A beautiful sunny September morning, I set off early again at just after 7am.
I begin by following my favourite route out of the village. An early morning mist lies in the valley. I like the way the pylon wires line the sky in the photo above.
I think these are pheasant hens sunning themselves on the road and verge.
The folly rises above the mist as though it's on an island.
First cow photo for this trip, they're ignoring me today.
Cows and folly and mist
The big stone , I turn right.
This farm sign has always caught my eye. The sheep in the field behind were posing beautifully for a photograph I couldn't resist.
Dewy cobwebs in the hedgerows.
An early Autumn view.
The first view of Ben Lomond (the mountain on the left with the "shoulders") .
Whenever I've been this way recently the distant mountains have been hidden by cloud. It was lovely to see them again.
Ben Lomond getting a little closer!
On a normal two hour run I would usually turn off fairly soon after this point. This morning though I have the luxury of four hours cycling time and can just keep going; a good feeling!
After here I have a long descent, too enjoyable to break for photos especially when I know I will be seeing more impressive views soon.
I pass through one of the local villages and stop to buy a mars bar for breakfast.
After another climb out of the village this is the view I am rewarded with.
A close-up of the houses peeping over the hill with the mountains behind.
Wheee, down again! It's quite a hilly route but I'm not as unfit as I feared I would be after failing to do any serious exercise in the last four years since having children. Climbing the hills doesn't bother me; I just drop down to the lowest gear I find comfortable. The downhills which follow are a just reward. We are very lucky to have such an excellent network of minor roads within easy cycling distance.
Looking back over the Firth of Clyde and the mountains of Argyll after making another climb.
The bike shot (not a very good one)
A last look at the view.
Eventually I reach the entrance to the cyclepath and follow it home for the final few miles. I don't have it to myself today; it's later in the morning than normal and people have been encouraged out by the fine weather. Many "Good Mornings" are exchanged -we're all so happy that it's stopped raining (in August 2009 we had over twice our normal rainfall for the month (interesting weather summary here!)) and the sun is shining!
At last, two cows pay me some attention on the final climb from the cycle path up to our village.
Home for just after 11am.