BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

#365daysofbiking – Snow joke


February 10th – I was at work in a windowless building. At 3:30pm I stepped out of a fire escape answering a call to find it had been snowing, but only a little. An icing sugar dusting was remaining in gutters, shady grass banks and in the shadows of trees and buildings, but disappearing fast.

I have the feeling this will be the only snow we’ll get this year.

Sad really, as I love a bit of snow cycling.

Perhaps it’s for the best, though: Spring is too important to me now I think.

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#365daysofbiking – Road cones

February 10th – I went to Telford. Hard work, a tough ride, but finding my wheels again.

Sadly, they were nearly snatched from under me on the Priorslee cycleway by an unusual hazard – huge cones brought down off the nearby pine tree by the previous day’s storm.

Normally soft and compliant, these were not ripe, but hard and slippery.

Quite an unexpected hazard!

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#365daysofbiking – Blown around

February 9th – Sunday I suffered for the ride of the day before, but it wasn’t too bad. The wind was heavy and Storm Ciara was heading in – I’m sure storms were not as bad before we started building them up by giving them daft names.

I remembered that the day before, I’d forgotten to visit the lovely grounds of St. Annes church in Chasetown, over the road from the cemetery. They always have great spring flowers, and that was just what I needed right now.

The easter primroses were well worth it, but sadly most of my photos were poor.

At least the wind buffeted me home.

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#365daysofbiking – Coming around again

February 8th – While heading for Chasetown High Street, I recalled that the cemetery in Church Street always has excellent displays of purple and white crocuses at this time of year. Or maybe I was a shade to early.

It turned out this annual spectacle that comes around every spring is just starting. It’s gorgeous, beautiful and something I truly love.

Somehow, that fact that it’s in a cemetery makes it all the more lovely: The thought of a bright new spring coming forth from loss.

Give it a week or two and this will be truly stunning.

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#365daysofbiking – Just for me

February 7th – A test journey to work was tough, but so worth it: A stop for a break and a snack in Kings Hill Park rewarded me with gorgeous spring flowers.

It felt today, in that moment, that they’d made the extra special effort because they knew I was coming, that their admirer and champion was back.

Happily, the sun came too, and warmed my face.

Some things you just wish you could bottle for the darker days.

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#365daysofbiking – A new cat of Cathsill

February 7th – Passing through the appropriately named Catshill Junction on the canal near Anchor Bridge, a handsome, dapper puss on the far side of the canal.

I think he’s a new resident. I saw him a few days ago having a standoff with a tabby in the same spot. I’m also thinking I’ve seen him on the towpath side too, which may mean he’s jumping the canal at the toll narrows, or crossing at Anchor Bridge.

Whatever his status, he wasn’t too keen on me taking his picture!

A lovely cat, clearly. I look forward to seeing him more as the days lengthen and warm up.

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#365daysofbiking – Small but positive signs

February 6th – the signs of the nascent spring are all around in the little things. Grass starting to grow again. Snowdrops. Gorse flower. Spring flower shoots. Easter primroses.

And hazel catkins, which although we pass without thought generally, are actually really gorgeous if one studies them, closely.

Spring is in the air, and just a wee bit in my step too.

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#365daysofbiking – Out for a duck

February 6th – My wellbeing is steadily improving, and so is the weather. Finally, it’s seems like spring is on the way and summer might be a thing, too. It’s been a long winter.

I’m still building myself up gradually with rides increasing in length as my energy, and capacity to process food, improves.

It was nice to pause at the Clayhanger canal overflow and chat with the mallards. Unlike the swans, they aren’t fussy about the company they keep.

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#365daysofbiking – Better days

February 5th – My energy didn’t give out so I went full circle and attended to an errand in Walsall Wood.

I passed under the Black Cock Bridge, named after the nearby pub. A familiar if ramshackle affair, the bridge has been lifted several times due to subsidence and now exists in a sort of limbo: It’s not got much life left, yet replacement of the structure, on a notorious rat-run, would not be easy and due to the aforementioned subsidence, would probably be better and an under bridge with and aqueduct above.

I suspect eventually it will be closed to through traffic and left, like Hollanders Bridge further up in Walsall Wood.

It’s seen better days, as have I, but I hope there’s a few more to come yet for me. For the first time in weeks, I feel like there might actually be a summer eventually, and wellness might once again be mine.

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