BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘bridge’

#365daysofbiking – Better days

February 5th – My energy didn’t give out so I went full circle and attended to an errand in Walsall Wood.

I passed under the Black Cock Bridge, named after the nearby pub. A familiar if ramshackle affair, the bridge has been lifted several times due to subsidence and now exists in a sort of limbo: It’s not got much life left, yet replacement of the structure, on a notorious rat-run, would not be easy and due to the aforementioned subsidence, would probably be better and an under bridge with and aqueduct above.

I suspect eventually it will be closed to through traffic and left, like Hollanders Bridge further up in Walsall Wood.

It’s seen better days, as have I, but I hope there’s a few more to come yet for me. For the first time in weeks, I feel like there might actually be a summer eventually, and wellness might once again be mine.

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#365daysofbiking Anchored down

February 4th – When you can’t got far the routes are limited, so one thing to do is the same route in the other direction – so that’s what I did.

I love the view of the Anchor Bridge by night and it’s just right for a long exposure photo.

That bridge has seem some life over ther years, and been widened and rebuilt many times.

A real quiet spot for me, and a place for a breather as I get my riding legs back.

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#365daysofbiking Stone me

February 1st – Heading out to for a gentle spin and resolving to take it a little easier – after all, I’d now got a cold developing which seemed to feature a particularly unpleasant mouth infection as a side dish – I bumbled past the monitoring well sensor post by Pier Street Bridge in Brownhills. Something on top caught my eye.

A beautifully painted smile stone.

There’s a local culture (particularly in Clayhanger in recent years) of painting random found stones with patters, cartoons or any art you fancy, then hiding them for smile stone enthusiasts to find.

Frequently this is a fun activity enjoyed by families with young kids.

I left this one where it was, but it was lovely to see.

Find out more about smile stones here.

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#365daysofbiking Fragility

January 29th – The tribulations of the previous day were over with, and had gone well. I was still tired though, as I’d been nil-by-mouth for 24 hours and recovery was harder than I remembered it. After tea I braved a small spin around the canal and Clayhanger Common.

I wasn’t really up to it if I’m honest. But it was good to be out.

It seemed a good opportunity to continue the long exposure theme – the chance to stand and get my energy back was real, and waiting for the camera gave me an excuse I suppose.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel more like it.

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#365daysofbiking Feeling exposed

January 29th – Up on the old Cement Works Bridge, time to have a think and play with long exposure photography. With the lightening morning sky the results were remarkable.

I love how the trees seem out of focus as their extremities moved with the wind.

It was going to be a tough day. But at least I’d captured something interesting to kick it all off.

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#365daysofbiking Life by water

January 28th – By the time I got to Whitehorse Road/Wharf Lane, things felt a bit better. My trepidation was still there, but night was coming in now and the light was altogether better, friendlier and more comforting. And the wind seemed to be subsiding.

There’s a current Canal and River trust campaign about life being better close to water. They’re not wrong, actually.

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#365daysofbiking Diffuse

January 23rd – The murk continued through the next day, too, and it was beginning to get on my chest. Cycling in it, with it’s grim cocktail of traffic fumes, damp, road spray and smog is not inspiring.

However, I had to nip up to Coppice Side on the way home to see a pal. As I crossed the old Jolly Collier bridge, the urban lights and mist combined to make something special.

The diffuse glow of the gas discharge lamps suddenly made a very ordinary place extraordinary, and I was captivated.

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

January 18th -Whatever happens, Brownhills is always in my heart. The old place has it’s problems – like those of any post industrial town – but I love the canals, the open spaces, the countryside and the frontier feel of a town on the fringe between the West Midlands Conurbation and the rolling countryside of South Staffordshire.

On a cold, clear evening, returning from errands I came along the canal at Silver Street and over the bridge.

I love the Peter Saville efeect of the railings on that bridge, and the great views from it. But I also love the friendly feel of the new housing and occasional moored boat.

I take photos here lots… but it’s so photogenic at night. I love this place with all of my heart.

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#365daysofbiking Back to black

January 16th -Thoughts of spring had been very seductive, but as the following day had proven, it was way too early to call yet. A very wet, windy but warm day, I got soaked on the way in to work and soaked on the way home.

A day with bad traffic, near missed, lousy weather and terrible light.

Returning I had to leave the canal at Catshill Junction again, although I wanted to be well away from traffic, but the water on the towpaths was so bad I had no choice.

At least the lights of the Anchor Bridge Junction were pretty reflected on the canal.

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#365daysofbiking A dark chicken

January 9th – One of the more comedic things about curating this journal and blog is that I comment a lot about a geographical local feature with a very amusing name – the Black Cock bridge. Named after the pub nearby, the Black Cock has long been the source of much schoolboy innuendo and humour, but is actually a decent, old fashioned pub that always looks welcoming when I pass, particularly on a dull winter evening.

It does, of course, have a far cruder colloquial name I shan’t detail.

However, I do love the thought of sweaty-palmed people banging Black Cock into search engines, which then return multiple hits to this journal rather than the desired subject…

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