It's time for a completely new route. Today I'm going to be cycling along slightly busier roads (at least to begin with) so I borrow hubby's high vis flourescent yellow gilet - this added to my helmet and the rest of my cycling attire makes me even more glamorous than usual!
It's not as cold as last week (just the one pair of leggings and one pair of socks required) but this also means the light is much murkier due to the thick cloud cover. But there's no rain so it's fine really.
Off we go. To avoid cycling too far along a stretch of busy road I head through a housing estate, out a country lane then into a farmyard - I've taken a wrong turning! A couple of horsey women appear and I ask for directions to get across the river. I'm led back into the housing estate where I promptly get lost and have to ask directions again (nice old man at bus stop!).
I'm advised to head down a little path (one of these paths you'd miss unless you knew it was there) On turning a corner I see a lovely old yew tree, it turns out it's quite a famous one and even has it's own plaque from which I learn that at 600 years old it's the oldest example of a "layering yew" in Scotland.
I carry on along the little path, I like how the colour of the beech saplings brightens up the otherwise gloomy woodland.
Soon I find what is known as "the green bridge" though as you can see from the photo of my bike on it it's rather more colourful in reality.
Another little stretch of busy road and then I head off onto a side road. The busy roads are actually good for improving my fitness - I don't like being on them so I cycle much faster, plus I don't like to stop to take photos so I cycle for longer without a break too.
I used to always think of February as a horrible grey month but I appreciate now that there is colour still around though in rather muted shades. The road I'm on unfortunately appears to be rather popular for roadside dumping. The above scene has been carefully cropped to remove an old tyre and a large amount of Carslberg special brew cans.
A few miles further on and it's much cleaner, much better!
A new farm sign for my collection.
I take a little detour to admire the houses on the Formakin Estate.
Unfortunately the estate is closed over the winter...
...we need to wait till April before we can explore any further. We will be back!
Now I'm heading back west and the road I'm on sits on the southern bank of the Firth of Clyde, above can be seen a view of Dumbarton Rock, somewhere else I've never been but have added to my list of places to visit soon.
Normally on this road you get lovely views of the mountains of Cowal, sadly today they're refusing to come out from behind the clouds.
I leave the Firth behind and head up the hill past a farm with very nosey and noisey sheep. Too early for lambs yet.
Heading home I pass through Kilmacolm. It's reputed to have more millionaires per capita than any other town in Scotland. It's also got a charity shop. I park my bike and pop in to have a look (after first removing my flourescent waistcoat and cycling helmet - must make a little effort!) I get some rather excellent book bargains and a couple of other bits and pieces which I then need to transport home in a carrier bag dangling off my wrist. By the time I reach home my hand aches (maybe I'll stick on a pannier if I'm going that way again!). I'm also really hungry as I have actually done some cycling this week rather than poottling around photographing everything in sight (that was last week!).
More on the charity shop bargains later - I've had a few good finds recently.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!