BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#365daysofbiking Timeless

May 22nd – It’s been a week of wonderful views, that started very much on a downer, but the restorative power of sunshine and landscape really improved my mental and physical wellbeing.

Riding around Shenstone and Stonnall in a sunny, listless golden hour I crossed Footherly Brook as I have for many years using the hump-back bridge on Gravelly Lane.

Something about the light, atmosphere and my mental state combined, and I stood there transfixed for a good few minutes, just drinking in the atmosphere.

I have seen this view in rain, hail, snow, sunshine, dusk, dawn, noon and the dead of night. It remains, and always will be, utterly timeless to me.

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#365daysofbiking As the light begins to fade

May 13th – I have come to the conclusion over the years that my favourite time of day in summer is the hour or so straddling sunset. The twilight time is when the wildlife starts to stir, when people drift home and the landscape shimmers in the evening cool.

I headed back from Chasewater to Brownhills as the light was fading, and was reminded of how beautiful the canal is here: The green overhanging trees, the reflections and peaceful separation from the road traffic.

If the saying is true that it’s always five o’clock somewhere, then it must always be twilight somewhere in my heart, too.

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#365daysofbiking – Back to earth

April 28th – The welcome warm, dry spell ended with a crash with a very cold-feeling day and seemingly endless rain. But it is still only April.

On a sodden evening exercise ride, I rolled and splashed up the towpath – mercifully quiet – and noted the very beginnings of a surface-air inversion, with barely perceptible rolls of mist sweeping along the canal. Sadly the wind was a little to strong for it to persist.

I suppose the water was probably warmer than the air by a tad.

It is lovely though to see the green return though, even on such a grey, wet day.

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#365daysofbiking – Silken

April 25th – In recent days I recorded the the female flowering of the sallow trees in Walsall Wood. At the Old Cement Works Bridge in Brownhills, the catkins are starting to go to seed.

The spines of the flower heads split and curl away, releasing the downy, silken fluff inside, each one attached to a tiny seed, easily carried long distances on the wind or any moving thing.

A fascinating and beautiful mechanism that will see the area around these trees soon coated in fluffy down.

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#365daysofbiking Going green

March 10th – On a brighter evening, on a better day than the previous Sunday, I was returning home along the canal and passed the same Victorian former railway bridge I’d admired yesterday.

Unlike then, in the gloom and darkness of a bad day, today it looked green, fresh, uplifting and springlike. The narrowboat nearby gave the scene a jigsaw like quality and in that moment, the whole thing was beautiful and the problems of the world were miles away.

What a difference a day or so can make.

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#365daysofbiking Wet and quiet

March 8th – I pottered back down the canal to Brownhills. Thankfully, the toads seem to have disappeared, leaving behind wet, muddy and rather unpleasant towpaths.

The old railway bridge near Pelsall Road looked imposing and solid in the gloom.

One of the very few listed structures in Brownhills, it rots gently without the railway that once crossed it – now a cycling and walking trail called the McLean Way which is being created by (mainly elderly) volunteers and is a truly wonderful, community effort.

I guess we’ll never get the railway back – but McLean Way is certainly a great replacement.

In the wet and silence of a miserable Sunday night it was a warming thought.

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#365daysofbiking The geometrid

February 26th – Another rainy, grim day. As I returned home from work mercifully early (and of course, sunset is getting later at a pace now) I turned to look back across the Pier street Canal Bridge.

Peter Saville’s designs keep cropping up in my everyday life.

I loved the curves and vanishing points of this.Never really noticed it before.

There’s always something new, even in the most familiar places.

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#365daysofbiking Thorn at my side

February 22nd – On a potter to Brownhills, despite the awful weather spring is clearly getting on her throne with fine displays of blackthorn and other early blossom.

These trees by the Pier Street Bridge in Brownhills are putting on a fine display. In late summer there will be a fine crop of bullate and sloe here.

I get the feeling that nature is just waiting for a spot of good weather then everything will explode into leaf…

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#365daysofbiking Stuck in the mud

February 18th – One of the more grinding, miserable effects of the tremendously wet year so far has been the constant sea of mud that accompanies any off-road ride: From towpaths to cycleways, every journey is accompanied by damp and filth and the unpleasant, dogged drag through goop.

When things finally dry out a bit it will be so lovely.

But that feels a long way away right now.

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