BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Clayhanger’

#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 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 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 Into the murk

January 10th – A grey, damp and misty day made for trying journeys to and from work, with frenetic, inattentive traffic and poor visibility with a somewhat patchy, unpredictable kind of fog.

There was no escape, but diving onto the canal at the Black Cock Bridge for the last run to Brownhills was a welcome respite from the tension.

Clayhanger bridge wasn’t terribly mist-shrouded, but the hazy air made for a great twist on one of my favourite local muses.

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#365daysifbiking Ghost craft


January 9th – On the canal near the overflow at Clayhanger someone has tethered a fibreglass pleasure boat. I’m not sure if it’s being lived in or not, but seems to be. However, when I rode past in the dark this evening, one end had been untied and the craft had swung out into the water.

I don’t know who owns it or what it’s doping there, but someone clearly cares for it. I am becoming aware that waterways are currently hosting a number of unfortunate folk who would be homeless but for their often down at heel boats.

An odd one.

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#365daysifbiking There… and gone

January 8th – It’s not often I feature here photos of things that aren’t there any more. But in this case, I had no choice really as I just had to share.

Heading home along the canal to Brownhills, between the Black Cock Bridge and Clayhanger Bridge in darkness, I was brought to a sudden, screeching halt by… a group of deer on the towpath.

Something had spooked them up ahed and they were running toward me, but seeing my light, they deflected into the copse adjacent and disappeared into the darkness.

So, here was a group of deer.

An oddly unsettling experience…

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#365daysofbiking Going with the flow

December 18th – I’d been in hospital for medical tests, which went OK. I came home, uncomfortable, headachy and disorientated, but a cup of tea, some food and peace and quiet and I was ready to ride.

Sadly it was still raining heavily.

In a short spin around Brownhills the bike was coated in mud and I noted the overflows were in spate. It’s really been quite wet the last week and it’s not registered quite how bad it’s been.

Some dry, cold weather would be nice for Christmas I think…

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#365daysofbiking You’ve come a long way baby:

November 25th – A late, short, frantic test ride saw me crossing Clayhanger common by the Spot Path and just as I neared the Pier Street Bridge this view pulled me up short.

Just 18 months ago, I’d have been looking at an empty marketplace, forlorn, money, desolate.

Now look at it.

A change for the better that did much to cheer me up.

#365daysofbiking Stark:

October 29th – I took a stop at an old night-time favourite, for old time’s sake.

Clayhanger Bridge and the overflow still captivate me at night. So many possibilities. So still. So starkly beautiful.

The G1X seems to like it.

I hope the darkness will be my friend this year.