BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bad weather’

#365daysofbiking Inhaling green

August 16th – Another place I love is Kings Hill Park in Darlaston, one of Walsall’s little known, minor parks.

Sadly in the last couple of years it’s not had the maintenance it formerly had, with resources going to the borough’s ‘Green Flag’ parks instead: We no longer get the planters maintained as beautifully, and the attention to upkeep is more cursory.

However it’s still beautiful and has some gorgeous flowers – just not so many as it did, sadly.

To be here, seeking space from work on a wet, blustery summer day, in peace and quiet with industry just metres away, is bliss. You can stand here, take five and just inhale the green.

A beautiful park, a credit to the town and those who care for it, but it needs more resources sparing for it.

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#365daysofbiking Berry wet

August 14th – On Clayhanger Common, the elderberries are ripening slowly. These beautiful, tiny back berries, beloved of winemakers for centuries make a great home brew red wine that’s known for potency and taste.

Elderberries always look beautiful in the rain and are a lovely indicator of a fruitful season ahead.

Although I’d personally not gather these particular ones due to the history of their location, I’ll be out gathering others for a relative when the time comes, continuing a family ritual that’s gone on for decades, if not centuries.

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#365daysofbiking Fancy an Indian?

August 14th – The awful summer continues, with heavy rain for most of the day. Returning from work soaking and miserable, I rode up a deserted Brownhills High Street.

I have no idea what we did to deserve this summer – it’s been grim. Yes, we’ve had good days, but I’ve not been able to get out for a long ride for weeks.

Let’s hope we get an Indian summer to at least compensate a little.

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#365daysofbiking A heritage of bridge-building?

August 9th – Back in Telford following morning rain, the new footbridge linking the railway station with the town centre seems to be confused about it’s role: is it a swimming pool or a ‘State of the art facility any town should be proud of’ as one fan of this bizarrely dysfunctional bit of civil engineering recently chided me on Twitter.

In recent weeks, someone has drilled holes in the bridge deck to drain the water. They just clog up and it still floods.

And besides, that water just swamps the platform below.

This bridge is an awful design and has no rainwater control measures whatsoever. And it cost 10 million quid.

Telford, your emperor is stark, bollock naked.

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#365daysofbiking Wetter than an otter’s pocket

July 30th – Tuesday was another washout: It rained on me on the way to work, and on the way home. It seems to do little else at the moment, bad weather is perched upon the Midlands summer like a vulture.

l experienced the heaviest rains I’ve ridden in for years; the roads were rivers and I headed home in fear and soaked through to the skin.

On the canal near Catshill Junction, the Canada geese didn’t seem to care. I loved the wee fellow seemingly sitting on his backside.

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#365daysofbiking It’ll all wash down when it rains

July 28th – If Saturday’s weather had been poor, on Sunday it was atrocious – the rain just didn’t stop all day. I was low, everything was on top of me and I’d had enough. I went up Walsall Wood to see friend who was out then I called; I went to pick up a takeaway. They were closed for summer holidays.

I dripped and squelched back to Brownhills. I was wet. The town was wet. Everything was wrong.

This was certainly a lost weekend. But maybe not quite as bad as Lloyd Cole’s. At least there was no hotel bill…

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#365daysofbiking Just nuts

July 27th – A miserable Saturday of work, bad weather and not getting done what I planned to. My health wasn’t great, either. I headed out to Chasewater in the evening but nothing was inspiring in the dull, overbearing grey.

I did note however one thing – we have an excellent hazelnut crop this year; and this tree at Chasewater I’ve never noticed before was absolutely laden with nuts.

Wonder if the squirrels might leave a few to ripen for the humans this year?

That thought, at least, made me smile.

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#365daysofbiking Going for gold

July 20th – A day of maintenance, work interruptions and grim weather. I spun out mid afternoon into the wind for a run over to Burntwood on an errand.

As summer advances, the greens of the hedgerows and woodlands are darker and more weary, and the fields are now turning gold for harvest.

How quickly this year is passing. But the summer is still beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking A face as long as Livery Street

July 19th – I was in Birmingham for the afternoon on a grey, wet afternoon. The riding wasn’t great but the city was as charming as ever.

On days like this you can really see the origins of the local saying ‘You’ve a face as long as Livery Street!’ – you’d never know it was cut in two by Great Charles Street Queensway and actually traversing the full street is quite a challenge.

I’m also amazed by the transition of the failed fountain ‘The floozy in the jacuzzi’ in Victoria Square into a beautiful flower bed. Civic fountains never seem to last long – Walsall’s and earlier Centenery Square water features are long dry, and this one continued to leak despite months of work to rectify it.

The lavender that grows there now, together with the other beautiful flowers are a credit to those that tend them and amazingly, the transition works beautifully.

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#365daysofbiking Groovy, man


June 26th – Weeks of commuting in rain and grim weather are taking their toll on my brakes. Thinking I’d be in for a decent spell, I replaced the brake discs and pads on this bike in early spring.

Now it’s the end of June and they’re groovier than a 1970s Parisian jazz club.

The bikes are suffering: Corrosion, road grime, grit. This weather is eating my bikes.

A bit of sun and dryness isn’t too much to ask, is it?

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