BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#365daysofbiking Corny

June 10th – The rain was almost totally constant as I came home from work and hit the muddy canal to avoid the traffic.

With little inspiration in the grey, horrible day, my eye was caught by a single splash of blue and purple in the scrub by the towpath by Clayhnager bridge – a gorgeous, bedraggled and solitary cornflower.

I keep saying this but it’s true – there is brightness to be found in even the most awful days.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2IG4Bnx
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Nursery tales

June 8th – The weather cleared, so I left the fair and headed up to Honey Hill, No Mans Heath, Netherseal, Coton in the Elms, Walton and over to Barton for coffee – but from the rickety Walton Bridge, I watched a fascinating drama unfold.

Four adult Canada geese were shepherding their clutches as one group along the reedbeds at the edge of the Trent, foraging for food. It’s not uncommon for these geese to team up on parenting duties or mind each other’s chicks, but this group of nearly 30 is one of the largest I’ve ever witnessed. It was stunning – not least for the control exerted by the parents.

They guided the goslings upstream to an inlet to the west. I watched as they processed one by one and two by two into the side brook.

Then, a splash and a flash of red fur – a fox was waiting. There was a commotion, and Reynard fled empty mouthed, and the geese herded their young back into the main river. They appeared to be counting as they gathered the young birds into a tight, safe circle.

Fox had gone, his lunch thwarted by eagle eyed parents – or maybe goose eyed – and then normal business resumed as a human with food was spotted on the eastern bank.

I’ve never seen anything like it and had I not ventured out on a wet, miserable Saturday, I probably never would have.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2RcQCt4
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking A taste of honey

June 6th – On the way home, I noticed the handsome, sprawling honeysuckle that grows along the railings on the southern flank of the Black Cock Bridge in Walsall Wood are in full bloom now.

Sadly, someone will be along to clip this back like a hedge soon, they always do when in flower and that always puzzles me.

It remains lovely though, and it tumbles down the embankment in the pasture below, a haven for bees, bugs and passing cyclists who adore the scent.

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2WDM8Ng
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Locked out

May 21st – On a late journey to work following a meeting near home earlier, I tried to get on the canal at Smith’s Flour Mill, on the New Walsall Ring Road – but I was thwarted by…. A flood.

I’ve noticed this happen here before: Someone leaves both paddles open on the lock above and I don’t think the overflow sluice next down the line – the lowest in the Birchills flight – can handle it. As a consequence, the pound between floods under the bridge.

The cause  appeared to be inexperienced boaters who were in the lock above, looking a bit helpless.

I contacted the Canal and River Trust local team who came and sorted things out.

At least it should clean some of the detritus of the path under the bridge…

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2VZS4F2
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Chilled out

May 18th – On a quiet afternoon following the busy and better than expected Brownhills canal festival (pictures on my main blog here) I slipped out for a circuit of Brownhills after some mechanical fine tuning.

It was grey, but warm and pleasant with little wind. My favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhills visible as a landmark across the fields from Catshill is in blossom. Such a joy to see. Bet there will be a good crop of conkers this year.

Further up, the mystery family of swans that appear to have nested beyond public sight near Freeth Bridge, Newtown were resting in a canalside garden – family of 8 clearly doing well. Lovely.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2HqBULJ
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Major artery

May 12th – Another long ride out exploring west towards Coven, Brewood and Lapley, on a bad, but not awful stomach was hard work, but I’d decided to revisit Lower Avenue, site of the astounding bridge of the major canal artery, the Shropshire Union Canal.

I wasn’t disappointed and it was worth the effort.

The bridge – built for access to Chillington Hall was originally part of a long, well maintained avenue of trees now split into upper and lower; lower is publicly accessible and now woodland with this stunning centrepiece, giving an air of genteel decline.

I dropped down on to the canal below and rode to Lapley, crossing the Telford-constructed Stretton Aqueduct. The view of this beautiful, limpid green waterway were wonderful, soothing and very enjoyable.

At this time of year, Staffordshire is at it’s finest. Get out there if you can.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2W1EZdo
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Demolition, man

April 20th – I didn’t think anything could annoy me on such a beautiful day. I didn’t counter for the absolute jobsworthyness of Derby County Council employees at their most officious.

At Longcliffe near Brassington, in an accident with a too-tall HGV the previous Wednesday a bridge had been completely wiped out under the High Peak Trail – clearly not the fault of the authority who moved quickly to make it safe and fence off the danger.

On this sunny holiday Saturday, the trail was busy with riders enjoying the sun. Was there a posted diversion? Was there heck. Nothing. Asking at the trail centre at Middleton Top I was told ‘I’m sorry I’m not allowed to offer advice on bypass routes’ immediately after them asking if the y could help me.

At the site itself, an officious, pompous man from the council informed me that there was absolutely no way around and I should go back from where I came. Looking at the map I found an easy public right of way off the trail and a way back on a couple of hundred yards further up.

Derbyshire Country Council, the High Peak Trail is one of your tourist earners. Cyclists come from miles around to ride it. Had this been a road, a diversion would be in place within an hour. On this you were rude, unhelpful, officious and useless.

Get a grip.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2UVESjP
via IFTTT

#365daysofbiking Going green

April 12th – Returning home was hard tonight. Tired, into the wind, and again, that biting, horrible windchill finding every slightly undone zip and gap in clothing. I ached, my body was weary and mentally, I was on my limits.

Just to get out of the traffic and find a bit of peace, I took to the canal between the Black Cock Bridge and Pier Street. Resting a while at Catshill Junction, I noticed how much greener everything was.

I was nearing home. Rest, food, and copious mugs of tea were within sight. Spring is carrying on despite the cold and it’s going to be gorgeous when the warmth finally arrives.

This journal is moving home. Please find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr http://bit.ly/2UvtSt8
via IFTTT