BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#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.

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#365daysofbiking Quiet and still

April 6th – Nipping up to Chasewater after a day of bike maintenance and cleaning. It was a dull but clear afternoon that felt more like late October than April. Still cold, at Ogley Junction it felt very quiet and still.

I note the factories were quiet too – unusual really – they used to run right over the weekends. I hope this isn’t a sign of trouble ahead.

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#365daysofbiking Haunted

March 30th – I had to nip to Walsall at noon. I was tired from a very demanding week, but the weather was nice and the riding surprisingly easy.

I don’t mind Walsall these days – I long ago resolved my conflict with my memories and learned to embrace the place anew. It’s never been a bad town. It’s just that many who live here hate it because it isn’t the same as when they were young.

Of course it isn’t – all places change, and what folk resent is not the change in the town, but the change in themselves, I find.

I pushed my bike up Church Hill and admired the view, I plodded around the town below aimlessly but enjoying it immensely. I stopped for coffee in the sun. Then out on the canal to call at Sainsburys in Reedswood, where I noticed the last (nearly) whole remnant of Reedswood Power Station – the old pedestrian bridge over the long gone railway, now orphaned and fenced out of use between a pub and and the retail park.

Walsall is haunted by it’s own past, let alone the half-imagined one it has projected upon it.

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#365daysofbiking Feeling flush

 

 

March 11th – I had time to spare so hopped onto the restored canal at Droitwich for a mooch. Just under the railway bridges in the last entry, I noticed this relic of the Ordnance Survey.

Flush Bracket 480 is one of a range of such brackets intended as mapmaker’s datums, the slots in which were for mounting surveying equipment at a known datum – in this case 28.7490m above sea level (the Newlyn Datum).

Now redundant as cartographer’s aids, these are more a historical curiosity than anything else, but I still get a buzz from spotting them in the wild.

You can find out more about this one here.

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#365daysofbiking Just ice

January 23rd – The journey home was not so enjoyable. The snow had thawed, but it had gone cold again, and there was a lot of ice. I made an awful decision to try the canal between the Black Cock Bridge and Brownhills, and the towpath was barely ridable: The thawing snow had frozen hard and the problem was not the ice, but the ruts in it which were numerous when they took your wheel.

Almost worth it though for my regular muse Clayhanger Bridge at night, with a very different appearance for a change.

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#365daysofbiking Beautifully forged

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January 21st – Heading out for a meeting in Birmingham, I had a little extra time in the morning, so I rode to the station via the backlanes – taking me past Little Aston Forge.

The precarious hairpin bend and hump bridge here are a remarkable feature of the lane, and I’m surprised there are not more accidents.

The cottage and countryside here are beautiful though, I must say.

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#365daysofbiking The grey way

January 20th – The McClean Way, the trail that follows the former South Staffordshire Railway out of Walsall and is now being extended by volunteers up through Brownhills is beautiful, even on a cold, grey Sunday afternoon.

Clayhanger Marsh, which the trail is embanked above, was brooding and deathly quiet, and I didn’t;t see another soul. The only colour was from the graffiti on the old railway over bridge at the Wyrley and Essington Canal near the Pelsall Road.

This is a fairly unique bridge and is actually a listed structure. I note it’s had it’s number re-stencilled recently, indicating that Network Rail, the ultimate owners, still regard it as an asset.

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