Today’s guest picture comes from my Welsh correspondent Keiron. He knows that I like trees as well as bridges.
We had a busy day today with not much time to take photographs as we went about. In the morning, we went down to the bike shop in Longtown and brought two bikes that fold up neatly enough to fit in our very small car, one in the boot and one on the back seat.
We have been thinking about this for a long time, so it was good finally to do it. The car is far too small to fit our two ordinary bikes in, so if we want to find new routes to cycle, this was the only solution. We went and had coffee and a scone at a nearby garden centre to celebrate.
There was time for a quick dash round the garden before lunch when we got home. The slightly warmer weather is bringing things on.
We hadn’t taken our new bikes out of the car, so after lunch we drove a few miles up the road to Bentpath and gave them a test. Could we lift them out of the car? (They are quite heavy) Could we remember how to unfold them? Would they be comfortable to ride? Would the electric motors work?
The answers to all these questions were, “Yes.”
We did a brief six mile circuit by way of Enzieholm Bridge, and found that in spite of their small wheels, they handled very well, and the electric motors provided sympathetic and not jerky assistance. As you have to pedal to get the electric assistance on these bikes, there was no freewheeling along, and we felt well exercised by our outing. I couldn’t stop to take many pictures because if I did, Mrs Tootlepedal disappeared into the distance as you can see from today’s header picture. That was taken when I had stopped to snatch a picture of Westerkirk Church.
We folded the bikes up successfully, packed them into the car, and drove home feeling that we had made a good purchase.
I had another quick walk round the garden when we got back, and found a little wild flower growing on the middle lawn.
In the old days, I would have found this an insult to my lawn keeping skills, but these days, I regard it as a welcome addition to the colour in the garden.
I also found an almost undamaged magnolia flower.
We unpacked the bikes from the car, and charged the batteries while we had a cup of tea. All this took quite a bit of time, with instructions to read and new equipment to check.
I took time out to fill the feeder and watch the birds.
There were plenty to watch in general . . .
. . . and I was pleased to see more redpolls arriving . . .
. . . as well as a greenfinch or two.
Then I turned my hand to making and baking some figgy rolls. These were to have with a cup of tea in the evening after the members of our recorder quartet had finished playing. The other three players arrived on time, and we played our way through half of another box of quartets from our library. We found plenty to enjoy, not least a Bach fugue.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin threatening a goldfinch. I notice that like a recent redpoll, it is ringed too.
Footnote: The new bikes will not mean that I am going to stop riding my normal road bike. There may well come a time when I will find electrical assistance essential, but I hope that that will not be for a while yet. In the meantime, we hope that the new bikes will let Mrs Tootlepedal and me get away from our immediate and well cycled roads for some more interesting outings from time to time.