BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘cold’

#365daysofbiking Slurry up

Sunday 8th February 2022 – I hadn’t been feeling very well, and the weather was awful but I needed fresh air. So I did what I always do: Went for a ride.

It’s been blowing a hoolie all weekend, and Saturday was grim. I’d felt dizzy and nauseous and gone to bed early, and awoken on the Sunday with a piercing headache. Having tested negative for CV, it had to be some kind of cold. The only thing to do was down the paracetamol, don the waterproofs and go for a ride in the rain.

Driving rain and a headwind are never fun. Add to this the mud dragged off the fields onto the lanes by farm machinery and it was chewy, thick going. But it did the trick and at least cleared my head.

At Bullmoor Lane near Muckley Corner, it was particularly bad. I’m not sure if they should resurface this one or just plough it.

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#365daysofbiking Don’t go

Tuesday 1st February 2022 – Kings Hill Park, Darlaston: A sunny, late winter day and that curious golden hour you get at about 2pm only at this time of year.

The crocuses are up, and so are a few (but only a few) snowdrops. How welcome the sight, how they filled me with joy – and what promise of a new year they bring.

It’s been a dull and unpleasant winter. But this must surely herald a decent year.

Please flowers, even if the weather turns again, don’t go. You are my hope.

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#365daysofbiking Shades of grey, shades of blue

Sunday 16th January 2022 – I was planning on a longer ride, but I got bogged down in changing my tyres. I’m still experimenting with studless winter specific ones, but wasn’t happy with the current set and had been given some Pirelli to try. By the time I’d changed them, and sorted other maintenance matters arising, there was little left of daylight; but it didn’t matter much because rather than being bright and pleasant as forecast, the weather was cold and grey.

I slid out for a tentative test ride in the twilight, heavy hearted – I’d been looking forward to a decent ride all week and it just hadn’t happened. The tyres, thankfully, felt much better: Even after this short 13 miler I felt I had more trust in them.

I did a speedy loop of Stonnall, Footherley, Shenstone, Wall, Pipehill and Hammerwich. The weather was very cold and closing in, and the atmosphere felt hostile. Riding was hard work, and my hands were cold.

I stopped at the top of Pipe Hill; to record a darkening Lichfield, the sprawl of which has slowly edged towards Pipe Hill in the four decades I’ve cycled here. Where there is now a large Waitrose supermarket, there was once fields, a small hospital and a cricket ground. The new houses are now spreading up Deans Slade towards Aldershawe and Harehurst Hill.

It’s sad, but that’s progress and I don’t lament these things: Such is wasted energy, as they can’t be changed or retained, and time will continue to march on. The spires I marvelled at as a boy are still there, and the impact of that view on me is just as great as it always was, I could study it for hours, even in this bitter chill.

I felt a little blue in this grey landscape. There was little sign this evening of the premature spring we found at New Year, and longer days and warmth seemed impossibly far away from me in the here and now. Whilst the view and the lanes were lovely, today they didn’t soothe me, they just made me long for better days.

They will, of course, arrive: And not a moment too soon.

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#365daysofbiking Choppy waters

Saturday March 13th 2021 – The high winds continue, with the kind of blustery, cool weather one more expects in April than March, but without the warmth.

An evening run to Chasewater rewarded another decent sunset but the chill was biting. The noise of the water lapping against the dam was lovely, though and I stood mesmerised by it for a long while.

Through all the mess of the pandemic, Chasewater at this time of day has been a real anchor for me. However choppy the waters.

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#365daysofbiking Unfixed

Saturday March 6th 2021 – The bike was giving me problems I was finding it hard to fix, so I snatched a quick test ride to Chasewater as the sunset looked decent – I really wasn’t disappointed.

It was one of those brooding, dark evenings when you don’t expect much of the dusk but it surprises you – and so it did.

It was still cold though, as the smoke from the narrowboat moored in Anglesey Wharf attested. I know it’s only really just March, and not even too late for snow, but some warmth wouldn’t go amiss.

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#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 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 Ice magic

Tuesday February 9th 2021 –  It was very, very cold. There was periodic, not really settling snow but continual sub zero temperatures, and hedgerows near puddles around the area like this one in Green Lane had become ice grottos.

You don’t see this much: Last time I’d seen one this good was a decade ago at Stubbers Green: Every time a vehicle passes, it splashes water onto the vegetation, where it ices up.

Beauty, even in the harshest days.

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