BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bad weather’

#365daysofbiking Here comes the flood

February 16th – A truly dreadful day which saw a huge amount of rain and high winds. Overnight, lots of local roads flooded and there was much damage.

I ventured out after dark, and noted that the lower meadow at Clayhanger Common was doing it’s usual job. It had flooded, storing the water from the canal and local drains that would previously have swamped the village.

Instead, the landscape forms a lake that slowly and safely drains, keeping Clayhanger dry.

The noise and spectacle of this rushing water is a sight to see, but a remarkable bit of landscape engineering.

I do hope the weather will improve soon.

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#365daysofbiking Stuck in the mud

February 15th – Another weekend, another storm, this time the more mundanely named Dennis.

Dennis was a sod though, bringing heavy rain and high wind.

Slipping out on a foul afternoon to get shopping I hit the saturated towpath to Burntwood. An attempt to plough has been made at Home Farm, Sandhills and seemingly abandoned due to muddiness.

The wind howled and rain sang on the surface of the water.

The only bright spot was the Millfield Commemorative Stones – over 130 of them – that had been driven over by a Canal and River Trust contractor – have been lovingly recovered, washed and placed back in position by local man Micheal Newton Turner, who saw my blog post on the matter.

I sent him an Amazon voucher to thank him for his hard, selfless work.

Brightness in unexpected places is always a joy.

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#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 – 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 The twilight hour

January 28th – I was due to have a medical procedure next day.I’d left work early so I could make a start and prepare – I had medicine to take soon which meant I wouldn’t be able to stray far from home for long for a while, so a quick loop up the canal to Newtown and back.

At Ogley Junction, the scenery was stark and bleak as night descended.

I like this spot normally. Admittedly, far nicer on a sunny, warm day, but tonight it left me feeling empty and tired.

Perhaps it was the anxiousness for the following day kicking in – I couldn’t really tell.

The twilight hour can be such an unreliable friend.

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#365daysofbiking Bending the light

January 25th – The mist still hadn’t lifted, and in fact it seemed to be becoming more dense.

I’d been over to Burntwood for an errand, and came back via Chasewater after dark, getting some shopping in on the way. As I rattled down the bumpy north shore path where it runs between the Rugby Club and Chasetown Bypass, concerned for the fragility of my purchases, I noticed the curving ‘wall of light’ effect of the streetlights on the fog, bending away from me like I was repelling it.

It was one of those moments when an unexpected, mundane scene caught a unique light and became precious.

Like Clayhanger did  a few days before. Low cloud does have its benefits, I guess.

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#365daysofbiking Diffuse

January 23rd – The murk continued through the next day, too, and it was beginning to get on my chest. Cycling in it, with it’s grim cocktail of traffic fumes, damp, road spray and smog is not inspiring.

However, I had to nip up to Coppice Side on the way home to see a pal. As I crossed the old Jolly Collier bridge, the urban lights and mist combined to make something special.

The diffuse glow of the gas discharge lamps suddenly made a very ordinary place extraordinary, and I was captivated.

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#365daysofbiking Mist but not missed


January 22nd – This is a very strange winter we’re having. I hope spring and summer prove more traditional. It’s not really been very cold, but it’s been horrendously wet. I’m so used to rain now that it barely surprises or bothers me, and I think I’m developing a love of it, like some weird meteorological Stockholm syndrome.

At the moment, the warm damp is masquerading as a heavy, cloying mist-drizzle that’s settled here for the best part of a week, really. It’s grimy and horrible to ride in, and is also keeping the fumes and smell down from the local landfills and industry, making the whole atmosphere feel dirty and polluted.

Leaving Bloxwich station I passed a couple of the town’s many backstreet boozers: The venerable Romping Cat, as classic a Black Country pub as one could find, and the more boisterous Spotted Cow, which despite a chequered history, hangs on as a popular local’s pub.

In the murky, nasty mist they looked beautifully warm and welcoming. I could have slipped in there and then for a pint.

But this wasn’t 1995, and that isn’t the current version of me. So I admired these watering holes from the street, remembered fondly long gone days with workmates and their many, many post-work pints, then rode home.

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#365daysofbiking Lighting the way

January 19th – A murky, misty, unpleasant day really. It was cold, and although the sun threatened to come through, it never really did here which was a disappointment.

I pottered around Brownhills and Chasewater, looking for good photos but the light was much worse than I was expecting it to be. But there were some good shots.

I was expecting it to make me feel better today, and for once, it didn’t.

Days like today make spring seem a very long way off.

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