Tuesday, 20 September 2016

discovering cycle history

 Last week we decided to go somewhere interesting...new roads to us both...and sunny! We headed for Thornhill with the bikes on board..just an easy hour's drive from home to sunny Dumfriesshire.
 It is obviously a market town, from the wide streets,and it boasts a good Italian Cafe/chip shop, as well as a wide variety of small shops.
 We headed out though Penpont (and the meaning is the same as in Welsh...) to Moniaive then across almost to Dunscore.
There we found a lane....with seats...
and a view back towards Moniaive..

 A certain Tom Carrick had bequeathed money for seats....and for a community pub in Dunscore...a very generous and thoughtful man!

We passed an old gentleman making his way with two walking sticks , in Boy Scout shorts and socks..and slippers...

On past Lag Tower and Glenmidge Burn (wonder how that got its name ?!!) to Glenhead where we discovered that the gentleman was 93 and just on his way for a walk to see his neighbours!
Then we climbed up another hill and then back down into the Nith Valley
 Along to Keir in the Nith Valley, where we found the smithy where cycles as we know them...i.e. with pedals instead of being propelled like a Hobby Horse...were invented.

 The smithy isn't open,but the plaques give the history.
 Unfortunately the bicycle museum at Drumlanrigg Castle has now closed and I don't know where the contents are..that is only four miles from the smithy.

Then another three miles back through Penpont, across the Nith to Thornhill.

Only about 26 miles, but plenty to see and a beautiful piece of countryside.

Saturday, 17 September 2016


Full Moon last night from the rear of the house...and light pollution from the front, looking towards Prestwick. 

Luckily we don't have street lights directly in front or behind the house, but the glow permeates everything but the thickest of curtains, making sleep uneasy.

Sunset was at 7.13pm and Moonrise at 7.14 pm. I happened to wake at about 4 am, and she was still traveling through a clear sky.

The Summer Solstice seems only a short while since, yet we fast approach the Equinox.

Sunday, 11 September 2016


We've had a weekend of helping other people..on Saturday I exchanged racing licenses for numbers...and back again...at the Scottish National 25 mile TT championships,while the Pirate stood on a roundabout for three hours warning riders of traffic whilst wearing a hi-viz vest ( and plenty of other clothes as well!) and waving a red flag.
After we arrived home it was too good an afternoon to  stay in,so we went on a dawdle round the lanes.
Today we had a lie-in...only up at 6.30 am!!...off to Kilwinning this time,to marshal again. This was for the Scottish Junior Road Race champs..six laps of a gently "sporting" 10+ miles long circuit with one short and nasty hill,and plenty of other smaller ones. The Pirate's brief was just to make sure that they didn't turn off the course. It was a lovely morning and we were parked in a delightful spot just by a hedgeful of ripe blackberries...the lunchbox came in very handy!

After the presentation and a rest we returned and rode the course ourselves...at half their speed!! The wind had been rising since the end of the race and we're having gales tonight

 ...and found a gate...

pedalling fast

The Pirate pedalling fast to nowhere.....turbos are boring, as hard work as you make it when riding them...and very useful when it is inclement weather!

He is wearing his birthday socks from New Zealand, to get inspired !!

Friday, 9 September 2016


Good to see that the local NFU has the right idea!

Captured by The Pirate whilst awaiting the arrival of the Tour of Britain riders at the finish of the first stage in Castle Douglas.

I was off busy enjoying myself in the sunshine, doing 30 miles a little quicker than usual despite the hills.  Thats what proper summer weather does!!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

trip to Bruce's Monument

 This is above Loch Trool. Then we beat a hasty retreat from the midgies to the visitor centre cafe at Glen Trool!
The bridge over to the cafe was damaged in the December floods...still not mended...

 This looks like the culprit, or rather one of many blocking the water from going through the archway.

 and for Yer Actual....a 1200 engined E reg Triumph Herald...