Saturday 24 September 2011

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Fine weather is forecast for today - hurray! I begin today's ride by heading north.

A sheep watches me from beside one of the nearby pylons.

I like this little ridge of trees topped by some impressive clouds.

I pass the tree on the corner. I take a little detour to take this photo from the bridge in order to record how it looks in September.

Beautiful clouds.


I do like this old fence post! Today it's posing in front of golden stubble.

A little further on and I spot some straw bales.

I like fields full of straw bales too. I'm easily pleased.

A nicely framed tree-topped hill.

A glance back up the road reveals this pretty view.

Nice old farm sign.

Love the twisty tree trunk on the left. To its right, nestling among the trees, it's possible to see one of the buildings from the Formakin Estate which I'll be passing by soon.

Looking down I spot this squashed Irn Bru can. Just the other day I bought a card with almost exactly this image on it (I'll stick a photo at the end of this post for comparison). If you've never tasted Irn Bru (tagged as "Scotland's Other National Drink) It's a sweet fizzy soft drink which I once heard described as tasting like liquid bubblegum which seemed a pretty good description to me.

I'd forgotten how lovely some of the views from this road can be. Nothing terribly grand, just very pleasing.

Now I head past the buildings of the Formakin Estate. They're very attractive. All are privately owned though it's still possible to gain access to the estate grounds.

Although the estate buildings look like they date from hundreds of years ago they were actually built in the early 1900's for a wealthy local stockbroker.

Birds on wires, another favourite photograph subject.

A lovely view of the firth of Clyde to the right of this road.

Looking past a field of sheep to Dumbarton over the water, Dumbarton castle can be seen at the foot of the large rocks (said to look like a sleeping elephant) on the left.

I pause for a while beside this field full of flowers and watch the swallows swooping for flies. They're still here after all, I manage to capture one with my camera.

Ooh, what's this...

I couldn't resist it, just look at the blue of the sky.

And here's another one while I'm at it, lovely!

Looking back east down the hill.

Looking west, the direction I'm headed. A rook poses on a telegraph wire, he flies off before I get any closer to him.

I'm being pursued by a woman on a horse. My route has been uphill for the last few miles and will remain so for a couple of miles more as I'm about to head up the hill to the left of the farm house in the middle of this photo. Horses can go faster up hills than I can but I don't want the horse and rider to pass me as it will spoil the delicious downhill waiting on the other side. Not quite Frodo and the black riders, but it certainly made me cycle up the hills faster than I normally do. I managed to stay ahead, and zoomed down the other side reaching 30.3 mph, beat that horsey! Actually, I've just checked and horses do gallop at around 30mph. However this lady was just sauntering along, as they do round here, personally I don't see the attraction at all - I'd rather cycle - better excercise and no mucking out. Much cheaper too.

An Inca pyramid? I think it's a WW2 pill box though I can't find out anything about it on the internet. One day I'll get off the bike and go take a closer look.

Shortly after this I pass through a nearby village. They have a charity shop, I stop and browse and buy. I stuff my purchases into the empty tub I'd brought along for brambling, the brambles will need to wait for another day. Then it's on to the cycle path for the rest of the ride.

Beautiful green rolling fields.

Early Autumn colours starting to show on the trees here.

Past the centurian...

...and his company.

Then home. Just over 25 miles today.

In the charity shop I bought...

...this pretty little jug for 50p, already in use with some flowers from the garden...

...and this vase for £1. It's rather a dumpy shape, this is the back which I think I slightly prefer to the front which is decorated with a flower.

And here is the card with the squashed Irn Bru can image.


Grateful4Crochet said...

as always love these posts! beautiful pictures! Love the irn bru can card!

Lyn said...

I always seem to say the same thing in your comment box "what great photos, I love the patchwork of the tree on the corner" today we have a little extra, the bargains and the card-SUPER!!!

Stocki said...

Phew! I feel like I've been on the bike ride with you...what breath-taking photos.. you are lucky to live in such a beautiful area. I haven't tasted Iron-Bru since I was a child...can't remember it tasting like bubble-gum...I obviously need to do a re-taste :)x

Lesley said...

Well that's several hundred calories I've lost vicariously! Everything is looking as lovely as ever.
You can make your own Irn Bru cards now!

Hazel said...

Lovely post. Xx

Anonymous said...

I love your cycle rides, didn't you do a long one? Good bargains too!.

Mereknits said...

Thanks for taking us along on your ride. You are blessed to see such beauty.
Have a geat day,

June said...

Super duper photos as usual. Gosh how can you cycle 25 miles - you must be super fit!

Unknown said...

fantastic photos - I love your hogweed pics, really beautiful.

Simone said...

I think I prefer your Irn Bru image to the one on the card! Fantastic photos and I too love fields of hay bales!

Julie said...

I love your description of being pursued up the hill by a horse...well done you for beating it and getting your speedthrill on the way down!
What a beautiful day - its lovely here too Juliex

Mrs. Micawber said...

Beautiful, beautiful ride. I'm a sucker for round bales too. Love that giant tree next to the archway, the tree-topped hill, the fence post, the treeline...

I'd never heard of Irn Bru until I read Alexander McCall Smith's Scotland Street series (is that the one I mean? the Bertie series, anyway). It sounds tooth-achingly sweet.

Claire said...

So many beautiful photos and not enough words to describe how lovely they are.

Yep, I'm envious of your picturesque countryside, just stunning. What a lovely bike ride.......

Claire :}


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