Thursday 6 July 2017

A Grey(t) Day Out

It has been dull and cool here recently but, for the sake of my sanity, I had to get out on the bike. So I wrapped up and headed for the coldest place I know.

The villages of Leadhills and Wanlockhead are the highest and (probably) coldest in the country. Surprisingly they aren't in the Highlands but only 36 miles south of Glasgow in the Southern Uplands. They owe their existence to the gold, silver & lead, that were mined in this area.


Miners' cottages

As in other places wind turbines are a contentious issue

The graveyard contains the tomb of John Taylor who allegedly lived to the age of 137

His story, and I'm sure it's just a story

The miners' library is the oldest subscription library in the country

The red roads of Lanarkshire. The red stone comes from the Cairngryffe quarry near Biggar. I worked in the local roads department and this stone was known to be slippery in the wet. So be careful if you find yourself on a red road in the rain.

The roads in the area were quiet and pleasantly winding

You know when you're on the real back roads when there's a strip of grass up the middle

I continued on to Dumfries and then Glencaple. Here the River Nith is about to enter the Solway Firth

East of Dumfries I came across the Brow Well. The iron-rich water was once thought to be benificial for various ailments. I wasn't able to put it to the test since the well was dry.

On a bend in a back road near Lockerbie I got a fright when I met this surface dressing. This is cheap way of resurfacing the road. Stone chips are spread on a coat of bitumen. It remains slippery until the traffic has compacted it and dispersed the surplus stone.


  1. Nice that you manage little traffic on your ride. Your loose rock surface looks like what we call "chip seal" The oil/bitumen is spread and the rock then spread on top until the cars compact it just as it is there.

    How has your summer weather been so far? We are on the 44th parallel and it seems to be an odd mix this year but you are about 10˚ further north.

    1. It was very nice here in May, but less so since then. Something to do with the position of the jetstream. Our weather tends to be very changeable. I just keep an eye on the BBC weather website and get out when I can.

  2. Glad to see you back on the road. You seem to be healing quickly. The rock chips are nasty. I have encountered this way of cheap road sealing in Italy and North America... ride safely, Stuart.

    1. Thanks. Yes the shoulder is healing nicely, the odd twinge, but mostly ok. Strangely riding the bike doesn't cause it any pain and it is good to get out and about.