BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘British summer time’

365daysofbiking On a lost day like this

Sunday March 28th 2021 – I had errands to do for a relative. They did not go well, but that didn’t matter really as the weather was windy and often wet, and the wasted time did not matter so much.

The only splash of colour in a grim day – The first of British Summer Time – was found in the forsythia growing by the canal at Catshill that I noticed on my return at dusk, at a pleasing 7:40pm.

Forsythia – immortalised in a great song by the band Veruca Salt that US college rock fans of a certain age will know well – used to be really popular in the UK as an ornamental shrub, but seems to have gone out of fashion. It forms a mass of yellow blossom before coming into leaf, and is truly gorgeous.

The reason for it’s decline I can only guess at, but wonder if people confused it with the highly poisonous and similarly yellow laburnum, which flowers much later but there was much anguish over in the 80s and 90s, leading to it’s steady decline.

It’s nice to see, especially on a lost day like this.

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#365daysofbiking Behind me now

Friday March 26th 2021 – After a long day at work, I stood in the dark yard at work astride the bike ready to ride home.

I looked at the bike computer, which gives me sunset and sunrise times and noted sunset had been at a nicely round 6:30pm.

Just one more day and British Summer Time begins – the clocks go forward an hour and light floods back into my evenings. As you all know, I hate the dark in winter, and I’ve never known a winter as dark, persistently challenging and as devoid of light spiritually as the one now behind me.

Unlike many people, a few known to me, who did not make it through this far, I am still here, still riding and made it through. I remember those we lost with sadness every day.

Never have the light, and the summer days been so welcome.

Let’s ride into the warmth and sun together.

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#365daysofbiking Letting the light back in

March 31st – Well, here in the UK is the start of British Summer Time, for me the real start of spring.

I hate the clocks going back in autumn and the self-imposed hour advance in darkness. It’s a silly, pointless habit we started decades hence and have never had the balls to stop.

As I crossed the M6 Toll motorway near Hammerwich at well past 7pm, the sun was setting dramatically behind the forest of streetlights and made a movie scene of the traffic upon it.

I’m so pleased to have the light back in my life.

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#365daysofbiking Approaching equity

March 7th – Things that happen while you’re not looking.

The darkness is receding fast now – we’re gaining around fifteen minutes more light in the evening now every week, and soon it will be the spring equinox, when the daylight and night time are the same length – 12 hours.

The concept of the equinox fascinates me, and I don’t really know why. But within a fortnight the sunrise and sunset will occur at the same numerical time, but AM and PM.

And after the equinox comes the start of British Summer Time – this year cruelly not until the 31st March.

Still, it’s almost over.

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October 29th – A run up over the old Ironstone Road, Prospect Village and Rainbow Hill, crossing Birches Valley, Penkridge Bank and down Abrahams Valley was in order, particularly as British Summer Time had ended and darkness would fall an hour earlier.

The forest is beautiful at the moment, and with the weather getting cold, all but the trail centre at Birches Valley were pretty quiet. The ride was a blast but the sudden cold was a shock.

It’s coming on winter and I’m back in love with Cannock Chase again.

March 20th – With the start of my beloved British Summer Time less than a week away now (not that I’m counting the days at all) it was strange to get as far as Brownhills on a normal time commute and it still be pretty much light.

The morning commute had been awful – driving rain and a headwind – but the late afternoon had been sunny, if much colder than the previous day.

Hopping onto the canal at the Black Cock Bridge the towpaths were sodden, but I enjoyed the ride.

Stopping to photograph the view from Catshill Junction before my return to Brownhills, apart from the huge expanses of standing water, you’d not have known that most of the day had been so intemperate.

March 26th – Not a great day – squally, wet, windy with periods of heavy rain. It brightened up as I slipped out for the last dusk before British Summer Time commenced, and I caught the wonderful, intemperate sunset from Silver Street, looking over the canal.

For an ostensibly ugly place, Brownhills sure can take your breath away.

October 26th – My return was indeed in darkness, and I must get the feel for night photography once more. But at least I get to experience that wonderful atmosphere of railway stations at night again. 

I’ve missed that. Hello darkness my old friend,

February 26th – It was beautiful as I returned along the canal. The sky was dramatic, and although not a great sunset, the dying embers of the day were still quite beautiful. And the best thing about it? 5:45pm. We really are pushing the darkness back now. I’ve really enjoyed the last few commutes in the relative dry, and it’s nice seeing the ground and countryside dry out a little, finally.

I want this to be spring. It’s mild. The weather is good. Just 3 weeks until we switch to British Summer Time. But I can’t get away from the fact that on the 22nd March 2013, there was deep snow on the ground.

We’re not out of the woods, yet.

March 25th – Staffordshire was just showing off – there’s no other term for it. It was the first day of British Summer Time and the birds sang, the sun beat down, and I witnessed nature, and the county I love, awaken. The wind was soft and the cycling fast. I took in views that I do every year at this time; everything old was new once again. I felt alive. The world was spinning, and I was part of it. This county gives up it’s secrets slowly, over the course of your life. But you never forget them.