BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘commute’

#365daysofbiking Blooming late

October 4th – Taking a well earned breather in Kings Hill Park on my way to work, sat with my coffee, I noticed something dark red in the shrubs near the northern hedge.

It’s a very strange flowering shrub I’ve never seen before, and it’s in full bloom. In October.

The beautiful red blossom hangs in chains, a bit like wisteria or it’s relative, laburnum. But the odd thing is it also has smaller, white flowers that could easily be from another shrub – but clearly aren’t.

Does anyone know what this is, please? It had me fascinated for ages.

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#365daysofbiking Into the darkness

October 3rd – The sunset now is getting really, really early and is quite a shock.

That was a hard, wet and punishing ride into the wind. It was hard work after the week I’ve had.

The winter lights are on, the scarf is out of the drawer and the thermals are being checked and washed.

And so, into the dark I disappear for the worst half of the year.

I hate this, but you have to have the bad with the good, so here goes…

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#365daysofbiking Explorations

October 3rd – I drove to work and rode home – sadly I chose a really, really unpleasant evening to do so. Again, drizzle and a punishing headwind – but at least the town looked beautiful in the glistening, dripping night.

I decided to quickly try the camera and the phone for a comparison.

Top, the iPhone 11 Pro Max in night mode, which since a beta firmware upgrade on Wednesday evening seems a whole bunch better. It’s not as hyperreal, but is still very strange, but beautiful I think.

My preference is still to the warmth of the Canon G5X, below, which is altogether mellower without losing detail.

Further explorations to come, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Suckback

September 30th – The first commute in darkness and bad weather of the autumn is always a shock, and this one was dreadful.

The Suck – the name for the gradually darkening, dangerous and unpleasant evening commutes up until Christmas – is a harrowing time.

A combination of bad weather, drivers unused to otherwise familiar journeys now in darkness and lack of patience make for a psychologically and physically difficult time to be on a bike.

It had taken a good ten minutes longer to grind home – and I was still a good way away. I was wet, cold and had a number of very close passes despite lights and hi-vis.

If I could just fast forward to Christmas when the light creeps back and people have settled down, that would be great cheers.

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#365daysofbiking Hard of herring

September 26th – Crossing the Parade in Brownhills near the Fullelove Memorial Shelter, there had been oddly enough, a landing of herring gulls, presumably on their way between local water and one of the several landfills where they feed.

These really are huge birds, and quite aggressive in appearance.

It’s hard not to associate these surprisingly complex birds with the sea – but with abundant food locally and planty of water, this one has probably never seen the sea.

An odd feature of local wildlife.

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#365daysofbiking Quick change

September 26th – All of a sudden, the leaves are turning. In a matter of days, what was the odd tree turning is now spread throughout, and autumn is kicking into gear.

Hear near Anchor Bridge on the Brownhills-Walsall Wood border is a great place to admire the season’s palette.

The nip in the air, the fading greens and darker evenings mean we really are heading fast towards year’s end now.

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#365daysofbiking Nothing but a bind

September 25th – There are a few flowers left, to be fair, one of the most profuse being bindweed.

Every time I mention this beautiful yet pervasive weed, I send gardeners into fits of apoplexy – they hate this crawling, strangling plant with a passion.

But I stick to my guns: Where I see it most – on towpaths boundaries, trail edgelands and scrub, it’s a beautiful, white flower that’s really under appreciated.

Sorry.

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#365daysofbiking Autumn on my shoulders


September 25th – A better day after all the rain. On a soft morning with light, hazy sun and the smell of the canal and wet earth, the grim trials and disappointments of the previous weekend seemed a million miles away.

It was still warm, and I have to keep reminding myself that we’re only a whisker from October, and The Suck, the season until Christmas of night-time commutes where the conditions and driving are a nightmare.

Autumn is certainly on my shoulders but today, with my sleeves rolled up and the waterfowl chattering, I could kid myself I had a few more weeks yet…

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#365daysofbiking Striking shrooms

September 24th – Passing by the memorial gardens in Bloxwich on my way home, a bright flash on a damp tree stop caught my eye.

Stopping and rolling back, some remarkable toadstools growing there. They look almost like tiger bread, and were brighter than even honey fungus. I have no idea what they are and haven’t had chance yet to look them up.

Remarkably beautiful.

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