BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘commute’

#365daysifbiking An early delight

February 14th – Unexpectedly encountered on a Telford cycleway, this hedgerow blossom. It’s lovely, crazy white, and almost insubstantially thin, like apple blossom.

I have no idea what it is. the tree is certainly flowering before its leaves have grown.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, but the tree isn’t alone in its flowery beauty; so it’s not just an aberration.

Speckled with water droplets from the quite thick mist, this was a beautiful and unexpected delight.

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#365daysifbiking I mist again

February 14th – An early morning train commute to Telford was gorgeous on a beautiful, late winter morning. It was cold with a lingering frost, but the low, clinging mist rendered everything it touched precious when the sun caught it.

From Grove Hill and Stonnall to Mill Green and Little Aston, this morning was a joy to be on a bike. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world – my only regret was that I couldn’t enjoy it for longer.

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#365daysifbiking I predict a riot

February 13th – Kings Hill Park continues to captivate.

The spring flower patch planted last year in the grass by the converted church is coming on lovely once more, and is currently a hubbub or crocuses in white, pink, violet and yellow. Soon they will be joined by other blooms, and a few short metres away, dwarf daffodils are coming on to flower, too.

It’s going to be a riot of colour again. I can’t wait – this is just the start.

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#365daysifbiking Lining up the cast

February 13th – A ride into work on a pleasant, sunny and mild morning saw me take to the canal from Walsall to Darlaston, mainly to check on swan couple Arnold and Flossie, who had enchanted me last week.

They’re still around, still very much a couple and were just loafing, grazing the canal bottom and green shoots of reedmace. They seem in rude health and only looked cross when they realised I had no treats for them.

Looking on carefully was an enemy they may need to watch out for if they hatch a brood: Grey herons won’t bother a grown swan, but they will take hatchlings. They’ll need to be vigilant.

And so, slowly, the spring sets up it’s cast and characters…

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#365daysifbiking Telford – a paradoxical historic new town

February 12th – Telford is a new town that’s about 50 years old: Yet it’s also a place of great history, considered by many to be the birthplace of the industrial revolution. Today, I discovered that even under the ‘new’ Telford there is a big, big past.

Riding up the cycleway to Hortonwood, I go towards Stafford Park then turn over the pedestrian bridge and go through Priorslee. At the Stafford Park/Priorslee crossroads, there is a mess of old signposts, their boards removed when the local cycle routes were redesignated. On the orphaned posts, as well as the usual mess of Sustrans guff were new stickers for The Miner’s Walk.

Intrigued, I looked up the website mentioned on the sticker, and found that it’s a local history project with a five and a half mile walk through industrially significant spots in North Telford.

There is a great website here. – go check it out. It’s superb.

I found out that only a few hundred yards from this spot, up until about 1910, there was a mine called Dark Lane Colliery. In 1862, it was host to the worst loss of life in Shropshire mining history when 9 men and 3 boys crashed to their deaths when a cage rope came free.

I had of course heard of the Dawley pits, and those of Coalbrokedale, but had no idea the history was so complex and far north.

So those little stickers led to me learning something new today. Wonderful.

I shall be investigating this further.

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#365daysifbiking Hello old friends

February 12th – One of the most reliable indicators of an ending winter are the daffodils on the corner of Wood Lane and Chester Road near the (soon to be closed) Wyevale garden centre.

Every year without fail they are the earliest patch of wild daffodils I see, usually appearing in the second or third week of February.

This morning, they were blooming bright yellow for my as I rode to the station, like old pals stand at the roadside to greet me.

Hello, old friends. Welcome back. Good to see you, and the springtime you bring. Looks like we both survived another long, dark winter.

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#365daysifbiking Crossover point

 

February 11th – Riding back from Shenstone Station in the region of 6pm. Still just about light at Fighting Cocks.

this time next week it will be merely twilight here at this time.

On the darkening lane, the trees and farm buildings silhouetted agains the western sky, this was beautiful, but chilly. I loved the effect of the passing cars.

Slowly but surely the daylight’s winning the battle.

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#365daysifbiking Snoozing it out

February 7th – I have a new pair of pals and I’ve called them Arnold and Flossie.

This pair of young swan mates have been hanging about the canal at Bentley Bridge, between Pleck and Darlaston for a few weeks now and are surprisingly tolerant of human company.

I suspect they may well nest this year, which would be nice to see.

On this windy but otherwise pleasant, sunny morning they were both dozing on the towpath, out sheltering out of the wind when I stopped. They both listened while I talked to them and they allowed me to take photos without too much grumping.

I look forward top seeing more of these gorgeous characters in coming months.

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#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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