Getting about

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He stopped on his way to Morecambe today to walk up a hill in the Lake District and get a very good view of Glenridding.

It was a reasonably calm and dry day here today so a bike ride seemed a sensible way to pass the time. I filled the feeder and noted a potentilla flower beside it . . .

. . . left Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the greenhouse, and set out on my electric bike to see how far my legs would take me.

I had to go down to the bottom of the town to buy bananas at the Co-op, so having made my purchase, I kept going in the same direction, and cycled into England by way of Claygate and Harelawhill.

I stopped fairly frequently during the early part of my ride to admire the verges . . .

. . . but I couldn’t take a picture of the Liddel Water running under the bridge over the border at Penton because the fire service was conducting a training exercise in the river. I made do with a view of the bridge and another from the bridge . . .

. . . and whistled up the steep hill on the English side of the Liddel Water with the aid of quite a lot of battery power. Once up the hill, I tried to use electrical assistance as little as possible, and found that I was able to pedal unassisted quite happily. I think I can say that I am over the worst of my recent illness now.

I headed down to the flat land beside the Solway through Easton, finding plenty to enjoy on the way . . .

. . . except the views. I should have had great views as I came down the hill . . .

. . . but it was very hazy and I kept my eyes down instead.

I made my way across country until I got to Rockcliffe, where I sneaked past the church and met the River Eden, There was a handy bench beside the river for me to sit on for a while, eat a banana and spot scabious and a swan.

I left the river behind and pedalled along a beautiful section of road . . .

. . . towards the motorway service road to Gretna. From there, I headed up the old main road to Eaglesfield and took familiar roads through Waterbeck and over Callister to get home. I was using more assistance here, as it was generally slightly uphill until the final six miles, and I was getting a little tired because of lack of recent cycling miles in the legs. I concentrated fully on cycling and only took one more picture . . .

. . . before I got home. It shows a field which has been cut for silage, and it is appropriate as I was passed later on by three enormous tractors pulling the enormous pieces of machinery which the contractors use to get the silage cutting done at enormous speed. It was a bit like being passed by three battleships and was quite alarming, even though they gave me plenty of room.

I had picked a good route and my bike computer clicked over to 50 miles just as I got back to Langholm. Although I had climbed 3000 feet, I had managed to do enough unassisted pedalling to ensure that I still had almost a half full battery left when I got home. It will be a challenge on a sunny day in the summer to see if I can do 100 miles before the battery runs out.

Mrs Tootlepedal had retired from the garden and was watching the Giro and by coincidence, I arrived at the house just as the winners of the stage flashed over the finish line. We had set out at more or less the same time but to put things into perspective, I had pedalled 50 miles and climbed 3000 feet in 4 hours 42 minutes on an electric bike while the professionals had pedalled 115 miles and climbed 7545 feet in 4 hours and 18 minutes entirely under their own steam. They are very hard men indeed.

I refilled the feeder to the satisfaction of some greenfinches . . .

. . . and had a walk round the garden before I had a shower. The first Icelandic poppy had appeared while I was out, together with some white polemonium and a Veronica. Alliums and and azaleas continue to develop.

I heard a rustling as I walked and when I turned round, I saw the mallards heading very quietly towards the pond while trying not to be noticed.

Later in the evening, I took a picture of an aquilegia that appealed to me.

I got a message during the day from his daughter Susan to say that Dropscone has got Covid and has retired to bed. He has not had his troubles to seek as they say.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Footnote: I append a map of the route. It was lumpy at the start and finish but nice and flat in the middle.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Getting about

  1. Paul and I were thinking that your 50 mile ride and 3000 feet climb was a fair effort! We have a local Aussie cycling in the Giro, his name is Michael Mathews and his father is our local butcher, (and very proud father).
    Your spring flowers are inspiring, I must get on and start planting for our spring, (Sept/Oct) .. a bag of bulbs are waiting.
    Best wishes to Dropscone, there seem to be all sorts of viruses and bugs around this year.

    1. I shall look at you with new respect now that I know of your connection with greatness. Matthews is a quality cyclist. I hope that you get your bulbs in in good time.

      1. Yes, Michael Matthews worked very hard and was very disciplined as a teenager cycling competitively…often a long way from home.
        No my bulbs are still waiting to be planted..

  2. It’s very good to read that you are feeling more like yourself, but poor Dropscone is having misfortune heaped upon his head right now. Hopefully he’s been boosted and this bout won’t hit him too hard.

    The view of the aquilegia is lovely. Also good to see Mr. and Mrs. Mallard!

  3. A feast of beautiful flowers and wonderful scenery. I am glad you are recovering yet sorry to hear about Dropscone. May this be his last hurdle to recover.

  4. As far as I can read you are almost in perfect conditions and please… do not compare with the pro’s ๐Ÿ˜‰ ha ha ha that’s not a fair option. On the other hand, you enjoyed your ride and did not have to worry about technical and other specs ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the beautiful panoramas and the abundance of flowers.

    1. I don’t worry about the pros. They are a different breed of men to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just like to check how much further, faster and higher they are going.

  5. Love the guest photo! A wonderful cycle ride with lots of lovely photos to enjoy on your ride and in your garden too. The tunnel of trees is a favourite!

  6. Your brother’s picture is fabulous. What a view! No wonder people like to go there. Good job with the bike ride. Those sneaking mallards are awfully cute.

  7. I agree with Laurie: those mallards are cute! Glad your looking back at your recent lurgy and my thoughts are with Dropscone. Hope he has a speedy recovery. Your pretty road picture made me think of the Famous Five; in my imagination they were forever cycling down similar roads in search of friendly farmers offering lashings of their produce whilst studiously attempting to avoid any type of adventure. Good old Enid Blyton ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I am glad to hear you have recovered, but so sorry to hear Dropscone has Covid. As if he didn’t have enough troubles! I wish him a speedy recovery.

    This cool weather you are having must be helping to prolong spring a little bit. I have been enjoying the cornucopia of flowers and leaves in your area. The recent heat is moving us very quickly into summer here.

    1. We are due to have a week of almost perfect weather, warm but not too hot and not too windy. The garden should come along well but we might need to do some watering.

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