#365daysofbiking Death throes:
November 20th – In Redditch, just like everywhere else I guess, Autumn is in it’s death throes now. Winter is on my shoulder and it was cold, and on the way home, wet too. It’s not yet frosty, but there’s a characteristic bite in the air that finds every sensitive tooth when you first step out.
Rolling along the Arrow Valley through the park to visit a customer, the river and meadows were still gorgeous. But you can tell it’s ending now. Another week or so and winter will be here.
But also, it’s only a little over a month now until the shortest day. A month. Then darkness will be in retreat once more.
Onwards. I’m ready now.
November 11th – After the traditional act of Remembrancem I spoon out late afternoon. its been a sad few weeks and I needed a decent restorative and where better than Abraham’s Valley on Cannock Chase at dusk?
The colours of the heath and forest were gorgeous, and the riding fast and easy. My mood was lifted dramatically.
Returning via Rugeley and the backlands of London after nightfall was also unexpectedly pleasurable.
Despite everything, there’s still very little that’s better than a good ride out when you’re down.
#365daysofbiking Colour me surprised:
November 10th – A late afternoon round trip to Aldridge and back to Pelsall was started along the canal, and in the dying afternoon light autumn had caught the trees of Walsall Wood on fire.
The autumn colour has been unusually and surprisingly vivid this year. This was absolutely beautiful.
November 8th – Heading to work on a damp, drizzly morning, autumn was still doing it’s best to lift me out of my doldrums. Still down, feeling the pressure at work and not over the end of summer, my commute was hard and tiring.
However, Green Lane looked gorgeous and improved my mood no end.
#365daysofbiking Darker now:
November 6th – Today was another day distant, so I felt proportionately better. Still in Redditch, the morning was dull but I headed down through Arrow Valley Park and was rewarded with the most beautiful autumn display; the colours were gorgeous and I was reminded that even when we’re desperately sad, nature is still doing stuff just to try and grab out attention and make us happy.
#365daysofbiking Sensations in the dark:
November 3rd – The Saturday closest to November the 5th is usually busier than Bonfire Night itself, and this year was no exception. Coming back from shopping in Lichfield, I was getting used once more to rural cycling darkness, and found Aldershawe Lodge’s lights charming in the darkness.
Further towards Wall though, a huge bonfire in a field, fireworks and the sound of fun, one of several on this windy, cold night ride home.
#365daysofbiking The world spins, me a apart of it:
November 1st – My worry was misplaced. I had good news from the hospital, and rode gently back, taking in the air which with my inbuilt mood filter switched off, was now sunny and cheering.
What better time to enjoy the parks of Darlaston, Victoria and Kings Hill? What better time to sit and appreciate the leaves, the dog walkers, the birds and my beloved Black Country?
It made a change to have lightness in my heart. That’s been a rare thing of late.
November 1st – I’m running behind at the moment, please bear with me.
I had to go to the hospital for an appointment, and went from work mid morning. I was apprehensive, tense, and sad. I looked back down the Walsall Canal from where I came and noticed the curious, dull sunlight on the yellowing trees.
I felt the very chill of autumn in my bones there and then. However beautiful, autumn is always, always melancholy.
October 31st – Passing Victoria Park on Station Road, Darlaston on a beautiful day on the cusp between autumn and winter I’m reminded how lovely this place really is.
I’ll never tire of that view of the Mystic Bridge and the leaves turning.
Summer may be long since gone but there is still plenty of beauty around.
October 30th – My peaceful retreat Kings Hill Park is looking gorgeous in it’s autumn palette right now and I’m really enjoying it.
Sadly, the flowers haven’t been so good this year, and I fear cost cutting at Walsall Council may have been to blame, but none of that detracts from the essential beauty of this peaceful, beautiful urban oasis, where I often stop, separate myself from the workaday stress and have a brew and a think.
This place will always be mine, whatever the season.