BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘commute’

#365daysofbiking Peace, at last

April 18th – The end of work for a few blessed days, good weather in prospect and time on my hands. Bliss.

This of course meant the last working day was everything busy, at top speed. Finally nearing home as darkness fell, I stopped to look at the canal as I crossed Clayhanger Bridge.

Blossom is out, the trees are that bright, lucid green they only achieve at the very peak of spring, and things were calm and quiet.

It’s only been a few weeks since Christmas, hasn’t it? Yet here, in the light, the green, and warmth again.

And me, myself, at peace, at last.

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#365daysofbiking The remains of the day

April 17th – An absolutely gorgeous day and the first jacketless commute of the year didn’t come a day too soon.

Sadly I was indoors all day, but riding home in the still warm golden hour, I caught the sun throug the canalside trees near the Black Cock Bridge and the remnants of the sunny day were precious.

It’s good to have the warm days back again. I hope they stick around.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting for a fluff explosion


April 17th – On the way to work near Greern Lane, Shelfield, I notice the sallows are flowering now, and this is one of the more interesting blooms of springtime.

Sallow or goat willow is a member of the wider willow family, and grows profusely hereabouts. After the initial pretty male catkins have passed – pussy willows – then come the female catkins that were so well on show today. Once these peculiar green flowers pollinate, they generate wind-borne seeds in a few weeks: these evolve in the form of a large cloud of fluff that for a few days will coat the canal, towpaths, woodland paths, verges and road margins.

For now though in the spring sunshine of a warm, lovely morning – they look like something prehistoric, and in reality, probably are.

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#365daysofbiking On a springtime tip

April 16th – I had to nip to Tipton at lunchtime. Just as the rain came, which was a bit of a bugger if I’m honest.

Still, I donned waterproofs; the day seemed to be warming up and the wind had died away, so the steady drizzle wasn’t a bind.

Then, as I arrived in the town centre, this astonishing bed of spring flowers; a riot of colour on a grey, miserable afternoon.

I don’t know who planted them or who looks after them, but my goodness they are spectacular.

Take a bow, whoever you are – and thank you.

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#365daysofbiking Going green

April 12th – Returning home was hard tonight. Tired, into the wind, and again, that biting, horrible windchill finding every slightly undone zip and gap in clothing. I ached, my body was weary and mentally, I was on my limits.

Just to get out of the traffic and find a bit of peace, I took to the canal between the Black Cock Bridge and Pier Street. Resting a while at Catshill Junction, I noticed how much greener everything was.

I was nearing home. Rest, food, and copious mugs of tea were within sight. Spring is carrying on despite the cold and it’s going to be gorgeous when the warmth finally arrives.

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#365daysofbiking A case of scurvy

April 11th – One of the odder ecological phenomena of urban Britain is the proliferation of Danish scurvy grass. This salt loving plant is what gives verges and roadsides the white fringe right now, with this hardly, pollution resistant little plant flowering.

Danish Scurvy Grass likes salt, and thrives in the ‘burn zone’ beside roads that are gritted in winter, where the roadways splashes brine onto the verge. One of the few plants not top be hindered by these hostile conditions, its white flowers can be seen by many urban roads this time of year.

There really is a place for everything it seems.

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#365daysofbiking Canal dreams

April 10th – Returning home late as the sun set I turned into Scarborough Road, Pleck, and caught the sun over the Walsall Canal to the west.

You wouldn’t;t think you were in the heart of a densely populated, down at heel urban area.

Our canals are like green veins in our towns and cities. They are wonderful, and part of me.

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#365daysofbiking Fresh

April 10th – My second home Darlaston is looking splendid in it’s spring jacket at the Monet.

How many people hear the name and think of grimy, angry industry, smell, grim urbanisation and pollution? The reality is way, way different.

Darlaston is a beautiful little Black Country town, with astounding architecture, great parks right in the centre, and a phenomenal history.

Go look – there’s no better toime than spring.

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#365daysofbiking Yellow favourite

April 9th – Another welcome sight indicating the ever-rolling season’s wheel are cowslips, my favourite flower in the whole world.

Cowslips were very, very unusual when I was a kid. These days they grow everywhere like weeds – and I collect the seeds when they go over and spread them anywhere I think needs a bit of yellow in the spring. And there are very few places that don’t benefit from a bit of yellow.

These hardy but delicate looking members of the primrose family are scattered over Clayhanger common – many from the result of my guerrilla seeding – and are truly divine. I love them.

Welcome back.

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