Monday 24 September 2012

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

As promised by the weathermen (and/or women) - it's a beautiful sunny morning. I like to check the forecast the night before as although our bedroom window faces east and should therefore give us a good indication of whether or not it's to be a sunny day, a nearby tree covered ridge obscures the early sun at this time of year. All was dark when I got out of bed, but a peek out the window showed that although our house was in shadow the sun was indeed shining brightly elsewhere. I was already wishing I'd got up earlier as the tailend of the sunrise was looking gorgeous - strands and streaks of pale pink were brushed across a clear sky of many blues.

So, after a banana sandwich for breakfast, I headed off at about 7:30am. On the way up to the shed to get my bike I was already taking photos - frosty patterns still being a novelty at this time of year...

Frosty ladies mantel (alchemilla)

Frosty car windscreen -which we noticed later was actually cracked. We'd had problems with a jammed bonnet hinge and didn't realise at the time that it had damaged the windscreen at the bottom corner, the cold caused the crack to spread right across the windscreen. Oh no I thought (I always hate to have things go wrong), but it was very easy to get fixed - a quick phone call to the glass number on the insurance letter and a nice young man came to fix it the very next day.

Frosty car roof (the impending arrival of the windscreen repair man later prompted me to wash the car, not something we do terribly often - our priorities are obviously different to our neighbour's as he seems to be forever washing and polishing his fleet of cars)

Back to the bike ride. I take the same road out the village as last week but the earlier hour make the light more magical - therefore more photos are taken... this one at the top of the hill. I was looking at the view in the opposite direction then glanced round and realised this was happening - fantastic!

This is the view with the sun behind me. You can see my shadow bottom left - I have a rainbow around me! I'm letting off quite a bit of steam after the long climb up the hill.

More views over mist wreathed fields.

The tree (last week a photo of this tree was the first I took)


Another shadow shot, this time in motion.

Crossroads coming up. Last week I went straight on, this week I go right.

Umbellifer, I think it may be an angelica?

Frosty leaf. The verges have recently been mown so you have been spared the numerous frosty leaf photos I I would otherwise have taken!

Grass topped gate post.

My favourite photo for this ride. This is the first view of the mountains to the north and they're looking nice and clear today, so a good day to take this route. The tractor and strip of ploughed land across the middle add a lovely finishing touch.

Pretty countryside. I've just descended quite a long hill through some woodland (it was sooo cold it took my breath away - no sun, no pedalling and fast freezing air) and the mountains have disappeared again. I'll be climbing again later so they'll be back...

Chestnut foal and mother.

Right, here we are after another climb. The mountains are lurking behind the row of houses on the hill behind the reservoir.
There are lots of gorse bushes along this road and they're full of spiderwebs.

Another admiring look at the view, hard to do it justice on a little blog photo.

After a short stop to eat an apple, I descend again.

Taking it slowly this time. There's a little calf here in front of the red feeder.

By here I've reached the bottom of the hill and am halfway back up another one. It's been a while since I've gone this route and I'd forgotten just how hilly it is.

Almost at the top of the last big climb and a last look back at the view.

Rook on a post.

Cow view. There's tiny calf snuggled down in the grass on the far right.

The mountains make a last peek over the hills.

Silly sheep.

I stop here to check my purse. £6. Enough to fund a visit to the charity shop in the village I'm about to pass through. For £4 total I get a little hand painted bowl, a nice chunky hand thrown jug (to add to the collection), a copy of the Farmhouse Kitchen cookbook (a friend has this and is always making lovely things from it), and three other books. Pleased with my haul I join the cycle path and zoom home (as quickly as I can with a carrier bag full of heavy books dangling from my handle bars!).

So a longer ride than most recent ones, and hilly too. I'd been getting a little lazy with my rides. Of course, nice weather always helps encourage more outdoor activity -we've just had three sunny days in a row, it was lovely!


Annie Cholewa said...

What beautiful images, and what a glorious morning. Saturday was like that here too, though not quite so cold, but it has been raining now since yesterday evening and the garden's a pond. We're certainly seeing autumn's other face, the wet and windy one!

Cybèle said...

I've only recently discovered your blog and love reading about your bike rides. Although I haven't been out for a while, I love exploring the Norfolk countryside on my bike (which we found abandoned in a ditch and that my partner has done up for me!). Norfolk's a bit flatter than round yours ;-) How many miles do you do on a Saturday morning trip?

June said...

Another great bike ride! Love the photo of the sun behind the tree and the spiders webs. I have that same cook book but in paperback - it is pretty battered and most of the pages are falling out but there are some fab recipes within!

Claire said...

Hey Anne great ride an a visit to the charity shop!!
Fab finds and love the dewy spider web photo......
Nice to see a vast expanse of blue sky, everything looks so fresh in the early morning light.
Have a great week,

Claire :}

Mereknits said...

These might be your most beautiful photos ever. The one with the light coming through the trees could win an award, and the spider web...simply fantastic. Thanks for sharing them with all of us.

June said...

Thanks for your comment on mine. My camera is a Nikon D5000. I only ever use three settings on it - automatic with flash, automatic without flash and tulip - which is the close up.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous pictures but how cold you must have been. The sunrise shot is rather special I think.

Mrs. Micawber said...

What a fantastic bunch of photos! Spectacular sun through the trees - and I see you've perfected the action shadow shot. :)

Lucky you to have mountains within view. It's worth climbing those hills to just to see the mountains.

You're right about the parallels in our rides this weekend - are you feeling your legs today? (I am a bit.)

P.S. How do you get the pottery home without breaking it?

rockinloubylou said...

These photographs are breathtaking. Prizewinning. I absolutely LOVE the one of the sunrise behind the tree on the hilltop. I would imagine it was a sight like this that inspired people to erect standing stones aligned with sunrises and sunsets. Really, really oustanding photo. And the one with the rainbow around you is pretty amazing too. Ladies don't just glow, they emit rainbows.

The Village Queen said...

What beautiful country side. Youre so lucky to live there. Thanks for shareing it.

Simone said...

A fantasic bike ride! The one with you and the rainbow halo around your shadow is just perfect!

Louise said...

oh my what a fabulous selection of photos. Well worth getting out and about for! I love the sunlight through the trees and all the misty and mountain views.

Unknown said...

I admire your dedication to bike rides... I'm always full of good intentions and end up doing nothing!

Beth of The Linen Cat said...

Some really beautiful photos there - I too love the sun behind the trees and I'm oddly envious of your frost (but I'm weird like that). I never do very well in charity shops....perhaps I need to try harder/more often as your buys are great. Beth/thelinencat x

Neighborhood Watch said...

How wonderful to get up in the morning and ride. I love the morning, but rarely am out in it by choice. The rainbow around your shadow was just too cool!

Lyn said...

gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
love all the photos especially the sun through the trees and trees in the mist.....but I love them all really.


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