BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘canal’

#365daysofbiking Misty for me

Tuesday March 2nd 2021 – I was at work, and ended up working late. It’s really curious how working from home seems to mean you often doing pretty much the same hours in work, just squashed into less days…

I was heading home weary on a chilly night with a barely perceptible mist of the kind that catches street lights and renders a ghostly hue upon familiar scenes.

As I hopped off the canal at Anchor Bridge, I noticed it through the trees, and capturing it was irresistible.

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#365daysofbiking Glad to see it


Friday February 26th 2021 – It looks like I was right: The period of fine sunsets has commenced.

Some springtimes, it’s better than others, but that’s the luck of the weather.

I spotted it coming on, and powered up the canal on the daily exercise ride to Chasewater where it looked superb, and despite the biting cold, it was fabulous to witness. Catching the moon over my favourite tree at Sandhills on the way back was a real bonus, too.

We really do live in a wonderfully beautiful area.

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#365daysofbiking Well said

Thursday February 25th 2021 – The pandemic has been hard on all of us.

Locally, they area was plagued for a while by anti-inoculation, pandemic denial graffiti that was persistent and prolific.

I don’t know who finally snapped and replied to them in marker pen over the top of older conspiracy graffiti on Ogley Junction Bridge, but my respect to them.

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#365daysofbiking Glad

Monday February 22nd 2021 – As if to answer my prayer for colour, my working from home exercise ride took me out at sunset, and I enjoyed it more than I expected, finding myself heading toward Chasewater on the canal.

On the bend near Newtown, looking toward the Chase Road bridge I saw the sky reflected in the canal, and although nearly dark, it was most gorgeous golden red.

Usually about now we go through a period of getting decent sunsets. It doesn’t last long, two or three weeks maybe – and there is a similar effect for a while when the nights close in in Autumn.

It’s one of the markers of entering and ending the winter darkness.

The period in spring always makes me glad – I hope it’s started.

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#365daysofbiking A likely story


Wednesday February 17th 2021 – On the canal at Walsall Wood, a familiar pair of beaky chancers come towards me hoping for food.

They make out they haven’t eaten for weeks, that they’re starving to death, and also they’ll feed my body to the pike if I don’t cough up a treat.

But unluckily for them, I’m empty handed, my usual small bag of corn left in the garage after filling; fortunately they seem in a rudeness of health that matches their people skills, and despite their menace, only hiss at me and scud off, to browse the canal bottom for tasty green goo.

Waterfowl can’t half turn on the sob story…

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#365daysofbiking Living on the skyline


Tuesday February 16th 2021 – Time for a favourite tree update.

The tree I love most of all is this particular horse chestnut, visible clearly on the skyline at Home Farm, Sandhills from the Wyrley and Essington Canal at Catshill, not more than 100 yards from Anchor Bridge.

I love it’s shape, the way it punctuates the rural landscape here, right on the very interface of the urban West Midlands with rural South Staffordshire.

It’s also my gauge of the seasons. I follow it’s colours as it weathers the the year: At the moment it is resolutely bare, but it will be in bud, and soon, from my distant towpath vantage point, I will see the familiar sheen of bright green emerge, before it comes into full leaf.

Usually it lags behind the fields and hedgerows, always the more eager neighbours, and so it is this year, with the field between us bright green with fresh crop growth.

I live for this view, this skyline. And that tree.

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#365daysofbiking Harsh days indeed

Friday February 12th 2021 –  It’s been a hard week on the bike – cold, grim days, ice under the wheels and rain and snow.

Some weeks of commuting are like war: You push on, enduring them, trying not to become a casualty, stoically going forward as much as you can.

I was glad it was Friday and this week of bitter riding had passed. All I need right now are sunny days – even if cold – and a sight of some decent signs that this harsh season will end.

I was glad to be nearing home.

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#365daysofbiking Mind how you go, now


Thursday February 11th 2021 –  We’re in an odd time of snow, with showers every day but little actually settling much. What there is, is powder and pack ice and I’m impressed with how well the Continental Top Contact II Winter tyres are handling it. For a non-studded tyre, grippy and trustworthy.

Which is just as well, it’s lethal out there.

Mind how you go, folks.

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#365daysofbiking to the point

Monday February 8th 2021 –  About the only thing the pandemic has been good for has been the re-emergence of political graffiti.

It’s everywhere – the angry, the conspiracy theorists, even satirists are having a go. They’re all a bit rusty but it’s coming along nicely.

Here at Catshill Junction, just on the bridge, some disaffected soul has expressed themselves. Blunt and to the point.

Generous offer but I’d rather not, cheers.

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#365daysofbiking Foreboding

Sunday February 7th 2021 –  Out on a short ride up to Aldridge, it was bitingly cold and I could sense winter coming in again for another go.

I don’t mind the cold; it’s life affirming and just part of life’s pageant, after all, but I’m aching for this winter to end. The foreboding told me my relief would still some way off.

The canal was grey and the towpath hedgerow still very much of the season, and the ride was hard work.

Oh well, while you’re marching you’re not fighting…

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