.

I didn’t make up my mind about where I wanted to go until I had had breakfast, looked out of the kitchen window…

blue tit and sparrow
The birds are back

….and considered the wind direction.  I didn’t have time to measure out a route exactly so  I chose a trip that would give me a good variety of terrain, some new roads to pedal along and be about 100 miles in length.  The first two criteria worked out very well but disappointingly, I was a bit out on the third.

It was quite a bit cooler than of late with the thermometer only just making double figures but with very light winds, it was a good, if rather grey day for cycling.

I started by doing a flat 20 miles down the main roads to Brampton…..


…a small town with a very pretty town centre which would look a lot better with no cars in it.

Considering that I soon passed under this massive bridge….

Brampton by pass

…which lets the Carlisle to Newcastle traffic by-pass the town, you might wonder where all the cars come from but the town seems to be thriving so perhaps I shouldn’t complain.

In contrast to the gentle start to the ride, the next thirty miles were a very up and down affair but they provided me with some new roads with excellent surfaces  and no pot holes to cycle along.   The route took me along the edge of the northern fells, where I saw this cow having a paddle….

cow having paddle
The cow was black and white so the camera took a black and white picture without my permission.

…before I turned west and crossed the River Eden at Lazonby.  The bridge is wonderful but was too wide for my camera to  catch all its beauty without walking miles into a field full of cattle.

Bridge over Eden at Lazonby

I peered through one of the many smaller side arches.

Bridge over Eden at Lazonby

The river was quite full so it had obviously rained in England as well as Scotland yesterday.

 Eden at Lazonby

This is one of the rivers (I crossed the others too) that brought severe floods to Carlisle last winter.  People are keeping a very nervous eye on the long range forecasts.

There is another bridge at Lanzonby….

Lazonby railway bridge

…and this carries the Carlisle to Settle railway line through the village.  This line is still being repaired after the floods.  The railway is open to the south of the village but a passenger needs to take a bus to get north to Carlisle.

Having crossed the Irthing near Brampton and the Eden at Lazonby, I only had the Petteril to cross before I got to the Pot Place where I aimed to have a bite to eat.  Before readers get too excited about the Pot Place, it sells pots…..pots and pots of pots….

pot place

…and nothing more stimulating than that.    It is sited at a disused station on the main London to Glasgow line and the old station master’s house….

pot place

…is now a cafe, very popular with old folk.  We have had good meals there before but the egg and chips that I got there today left a lot to be desired.  Still, they filled me up and the lemon cake which I had for afters was excellent.

I was joined by a couple of friends for lunch.

sparrows at the pot place

Leaving the pots, I headed for the hills once more and suffered the embarrassment of slipping my chain off the cogs, thanks to a clumsy gear change, just as another cyclist passed me.  I replaced the chain and got to the top of the hill where I was able to to enjoy a view of Hutton-in-the-Forest…


…and the pedal along the ridge to the tiny hamlet of Hutton End….

Hutton End

…which always seems a little ominous to me.

I took the road towards Carlisle and enjoyed the first level patch of cycling since I left Brampton as I followed the road along the ridge.  I didn’t go into Carlisle though but swooped down the hill through the splendidly named Buckabank and into Dalston.

From there I was in familiar country and cycled home back on fairly flat roads round the Carlisle by-pass bike path and then by Gretna, Kirkpatrick-Fleming and the Kerr.

The sun was out by this time and the back roads were a cyclist’s delight….

Near Tarcoon

Near Bloch

As I came along the Kirkpatrick-Fleming road, I was pleased to see that preparations for connecting up the new windmills to the grid are going forward.

Windmill power lines

At present the windmills are turning but no power is being produced.  This is a waste of good wind.

On a nearby line, a flock of starlings was singing lustily.


I was a bit miffed when I got home to find the computer telling me that I had only done 92 miles but I didn’t have the oomph to fiddle around adding an artificial eight miles to get up to the ton.

Mrs Tootlepedal was on hand to attend to the important matter of the post ride scientific recovery nutrition….

hen harrier beer
It went down without touching the sides as they say.

…and she had also made a venison stew in the slow cooker so I was well looked after.

I didn’t have the opportunity to catch a flying bird of the day but I did get a chance to catch the nerine without the wind spoiling things so it is the flower of the day.


Those interested may click on the map below to see the route details.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Slight miscalculation

  1. What a disappointment to be just eight miles short of your goal! I am so glad the sun came out at last; the light in the photos you took on the second part of your ride was wonderfully clear.

  2. Fresh chanterelles and an intensive fungus weekend! Now that is a good weekend. 🙂

    I love the trips though your countryside. That one of the narrow road, no cars and no houses is quite beautiful.

    Scientific recovery nutrition and a good venison stew sounds like a good finish to the ride.

  3. What a perfectly splendid day, and excellent pictures en route. Well done for covering all those miles.

    1. I love the road surfaces on some of the quiet roads in north Cumbria. Not having commercial log lorries going over them keeps them in good condition.

  4. There’s a Hutton in Somerset. I thought I might send you a picture of it, taken when I went for a walk around the village and surrounding countryside a couple of years ago. Then found that I had done a tidying up exercise on my computer…

  5. I have to say that your route wasn’t the most scenic one that you’ve taken, although the various bridges were a treat. I’d hate to have a camera that would switch over to black and white on its own, it shows what a great photographer you are to produce such wonderful photos with equipment like that. 🙂

    1. Pulling the camera out of my back pocket with thick fingers may have had something to do with it. It was a very scenic ride in parts but the light was very flat when I was on the best of it so I kept the camera in my pocket.

  6. Your route was just about what I would have driven from home to work and back to work again! I’d appreciate it if you’d do the final lap and bring me home again, rather than leaving me at work. (Despite your disappointment, it was a truly impressive distance.)

  7. DH went off and did another of his long rides this week. His cycle computer was a bit short of 100 so he pootled about to make it up. When he got home he checked his Ride with GPS map and it registered 103!! BTW love the chanterelle photo and the bridges. I am familiar with a few of the places on your map having ridden the Hadrians wall route a few times.

  8. I thought that was a very impressive ride…long enough and resulted in beautiful landscape photos. I liked your camera’s decision to shoot in b & w.

  9. Really sorry I missed you Tom. It would have been nice to cycle along with you for a few miles (though I think I might have slowed you down a bit!). The course was fantastic and we had tasters of chanterelles, cep, hedgehog mushrooms and some other thing, all of which were delicious.

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