BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

#365daysofbiking A tempting brush with spring

March 1st – It was a gorgeous day for sure. Yes, everything was wet; despite overtopping the weir for weeks on end now, the main body of Chasewater seems fuller than ever I remember it being.

The fields of Home Farm at Sandhills were emerald green, and deer loafed at Brownhills West and Clayhanger.

A day that reminded me what spring was all about.

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#365daysofbiking The promise of green

 

March 1st – Today was sunny, periodically, and when the sone shone (even though it tried to snow a couple of times) it was warm on my back and face. It didn’t rain, well not much anyway.

But what did happen was I found in the hedgerows of Home Farm at Ogley Hay fresh, bright green hawthorn leaves.

Yes, the hedgerows are starting to green up. This is excellent news.

Perhaps spring isn’t cancelled after all.

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#365daysofbiking Gathering darkness

February 29th – Joy of joys it was raining again.

I returned to Brownhills via Catshill Junction in a darkening hour. The weather was getting to me, as was the lack of colour in my world.

I try to be, and stay a positive person at heart. I like to try to make this journal as positive about the places I got and things I see as possible. But of late, I seem to have done nothing but whinge about the weather.

But be in no doubt: Out there, right now, it’s pretty awful to be on two wheels.

These are some of the hardest weeks I’ve ever ridden, if I’m honest.

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#365daysofbiking The wind and the willows

February 29th – it seems odd this is the third February 29th in the history of this nearly nine year old journal, but it’s just the way the dates fall I guess.

On the canal at Walsall Wood, another subtle sign of spring – pussy willow catkins. Like the hazel ones, the male flower of the smaller willows.

Bedraggled, wind-buffeted, but in some proliferation. As I’ve noted all week, spring is coming, it’s not holding back. It just needs some decent weather to accelerate the process.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

February 28th – Brownhills High Street. The rain was still perched upon my world as I came home, looking for a takeaway and some solace in the gloom.

A couple of minutes later I met an old pal, we dived into Costa for a coffee, and rolled the years back.

Brownhills isn’t nearly as depressed as it was; things are improving, slowly.

It almost looks beautiful in the rain. Or have I got meteorological Stockholm syndrome again?

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#365daysofbiking Here, there and everywhere


February 27th – The Peter Saville thing. It’s everywhere of late.

Later the same day. The rain didn’t stop, it doubled down and rained harder and more fiercely.

Stood, dripping, waiting for a late train at Telford, the rain shimmering on the glass of the new bridge, catching the lights. The angles and patterns of metalwork.

It felt brutal, if not actually truly Brutalist.

Find out more about why I’m in love with Peter Saville’s work here.

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#365daysofbiking Go with the flow

February 27th – The weather at the moment is almost continually foul.

Everywhere is saturated. The canal overflows are at full capacity, like here at Clayhanger; the towpaths are a long series of conjoined puddles. The roads are filthy, swamped and traffic bad tempered.

Every ride means carefully drying waterproofs and bags on arrival.

I’m used to it now. I don’t even frown when I see the rain.

But we must be due an end to it now, surely? Or at least a cessation in the merciless, continual wind please?

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#365daysofbiking The geometrid

February 26th – Another rainy, grim day. As I returned home from work mercifully early (and of course, sunset is getting later at a pace now) I turned to look back across the Pier street Canal Bridge.

Peter Saville’s designs keep cropping up in my everyday life.

I loved the curves and vanishing points of this.Never really noticed it before.

There’s always something new, even in the most familiar places.

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#365daysofbiking No reservations

February 25th – In Telford again, crossing the cycleway bridge over the motorway to Priorslee.

The display of blackthorn blossom on the motorway embankment here is always stunning, and always reminds me of a dusting of snow. It’s gorgeous.

One of the nice things about Telford is that the town is full of road embankments, reservations and edge lands where humans rarely go that are an absolute haven for wildlife and biodiversity of all kinds.

An interesting side effect of modern town planning.

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#365daysofbiking Keep trying

February 24th – And nature, she kept trying thought out the end of my journey.

Outside the place I was supposed to be an hour previously, this single yellow solitary soldier was the first of it’s cohort to wake from spring on the bank opposite the bike shed.

I felt proud and pleased for it, it’s comrades still in bud.

It made me much, much happier.

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