Off to pastures new this morning as I decide to explore some roads in the neighbouring shires of East Renfrewshire and Ayrshire.
Off we go. I start at about 8:30am. Weatherwise it looks like it's going to be a morning of sunny spells.
Looking across a sunny field to the village of Howwood. The road I'm about to take climbs up to the hills behind.
The view back across the strath as I climb up the hill.
A patch of cloud darkens the view as we get our first glimpse of Barcraigs Reservoir.
Gate detail. I do like these gates - beautiful scrollwork and lovely flaky paint.
Further along the sun comes out and, along with the yellow ragwort, brightens up the land. Two geese fly overhead.
So far, all familiar territory, but not long after this point I join new-to-me-for-cycling roads.
Old red gate.
At a crossroads I came across this tumbledown old farm. The farm house and its outbuilding take up three corners of the crossroads.
Diagonally across is this barn...
...with more lovely flaky paint. (Lovely for photographing but I wouldn't want it on my own doors!)
Then straight across there is another barn, this one was popular with swallows, some of whom can be seen perched above.
Now looking behind the main farm building, more swallows are perched on the wire beside the telegraph pole.
While writing this post I tried to find out more information about the farm and why it had been abandoned. After some internet searching it seems that the farm is part of the Caldwell Estate, all of which has been allowed to become derelict, including the mansion house. I think it's a shame when old buildings are lost as it's highly unlikely they'll ever be rebuilt and some of them were beautiful. There is more fascinating information, photos, and links here, here and here. The mansion house was used as a mental asylum for children during the mid twentieth century and is rumoured to be haunted. All very interesting but rather a sad history.
Anyway, back to the biking. Shortly beyond the crossroads I pass through the village of Uplawmoor...
...then join a farm road to take me to Dunlop. This road seem popular with local cyclists, I've never seen so many other cyclists while out on a ride.
Once in Dunlop I pause beside the churchyard to decide which way to go. I took this photo through the railings, another sad tale - a family life which seemed to start out so well, then wife and son both die while very young. I wonder what happened to John Watt himself.
I decide to take the long way home, it's turned out to be a lovely morning so I may as well make the most of it. The countryside here is more open than close to home. It makes for lovely wide views but they don't really come across so well in photographs.
I wasn't going to bother but...
...there were so many of them along the roadsides...
...and the sky above was so blue...
...I gave in eventually...
...and took yet more umbellifer photos.
Well, I like them.
By this point I've passed by Dalry and am heading to Glengarnock. More lovely open countryside views.
Cycling art, found on the cycle path just past Kilbirnie. I'm back onto more familiar ground.
The last of the rosebay willowherb flowers.
And I couldn't go past the castle without taking a photo. Then home.
I'd recently found my cycling computer and had stuck it back on the bike. Distance covered this day was 37.5 miles, futher than I usually go. I average around 10 miles an hour (I make lots of photo stops).