BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#365daysofbiking Windswept and happy

Saturday March 27th 2021 – The long rides of summer are underway now, fittingly on the last day before British Summer Time starts.

The day was characterised by a very strong southwesterly,

There was some sun from time to time as I and a friend headed up the A515 to Hoar Cross, Newborough and over Marchington Cliff to Woodroffes, the lonely church on the hill overlooking the Dove valley and Uttoxeter.

From there, down to Uttoxeter itself, along the cycleway to Doveridge and over Roston Common to Ellastone and that gorgeous bridge on the frontier.

From Ellastone, the weather turned grey and rain periodically joined the harsh wind. But it didn’t matter: Up over the Weaver Hills at dusk, down Star Bank into Oakamoor and along Red Road on the Churnet Valley floor by night, listening to owls and enjoying the oddly now warming up air.

Home was via Bramshall, Loxley and Rugeley. A terrific ride of more than 80 miles that was totally enjoyable. Great to be back.

Interesting too was the Peli case we found chained to the guard rail by the Trent between Kings Bromley and Yoxall: An Environment Agency water quality monitor, it had sensors in the water, presumably monitoring particulate and runoff pollution from the demolition site of Rugeley Power Station. Great to see.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/3u7w1sq
via IFTTT

 

#365daysofbiking It’s all going on

Friday March 19th 2021 – Crossing Chasewater on a dull Friday with raindrops on the wind threatening a soaking that thankfully, never materialised, I stopped on the motorway bridge and looked down to the lake.

It was good to note the emergence of the leaves on the trees in the copses and hedgerows flanking Pool Lane. It didn’t feel like spring, but it was certainly coming.

Busily, quietly, the time of renewal is getting underway – it’s all going on.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/3fcJQl4
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Light less

Tuesday January 2th 2021 – The snow hung round and was still quite fresh looking – unusual for snowfalls here, which can be heavy, but rarely last long when down.

Coming home on the canal, I thought I’d try my old muse Clayhanger Bridge in the snow. For some reason I’m having real trouble getting this bridge at night with the current camera. I just don’t think the software in the device knows what to do with the image.

It still came out well though, although much darker than I expected.

I can see that with this camera, I still have lots to learn.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/3tHUYvc
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Abridged

Friday January 15th 2021 – Just hopping on the canal on the way home from work, I turned to look behind me at the bridge whose challenging climb I was avoiding by taking the towpath of the canal it crosses.

The Black Cock bridge – comedically named after the nearby pub – has suffered subsidence in the early part of its current incarnation and is still monitored closely for cracks and fissures. It’s approaches are now dangerously steep, and a later footbridge has been added alongside to accommodate pedestrians.

I don’t think in it’s current form this sore abused, but not yet dead bridge will survive long now. I suspect it’s fate may be similar to Hollanders Bridge further up the Line in Walsall Wood – renovated in the 80s with a lightweight metal deck and blocked to vehicular traffic.

It’s a fascinating bridge with a remarkable history, it really is.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/39HG66F
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Hardened

Wednesday December 30th 2020 – I was less keen to ride far today – overnight the partially thawing snow had frozen solid, formed hard pack-ice and I needed to gently find out how the tyres I’m currently using – Continental Top Contact II Winter – would cope.

I needn’t have worried. Not as good as studs, but perfectly acceptable without the noise and rolling resistance. A run up the canal and back through Clayhanger after night fell was enough to find out what I needed.

I think I can happily commute on these now.

The canal is partially frozen – about a IC2 on the Dra Marland canal scale.

Be nice if we had a real snowfall, I think. We’re due a really cold winter.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/38VUdFb
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Sensations in the dark


Boxing Day Saturday December 26th 2020 – Unusually, we’d had a family walk in the morning, in the Needwood Valley and around Hoar Cross, which was lovely but grey and very muddy. So instead of the usual Boxing Day afternoon blowout, I grabbed my pal and we headed back to The Slough and Old Cement Works bridge to try the new camera on the canal scenes there.

From the eeriness of the former railway trail in nothing but bike headlight, to the pool of spilled illumination on the canal footpath near the Jolly Collier Bridge, it was great fun.

A storm was coming in and the cellphone masts rattled and whistled in the wind. The whole ride filled the senses and felt edgy and intense.

The results speak for themselves. This camera loves low light. That’s the first digital camera in 22 years experience I can truly say that about.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2LdqEXC
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Thank god that’s over with

Wednesday December 23rd 2020 – The end of work for another year, and surprisingly late. I normally aim to finish at least a week before, to better enjoy the build up to Christmas, but this year, with so much shut and not happening, little point but to stay at work.

I did, however, feel relieved it was over. It’s been a long, hard autumn-winter period, and at least from now the evenings would open out and the days become lighter.

As I crossed the Silver Street Bridge I glanced back, and felt my solitude in the dark, and quiet. This pandemic year has been a hideous, scary, awful year at work.

Thank god it’s over with.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/34Z3bk0
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking The changing skyline

Thursday December 17th 2020 – Another classic muse for me in winter is the view from Catshill Junction Bridge towards Brownhills, over the wide of the junction to the new flats in the foreground.

When I started this journal, only the tower block to the left was here and the rest was mostly derelict scrub, cleared of a large tower block in 2004.

As the years passed, new housing appeared and the skyline has totally changed – you used to be able to stand here in a feeling of solitude, but not anymore. Humanity is close now: You can smell cooking, cigarettes. Hear chatter, TVs and kids playing.

The skyline has changed, for the better, and I think makes for a more interesting photo. But I do miss the solitude a bit.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/2WZt7au
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Dark light

Monday December 14th 2020 – I have no idea why, but sometimes, just sometimes, there’s a strange twilight that conveys not light, but darkness. It happens at dusk, often with low, patchy cloud on days that have been changeable.

The light takes on an almost oily quality. The view here is normally fairly open over the canal to Clayhanger Bridge, but this evening’s light, in it’s contrast and dingy shadow, make it look confined and closed.

I’ve no idea what this is technically about, but it’s fascinating.

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/38PRSvl
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Halfway up the junction

Tuesday December 1st 2020 – As you come up Green Lane from Shelfield at night, through the darkness of Green Lane, you come to a small hamlet at the foot of the Black Cock Bridge, the bridge itself being named after the pub on its southern flank.

The hamlet is one of the oldest parts of Walsall Wood, once known as Bullings Heath, but now just part of the greater township. Bullings Heath itself stretches on up Hall Lane, and ends at the junction with the Lichfield Road in an area of factories and industrial units that were once the site of a sprawling slum formed largely of canal workers and ex-navvies.

The junction between Hall Lane and Green Lane sits somewhat oddly halfway up the slope of the bridge, now accentuated due to mining subsidence, but always pronounced.

Looking down it at night gives a wonderful village feeling, and you could be in almost any rural community.

I often thought about the dairy farm in Hall Lane, whose buildings and great barn are still extant – and how the carter must have cursed at having to drive his horse uphill to go back down immediately when going to Shelfield with his milk.

I often wonder how much milk got spilled there…

from Tumblr https://ift.tt/3pzMcfR
via IFTTT