BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Brownhills’

#365daysifbiking Under the bridge

February 6th -The lighter evenings, although coming on fast now, have not reached the far end of my commute, and I tend to do the canal less in the dark, as riding the towpaths at night – even with my excellent front light – is a constant mental grind.

Approaching Clayhanger Bridge on my way back to Brownhills, I stopped to check a text, and realised how bright my light was, to catch Clayhanger Bridge like that.

It’s still a constant effort not to end up taking an early bath, though…

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#365daysifbiking Truculence

February 2nd – Up by Middleton Bridge, two likely characters loiter and preen on the ice, regarding me with grumpy, truculent eyes.

I feel for the waterfowl this weather, they don’t have much open water, and most of that will be full of Canada geese and Mallards, who are both just shouty, loud idiots and must drive cultured birds like swans mad.

Still, at least that answered the IC scale question well enough…

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#365daysifbiking Salt beef

January 29th – The cold weather for this winter has finally arrived, and the roads are icy. I’m fairly OK on the ice tyres, but it still takes time to build confidence back up when hitting black ice.

Thankfully, everywhere I’ve been, the major routes are well gritted, even though many motorists swear they haven’t been.

Road salt is not magic. It won’t work instantly, won’t de-ice the whole troad, and won’t allow you to drive like Sterling Moss in cold weather.

Tae care and take it easy, folks.

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#365daysifbiking It’s a wee bit choppy

January 27th – At least it wasn’t raining.

At lunchtime, the wind was horrendous as I rode to Chasewater. Stood on the dam fighting it, it rose white-crested waves on the reservoir that broke angrily around the pier, shore and wakeboard ramps.

It was impressively dramatic but not an easy day to cycle on.

I suppose a clear day with little wind is too much to ask?

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#365daysifbiking Fifty shads of bloody grim

January 26th – The weather didn’t improve at all, and considerably worsened. It was windy, grey and grim. I slipped out briefly for a circuit around a wet, muddy canal at the fall of dusk and got wet and felt miserable.

The weather at the moment is warm, but not pleasant. I hope this isn’t a portent of a bad summer, but I guess we might be due one.

The only brightness was my favourite tree, the majestic horse chestnut at Home Farm, Sandhills, still looks wonderful and will soon, hopefully, be in leaf.

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#365daysifbiking 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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#365daysifbiking 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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#365daysifbiking A positive signal

January 20th – A belated trip on another awfully grim day to see the restored signal beside the cycleway at Clayhanger Marsh, that the lovely people from Back the Track have painted and restored to its former glory.

These guys do a brilliant job of creating and maintaining the semi-official cycle path and walking route along the old South Staffordshire line – now called the McCLean Way – and this is a superb little project.

I love the trail logo fontal on the top. A lovely touch.

Thanks to all who work on this great project!

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#365daysifbiking Hard surfaces

January 19th – A late run out for exercise on a cold, murky night took me to Chasewater. Unusually, I entered the park from Brownhills West of the spooky, Peter Saville-esque M6 Toll footbridge, the enclosed crossing with the streetlight shining through it.

Init is a hard, hostile, unwelcoming space that makes for remarkable photos.

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