BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts by BrownhillsBob

#365daysofbiking Waiting for a train

June 13th – It was drier in the morning, with ha hint, just a hint of sun when I headed to Telford. My jacket hood was down for the first time in a week. I could see where I was going.

Could this be the end of the rain for a while?

Lulled into a false sense of security, a flash shower caught me on the way back to the station.

Thankfully, by the time the train got to Wolverhampton the rain had been left behind.

Just one blessed day without rain, please? It’s not too much to ask, is it?

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#365daysofbiking And still they come

June 12th – I think that very soon I shall start growing webs between my toes. This rain is remarkable and without a break. It’s beginning to get to even me – there’s a permanent rainbow in our kitchen from drying waterproofs.

But still, nature does it’s thing: On a short errand out of work at Darlaston, my first spots of the lovely, thistle-like knapweed and cleavers, the sticky, velcro-like seeds that stick to anything furry – socks, dogs, cats.

Cleavers, or sweethearts are we called them, always now remind me of leprechaun testicles after a comment from Susan Marie Ward years ago.

I’ve given up hoping for an end to the rain and am just hoping I don’t drown…

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#365daysofbiking Rainy day bandits

June 11th – The rain continued throughout Tuesday and everything was sodden.  Squelching my way home I hit the canal back to Brownhills, again avoiding the mad wet-weather traffic, and met these guys near the Pelsall Road.

It’s nice to see the Watermead swan family – such attentive parents they hatched just 3 this year, but these cheeky little bandits who immediately came over for treats are healthy and full of beans.

I didn’t realise it was possible for swans to look so wet, but they did. I wonder what they think of this endless rain?

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#365daysofbiking Corny

June 10th – The rain was almost totally constant as I came home from work and hit the muddy canal to avoid the traffic.

With little inspiration in the grey, horrible day, my eye was caught by a single splash of blue and purple in the scrub by the towpath by Clayhnager bridge – a gorgeous, bedraggled and solitary cornflower.

I keep saying this but it’s true – there is brightness to be found in even the most awful days.

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#365daysofbiking Come and have a go

June 9th – To the Canada geese with young, I remain their biggest enemy.

This momma was separated with 2 chicks from her parter and was anxious to rejoin the main brood.

I loved the little guy peering out from behind her.

It would be nice to be able to potter about the canal without being hissed at and pecked for a change…

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#365daysofbiking Come over to my pad

June 9th – A decent enough day following the heavy rain of the day before – I had stuff to do at home so just nipped out on errands.

Another beautiful sign of the season slipping by is the waterlilies are blooming on the canals – not my favourite white ones yet, but the yellow are coming on a treat.

We just need some warm weather now…

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#365daysofbiking Nursery tales

June 8th – The weather cleared, so I left the fair and headed up to Honey Hill, No Mans Heath, Netherseal, Coton in the Elms, Walton and over to Barton for coffee – but from the rickety Walton Bridge, I watched a fascinating drama unfold.

Four adult Canada geese were shepherding their clutches as one group along the reedbeds at the edge of the Trent, foraging for food. It’s not uncommon for these geese to team up on parenting duties or mind each other’s chicks, but this group of nearly 30 is one of the largest I’ve ever witnessed. It was stunning – not least for the control exerted by the parents.

They guided the goslings upstream to an inlet to the west. I watched as they processed one by one and two by two into the side brook.

Then, a splash and a flash of red fur – a fox was waiting. There was a commotion, and Reynard fled empty mouthed, and the geese herded their young back into the main river. They appeared to be counting as they gathered the young birds into a tight, safe circle.

Fox had gone, his lunch thwarted by eagle eyed parents – or maybe goose eyed – and then normal business resumed as a human with food was spotted on the eastern bank.

I’ve never seen anything like it and had I not ventured out on a wet, miserable Saturday, I probably never would have.

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#365daysofbiking English as tuppence


June 8th – Riding 20 miles in the pouring rain to visit a country fair in a village on the border of four counties may not be many folk’s idea of fun. But I loved it.

I’ve always liked Clifton Campbville Country Fair, for it’s acute Englishness, parochiality and eccentricity. And on this Saturday, it was almost, but not quite rained off.

Most of the stalls had gone. But I sat in a beer tent, had tea, strawberries, listened to Morris music and endless jokes about the weather. I had cake, met a Kookaburra and enjoyed the company of damp but faithful dogs.

An event continuing despite dreadful weather is almost as much fun as one on a blazing sunny day.

Better luck next year, folks.

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#365daysofbiking Later and maybe greater

June 7th – A mystery that always makes me wonder: Why are blue-purple lupins always out weeks earlier than the light colours like the pink ones here at Clayhanger Bridge?

I think I prefer the pink ones if I’m honest although they’re all beautiful.

This curiosity does at least extend the visible presence of a beautiful flower…

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