BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bad weather’

#365daysofbiking Stars on earth

October 1st – I had to go to have a medical procedure, so I was out in a rainy dawn on a quick spin to get the ride in for the day.

On Clayhanger Common, a first for the year: Earthstar fungus.

This remarkable, almost unreal looking fungi grows quite widely now but was once a rarity, and there are lots on Clayhanger Common from now until Christmas.

They work like puffballs, and the central sphere pops releasing it’s spores to the wind.

They always look like plasticine to me. Beautiful, curious things.

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#365daysofbiking Suckback

September 30th – The first commute in darkness and bad weather of the autumn is always a shock, and this one was dreadful.

The Suck – the name for the gradually darkening, dangerous and unpleasant evening commutes up until Christmas – is a harrowing time.

A combination of bad weather, drivers unused to otherwise familiar journeys now in darkness and lack of patience make for a psychologically and physically difficult time to be on a bike.

It had taken a good ten minutes longer to grind home – and I was still a good way away. I was wet, cold and had a number of very close passes despite lights and hi-vis.

If I could just fast forward to Christmas when the light creeps back and people have settled down, that would be great cheers.

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#365daysofbiking Breakfast run

September 29th – Sunday was a very rainy day. The forecast was bad so just a short run out in the early morning before things worsened.

Found under trees on Brownhills Common, a decent crop of blumels, or shaggy ink caps.

Picked carefully and popped in a cotton bag, I dashed home and had them fried for breakfast, a real autumn treat.

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#365daysofbiking Striking shrooms

September 24th – Passing by the memorial gardens in Bloxwich on my way home, a bright flash on a damp tree stop caught my eye.

Stopping and rolling back, some remarkable toadstools growing there. They look almost like tiger bread, and were brighter than even honey fungus. I have no idea what they are and haven’t had chance yet to look them up.

Remarkably beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Slightly unreal

September 23nd – Another late night at work and there was little for it but to grab a takeaway on the way home – and thin pickings on a Monday meant calling in at Walsall Wood.

The rain had been back and I managed to tuck the homeward commute in-between periods of rain.

I thought I’d give the phone a chance to display it’s prowess with it’s lauded night mode on St John’s Church, Walsall Wood.

Oh my goodness.

This is odd. I’m not sure if I like it. There’s a lot – and awful lot – of HDR there. It seems almost unnaturally sharp. But it’s visually stunning. I have no idea what to make of this at all.

Close up the quality is not great, I have to say. These images were ever destined for social media though, and I’m being way too critical.

But blimey, there’s a thing to experiment with…

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#365daysofbiking Washed out, wet and sad – a wasted journey

September 22nd – I’ve always enjoyed Tipton Canal and Community festival, and while at work on the Sunday morning, I decided to visit that one rather than Huddlesford as it was closer when I finished work around lunchtime.

The weather so far had been grey, but as I left Darlaston with a friend, it was only spotting with rain – and hey, we had waterproofs and enthusiasm. After all, I went last year on the Saturday. It pissed down all the time I was there but the atmosphere had been great and it was actually really fun.

I’d checked with the organisers online that all was still happening.

And then we arrived. What a disappointment.

Most of the boats had gone, or were closed up. Most of the stallholders were either packing up, or were not there. The rain was steady, but not terrible. There were few folk around. I have to say – and any reader here for more than 5 minutes knows I’m a positive person – It was bloody awful. It was barely 1pm – halfway through what was specified as an all afternoon event.

We bought ice creams from an almost apologetic ice cream man, listened to singers on the live stage with only their parents and us watching. We mooched around the few stalls and rides left. We were thoroughly dejected – we’d wasted a journey here.

The only really bright spot was the Master Butchers, a duo playing determinedly and with good humour to a tiny number of fans. I so felt for them, like the folk on the stage.

I know the forecast was bad. But where was the Black Country, British spirit of damn the weather? At several events this year I’ve felt that all of a sudden this country can’t do bad weather and the first bit of rain sees people go home. So sad. Tipton is a town I love and care for, and this event is a highlight of the year. What on earth went wrong?

As we stood deciding what to do next, the rain petered out. We shrugged, checked the online weather, and made for Birmingham and a bit of canal exploration to make the best of a sad afternoon.

So far it had just not been my weekend.

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#365daysofbiking Darkening skies

September 14th – I left in the afternoon after a bad morning at work and a day of family errands and hassle.

Heading up to Chasewater on the canal, the skies were overcast and dark and matched my mood beautifully.

Autumn is starting to come now to my favourite local views over Home Farm to Sandhills, Hammerwich and the local canal. Nothing can stop it, and as usual, after the initial horror of summer’s end, I’m getting to love it.

But some peace and quiet would be nice…

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#365daysofbiking Rainy days and…

August 28th – A grim day at work when nothing worked, and a wet journey home.

Today was not a good day. But the weather and rain were warm, and the wind favourable.

Squelching on the Canal up to the High Street it felt very much like autumn. Although I always dread the season, I always give in and adore it in the end.

But the thought of the dark nights does so get me down.

Still, it’s not been a bad summer.

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#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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