Up and down twice

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin. He was walking from Brampton to Lanercost when he passed through this fine wood.

We woke to a dry and sunny morning. The inevitable downside at this time of year was that the temperature was low, above freezing, but chilly at 4°C.

The wind was light, so I was keen to get out cycling, but not keen enough to set out before the temperature and the sun had risen a little higher. In the good old days, I would have been out like a shot at 4°, but I like my comforts now. Once again, I filled in the time by watching blue and coal tits for a while . . .

. . . doing the crossword, and having coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret.

It was a mellow 8°C when I started up the road to the north, having stocked up with a couple of bananas and a snack bar at the corner shop on my way.

There was a lot of climbing on my route today, so there were quite a lot of stops for views as well. In fact there were so many stops that I have had to put most of the views in galleries which the impatient reader can skip past gaily. I think that some of the views are worth a click though.

The route today was a rough square in four parts, first up the road to Fiddleton Toll . . .

. . . then turning right and going across to Hermitage, over Carewoodrigg.

This section starts reasonably calmly . . .

. . . but there is a stiff climb up to the ridge. The reward is some splendid views on all sides before you get to the county boundary (and a good excuse to stop for a breather every now and again). I like the geometry of our hills.

The plunge from the county boundary down to the Hermitage valley is too steep to be fun, but after the first drop, the road to the castle is a delight, gently downhill (with one hiccup) all the way.

The third section starts with a right turn at Hermitage Hall and runs gently downhill to Newcastleton. I was cycling into low sun at this point and didn’t stop to take any pictures.

At Newcastleton, I had a choice. I could continue on down to Canonbie or make another right angled turn and go back to Langholm over the moor. Going over the moor entails another short but steep climb, followed by a long drag up to the county boundary. That seemed tempting, so I chose it for the fourth and final section of my tour of the hills.

Unfortunately, the steep climb was not rewarded by lovely views this time, as the sun had disappeared behind some clouds.

I settled for using some of the little bridges that the single track road crosses on its way to the county boundary to give me excuses for a breather.

I got a view of Tinnis from one of the little bridges . . .

. . . and the parapets of the bridges were full of interest.

At the county boundary, I was over 1000ft for the second time on my ride and the swoop down to the bridge over the Tarras Water was very welcome . . .

. . . although of course, it meant another climb back up to the White Yett and the final descent to Langholm.

The sun came out as I climbed away from the bridge and I could look back up Tarras towards the part of the moor that is subject to the second community buy out effort which is just starting.

I was very happy to see the MacDarmid memorial, as the road home is all downhill from there to the rugby club . . .

. . . and flat for the last mile home.

Because of the two stiff climbs, the ride felt like quite an adventure, but it was only 32 miles and it took me almost three hours to complete it. I had had it in my mind when I set out that 32 miles would take me up to my B target of 4000 miles for the year, so I was a bit disappointed when I looked at my records and found that I still have 8 miles to go. However, that is not an insurmountable barrier. Looking at the forecast, I may have to wait until Saturday before knocking the eight miles off.

Mrs Tootlepedal had spent a good part of her day putting the new buy out information sheet through letterboxes in the town.

Later on, I had a sibling Zoom, and then after our evening meal, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to a practice with the augmented Parish Church choir. There was another good turnout, and progress was made towards a short concert in December.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Up and down twice

    1. It is amazing that with the huge amount of little bridges that we have, more of them don’t collapse. They were very well engineered when they were built. Most of the ones that do collapse are because they were hit by traffic,.

    1. The weather was fine so I managed to get to my goal today. I have COPD so I make sure that I don’t overexert myself when I am pedalling. I am fit enough that I don’t have to try too hard to go at a steady pace.

  1. The way you describe your ride, augmented with interesting pictures, suggests it was an adventure – I found it so. Lovely bridges and rounded hills in your part of the world.

    1. And free of tourists too. It is surprising how few people come to visit our hills when the nearby Lake District is often very overcrowded. There is a lot of good walking to be had.

  2. Ideal weather for a bike trip, nice views of the landscapes. Sorry to hear that the castle was still closed.
    Once again a lovely bike trip you made 🙂

    1. It was an excellent day for a ride. I was sorry about the castle too because it is quite impressive close to and and from the inside. I will try again next year (if I can still bicycle over the steep hill).

  3. it’s nice to hear of the progress of your choir. My choir is going ahead and doing a series of 3 concerts over the next few weeks with significant restrictions on the audience, and the requirement that choir members get tested for Covid before each concert so that we all feel better about singing without masks. I understand that the reason some of the choir members haven’t returned to the choir is that they do not feel safe about those conditions. We’ll see how things work out. I wonder if your choir is also considering something like that for your December concert.

    1. We are singing without masks and the choir members are happy with that. We are mainly old and triple vaccinated. The audience for our concert will be small and the church is huge so there will be no problem in social distancing for them.

    1. Thanks to my very modest speed, the ride was not nearly as painful as I thought that it might be. Old age has brought me some sense (and not before time).

  4. Those are fine lichens you spotted. I still love those views. The rolling hills remind me of parts of Oregon, and especially the State of Washington to the north of us, on the other side of the Columbia River. Distant hills almost look like they have a velvety texture.

    A good solid rain here this morning.

  5. Great photos, those bridges make for fantastic and photogenic breather stops, but I think I’d need far more if I was attempting your “Up and down twice.” How did you manage to get that sort of ethereal blue on the wings of the sparrow as your flying bird of the day? Everything has turned to late autumn hues here, all of a sudden, or so it seems. I’m still not pedalling, as now, I am waiting for new screws for my SwytchBike conversion. You’ve probably already read my confessions about being a very dodgy bike mechanic, or maniac. Planning ahead is definitely not my forte. If I had stopped and taken stock before starting the conversion work, I could still be pedalling my Pioneer, albeit eccentrically. The screws arrive tomorrow and Saturday. So Sunday is the earliest I can continue the conversion work. Cheers.

      1. I keep my fingers crossed at all times. No wonder I keep dropping my spanner lol

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