Checking out the new bike

Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s trip to France.  She met this emerging monster in the Japanese garden of Toulouse.

japanese garden Toulouse

Our spell of good weather continues.  We find it a bit unnerving but it is very welcome.

I couldn’t make the best of a fine morning though as I was in duty on the Welcome to Langholm Office.  I did a little welcoming and a lot of entering data into the Archive Group newspaper index so it wasn’t time wasted but I did look longingly out of the window from time to time.

When I got home, I mowed the middle lawn and found surprisingly little growth considering the weather.  Perhaps the soil has not warmed up yet after several long cold months.

The rhododendron is enjoying the weather.


And a present of cow parsley, which we got from a friend who was a wild gardener, is doing well too.

jenny's cow parsley

I had an early lunch and got my new bike out and set out to do a few miles to see if everything was still going well.

It was.  It was a treat to ride.

On the down side, the hills seemed to be still there and although the bike is new, the engine has seen a lot of wear and is definitely past its best.

It was a fine cycling day with just enough breeze to keep me cool but not enough to discourage me.  The new bike doesn’t encourage constant stopping for pictures but the need for an occasional breather meant that I took a few on my way round.

hottsbrig bluebells 2
A delightful small mound sprinkled with  bluebells near Hottsbrig school
gair view
The view from the Gair road, looking back to the way that I had come
dandelion clock
The dandelions are going over
Gair road
The neatly clipped beech hedges are turning green again
Irvine House
Irvine house is disappearing behind the leaves
old A7
A welcome bit of shade ahead on the old A7

I did an undemanding circle of 31 miles at a modest speed of thirteen and a half miles per hour and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Mike Tinker had promised to come round to inspect the new bike and I found him chatting to Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden when I got home. To show what sort of a day it was, rather than sitting on the new bench in the sun, they were sitting on the old bench in the shade.  And very sensible too as it was quite hot by this time.

As well as inspecting the bike, Mike and I went to look at Kenny’s euphorbia beside the dam at the back of the house.  It is impressive.


Before I went in for my shower, I checked on the tulips.  A little late afternoon sun brings out the best in them.


orange tulip

And Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out the first of the ornamental strawberry flowers of the year.

strawberry flower

The azalea was ablaze.


It was a genuine Tootlepedal day because after my cycle ride, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a very encouraging play and then after tea, (another) Mike and Isabel came round and we played some enjoyable trios.

The word from the weather forecasters is that our good weather should continue for several days.  We are considering renaming Wauchope Cottage as Shangri-La.

On account of the warm afternoon weather, the flying bird of the day was having a little sit down when I took her picture.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Checking out the new bike

  1. That’s the kind of bird I like! Sitting there politely to have its picture taken. Even offering a profile shot! How lovely!
    I’m pleased that the new bike is working out for you. Perhaps the engine just needs to get back in shape after the long spell of bad weather which didn’t allow for keeping the engine tuned?

  2. I happy for you that the new bike is working out so well for you, I ould think that it’s a joy to use from the way you’ve described it.

    I hate to keep repeating myself, but the flowers from today are just as beautiful as the ones yesterday and the day before. As some one who doesn’t have a place to garden, seeing Mrs. T’s flowers always bring me a great deal of joy.

  3. Those tulips look as though they are lit from within. So lovely! As for the bike’s engine…it must have been a speed racer in its younger days.

  4. I was looking again at the photo if your new bike. It’s got very funny handlebars😉. Do you think if the engine had four hands it would help? Seriously, how do you decide where to put your two hands?

    1. The handlebars are a bit congested thanks to the additional braking system but there is just room for two hands as well. With the bar, the brake hoods and the drops, I have a choice of three hand positions which helps to avoid strain.

  5. I love the bluebells. They seem to be doing well this year.
    I didn’t know there were ornamental strawberries. That one is excellent!
    The new bike sounds like it was well worth the wait. It certainly took you to some beautiful places.

  6. Seems like you’re happy with your new bike… Your pictures are very nice, specially the little bird at the end. 🙂

  7. Tulips in sunshine are always a good look! We are finished here with tulips and Azaleas. Though I wasn’t quite finished with enjoying them. 🙂

  8. I can read through your words how happy you are with your bike and the world in general…the countryside world not the political world! Layers of enjoyment from bike ride, bluebell views, the flowers in your garden and to top it all a final musical act…sounds a great day.

  9. Love the small mound sprinkled with bluebells among the trees & shadows. Glad to hear the weather’s been most enjoyable and you had a great ride today on the new bike!

  10. The spring photos get lovelier and lovelier. 🙂

    The rhododendrons in our area are blooming as well, and putting on a good show this year on the drive into town. I haven’t planted any here, yet. They can carry Sudden Oak Death.

    1. I’ve heard of rhododendron nurseries being quarantined for that; some friends who visited one on Oregon weren’t allowed in because they couldn’t risk the disease being spread…reminded me of the hoof and mouth (?) disease stories from the U.K.

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