A long sit

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our friend Sandra and shows her her husband Jim keeping company with the famous Molly Malone.  Those who know their cockles and mussels will realise that Jim and Sandra were having a good time in Ireland.

Jim and Molly Malone

Our hot weather continued but I had run out of excuses for dawdling about in the garden so I dawdled about all day on my new bicycle instead.

Before I left, Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out the first of two sorts of poppies in the garden this year.

A Shirley poppy…

shirley poppy

…and an opium poppy.

opium poppy

If you think the the background to the opium poppy looks a bit odd that is because it is a bit odd.

greenhouse poppy

Somehow or other, it has sowed itself, along with some friends, on the floor of the greenhouse and Mrs Tootlepedal has let it grow.

My plan was to bicycle until exhausted and I imagined with the temperature forecast for the mid twenties by the afternoon, that that might not take too long. However, I adopted a very regulated behaviour scheme and stopped every five miles for a minute or two to have a drink and stretch my legs and on the ten mile stops, I took a little longer and had a snack as well.

I had two water bottles and I had put an isotonic tablet into each and I took some guava jelly in tablet form which I had cut into nine little squares and I ate one of the squares on my ten miles stops. On top of this, I stopped for a cafe lunch and by dint of all this sensible behaviour, I stretched my ride out to 100 miles.  Even when I  finished, I was not entirely exhausted though I am a little tired as I write this so I hope that indulgent readers will, forgive a little incoherence.  It was decidedly hot by our standards.

On many of my stops and at some other interesting points, I tried to take a picture or two and here are some of the results.

pine cone
Not a pineapple but a pine cone.
Sun, sea and sand at Powfoot
anthorn from powfoot
A welcome haze was keeping the most direct sun off me.  I could just  see the radio station at Anthorn, a few miles away across the Solway but not the hills behind it.
rider at powfoot
A horse rider on the beach at Powfoot. In a sign of the times, the rider is checking her mobile phone.
emu type bird
There are unusual animals to be seen near the caravan park at Powfoot.  There was one of these….
…and several of these.
bankend tower
I had another look at the tower at Bankend and from the side, it is just a hollow shell.
The car park at Glencaple was full again today.  For a fairly dull place it has a lot of secret allure.  A good cafe helps no doubt.
I went down to the shore of the Nith estuary, passing this bindweed flower on the way.
Nith tanks
And once again wondered about these two storage tanks on the opposite bank.  What are they storing and why?
nith reeds
I would have stayed longer but a couple were unable to restrain a very irritating jumpy-up sort of dog so I made my was back through the reeds to the road..
Caerlaverock Castle
And moved on to Caerlaverock castle where there is a cafe.

Here, I made one of the two mistakes of the day and ordered soup and coffee.  The coffee came but not the soup.  I waited…and waited…and waited.  Very occasionally a bowl of soup appeared for other diners and finally after about 50 minutes, I was the next in line.

The cook appeared from the kitchen and came up to the table.  Was she going to offer an exciting addition to the soup? Parsley perhaps?

“I’m very sorry, sir, but the soup has run out.”

They didn’t charge me for the coffee.

I went a few miles down the road and found soup freely available at the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust cafe.  Luckily it was very tasty and I bought an extra roll so I was in a much better frame of mind as I set out on the next 50 miles.

cummertrees church lych gate
There is a rather unlikely memorial lych gate at Cummertrees church but it offered some welcome shade for a little sit down and snack
Justice town road
I had to go into England to get my mileage up and I enjoyed this tunnel of shade near Justicetown.

I really enjoyed almost every mile of the ride but the heat had melted the tar on the back roads near Scaleby and that made cycling for the next few miles a pretty hard task. When I got back to the main road, I popped into the pub at Smithfield and had half a pint of fresh orange juice and this kept me going for the last few miles.

hollows bridge view
My last ‘five mile’ stop was on the Hollows bridge.

Those interested can get further details of the ride by clicking on the map below.

garmin route 26 June 2018

You can see that it was a very flat route after going over Callister near the start.  The temperature was a lot higher than 63 degrees as I was in the open sunlight the whole way round but my eating and drinking was quite well managed and I only lost about 1kg on the ride, not bad for such a warm day.  The wind was mercifully light and that meant that I was cycling into a bike generated breeze for the whole trip which helped to keep me relatively  cool.

The actual cycling took me seven and a half hours but the elapsed time for the trip was nearly ten hours, partly because of the long wait for the non existent tomato soup which meant that I took an hour and a half for lunch and partly because of the 19 short breaks that I took along the way.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a rather frustrating day wandering about the garden thinking of things to do but finding that it was too hot to do them.  In the end, she did a little planting out and a lot of watering.  I had more fun than her today.

I looked at a couple of roses in the garden when I got back.  Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that my favourite rose should just be called The Wren….

rose Wren

…and here it is with the inevitable little black flies on it which I didn’t have the energy to dislodge.

This means that the flower of the day is Lilian Austin.

lilian austin

I dislodged her little black flies on the computer.



Observant readers may note that I claimed to have made two bad decisions but have only mentioned one.  The other was falling gently but in a very undignified way off my bike when I misjudged the height of a pavement as I stopped near Dornock.  Nothing was hurt except my pride fortunately.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

43 thoughts on “A long sit

  1. I am glad you did not get injured in your fall from the bike. It hurts to think about it.

    The poppies are beautiful, especially the one that grew on the floor of the greenhouse. I love the tunnel of shade near Justicetown. Those are my favorite kind of roads.

    Life has been in the fast lane here this June. My apologies for just jumping back in again. I trust you have both been well.

  2. An impressive accomplishment (esp. with no injuries to steed or rider when you unintentionally dismounted). Stinking hot here as well, with high humidity and a long time since we’ve had more than four drops of rain (and only about 3″ left in the rain barrel).

      1. Yes, it is – I’m very grateful for it. And – after my above complaint – we had a whopper of a thunderstorm last night and got 1/2″ of rain – wonderfull!

  3. So glad nothing was hurt except for your pride! Those temps are average for Maine in the summer, but that milage on the bike certainly isn’t average for Clif and me. Bravo, Tootlepedal!

  4. Congratulations on such an long and well planned ride (and we’ll say no more about the slight misjudgement!) Stay cool! At this rate you and Ms TP will have to invest in a couple of garden loungers.

  5. Well done for managing so successfully a very long ride. Sorry you toppled over but glad there were no physical injuries. Enjoyed all the photographs.

  6. Whew!! What an amazingly long ride. Well done indeed. Too bad you fell off your bike but so glad you did not hurt more than your pride. What a long wait for non-existent soup. You were more patient than I would have been.

  7. The soup at the first place that you stopped must be very good if people are willing to wait that long with the chance that there may not be enough to go around to every one waiting.

    Congratulations on the distance of your ride today, is that the longest you’ve gone on the new bike?

    Your sensible plan of stopping often is good for your readers, it means more great photos of the places that you see while cycling.

    1. I can’t say about the soup’s quality but it was so hot that I don’t think anyone had the energy to complain.

      That was my longest ride on my new bike and the longest on any bike this year.

  8. Going for a 100 mile cycle ride in this weather is not the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about things to do! However, your day was great. Love the horse on the beach, the tower and the tunnel of trees photos and the flower of the day is just perfect.

  9. The Lilian Austin is a charmer. I am useless if it gets too warm and luckily we’re also in a place where the sea breezes tend to keep things comfortable. If I must, I’d rather take the winter storms than any heat or humidity in summer.
    Wow! 100 miles seems like quite an achievement to me! May I congratulate you. But really good news that you weren’t hurt this time.

  10. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the Molly Malone statue seems a little polished in places?

    Looks like an excellent day despite the lack of soup and the attack of gravity.

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