BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bad weather’

#365daysofbiking Conical

November 30th – Chasetown has Christmas lights for the first time in a long while too, which is nice to see. Oddly though, their two Christmas trees (which appear identical, which must be a clue to their origin) are artificial, conical arrangements covered in some kind of canvas.

There’s one at usual near the former police station, and one outside the new offices of Chasetown Civil Engineering.

They’re interesting things, not entirely sure I like them but they are very striking.

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#365daysofbiking Fade from grey

November 30th – A misty, murky day definitely not conducive to good photography. It had been very frosty, but by the time I had change to get out with time on my hands, the frost had gone.

I had business in Burntwood and went via Chasewater and Brownhills Common – the dam looked really eerie in the fog. Spiderwebs on gorse caught water droplets and became precious.

A cold, grey but starkly beautiful day.

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#365daysofbiking All kinds of wrong

November 28th – For once, the trains weren’t too bad.  It was, of course, still a rain-sodden day and I was tired and wanting to be home.

I stood and waited and took three shots of what I could see: The exaggerated perspective and vanishing points – the people, crowding tensely but oddly patient – the train, engorging with people wanting to be home like me – the sleek, dripping machines waiting peacefully beneath their feast of wire.

New Street Station is still, and probably always be a conundrum to me. I both adore it, and loathe it. It’s like a bad mother to me: It may be all kinds of wrong, but it’s still mine.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting to fall

November 27th – In contrast to the cotoneaster, nobody seems to want the sour, hard crab apples growing just up the way from them.

The leaves on the tree have nearly all fallen, and so has most of the fruit, which lies on the ground rotting, untouched even by foxes.

I wonder how bad the winter would have to be before these were eaten by something?

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#365daysofbiking Dark is the night

November 25th – Returning home, I took the canal from Walsall Wood, but the towpath was horribly waterlogged and muddy, so I headed back towards the Anchor Bridge to get to High Street.

I was struck by the almost ethereal appearance of the pub, it’s reflection in the canal and the effect of the mist gathering on the water.

It was very, very dark, but so very beautiful too.

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#365daysofbiking Level pegging

November 24th – At some point between last week and this, Chasewater’s level increased and it overtopped the spillway weir, but now is sits a couple of inches below this, yet the canal valve remains closed off. How could it be so?

I remembered there is a small valve-controlled weir bypass sluice in the back of the 9-Foot embankment, and for the first time ever, it was open. I’m not altogether clear why.

Releasing water into the full canal would mean loading the Ford Brook/Tame waterway through Walsall and Birmingham via the overflow system, so releasing to the spillway would mean the water goes via the crane brook to meet the Tame near Tamworth, which would be better. I suppose using the sluice allows the dropping of the level of the main reservoir in a much more controlled fashion and creates buffer space if necessary.

It’s very unusual and I don’t think I’ve seen this approach in the seven years since Chasewater was refilled.

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#365daysofbiking Damper and dampers

November 23rd – Another headache-grey wet day, with a better ride out than expected. I drifted over to Chasewater in the constant drizzle to visit the model shop there, and then went up the causeway to the North Heath.

With barely a soul around, and it actually being quite warm, it gave me chance to take in the misty, grey atmosphere that Chaewater can and does wear so very well.

I studied the power lines with their anti-harmonic and anti-gallop dampers, and wondered at the stress – both mechanical and electrical – they must be under in conditions like these.

And in the scrub and marsh there was muted colour – but colour all the same – in the foliage of the heather and marshgrass, and the marcescent  oaks that pepper the ridge.

The fresh air felt good in my lungs and I’m starting to not mind the rain either – the sort of meteorological Stockholm syndrome one only gets at the end of winter or during very wet summers.

Some cold weather might be nice, though.

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#365daysofbiking Little lights alive

November 22nd – Another horribly wet day. I returned to Brownhills at dusk and the whole town was sodden and grey, but for one thing: The Christmas lights had gone up, and this year they’re rather lovely, I have to say.

In fact, I did notice a light and reflection theme in my photos for the journey home which was unintentional but clearly on my mind.

Oh, for a few dry days though…

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#365daysofbiking Getting the bird

November 17th – Another rain sodden day. I know this is getting repetitive if you read these posts in series, but this is seriously what life here is like at the moment. It’s been so wet for weeks now that I’ve stopped grumbling at having to go out in it; it’s just a sort of a new normal.

The state of this is weird.

Down in Brownhills on a shopping trip, a wander over to the canalised for a loop over to Walsall Wood. The birds here – gulls, mallards, swans, geese and more – didn’t seem as tired of the rain as me, but they did seem a bit fractious. Maybe they were missing human feeding, which on a normal Sunday would be almost constant here.

I notice the goose with the white feathers on it’s head is still around. It’ll be interesting to track it over the winter, and see if it mates or if the colour discrepancy renders it an outsider…

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#365daysofbiking Crawling up a hill

November 16th – Another wet and grey day, another errand: I had to pop over to Shenstone and then to Lichfield at teatime. The wind was hell coming home and the rain sporadic. It wasn’t;t a great ride if I’m honest.

Coming back up the A461 to Shire Oak over the Summerhill motorway bridge, since there was a break in the rain, I tried a long exposure with the G5X. Interesting result, but I needed more traffic – unlikely at this time on a Saturday, to be honest.

With the wind against me, rain starting and no fuel in my tank (I’d forgotten to eat during the day) the ride uphill was not nice.

Still, it was nice to get home.

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