BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Cycleway’

#365daysofbiking Into the blue

July 23rd – I was in Birmingham for work and was planning on catching the train home. But there was trouble with the signals and all trains I could have caught were messed up.

I decided to ride home – it was a nice evening, after all. I decided to hit the canal near Lancaster Circus, but heading out of the centre I found the new segregated cycleway up the A3 to Perry Barr. It’s absolutely brilliant. I was so enamoured, I kept on it and rode home over Kingstanding.

It’s fast, largely well thought out, has it’s own traffic signals (with repeaters at bike eye level) and was really quite busy.

Some of the routes over major junctions are a bit tortuous, but it’s far better than I’d ever have imagined.

Sad to see it ends abruptly at Perry Barr, but I suppose with the junction being remodelled there it would be folly to continue it yet.

A fine thing, very pleasing to ride.

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#365daysofbiking Route canal

July 12th – Wanting to ride the city canals the day before but unable to, I broke out of work, collected a mate and went for a spin down the Plants Brook/Newhall Valley and into Brum, returning via the Tame Valley.

The canals were as wonderful and peaceful as ever, and the wildflowers – those that have escaped the fanatical dedication to mowing the Canal and River Trust seems to have – are looking fabulous.

As was the Gas Street black cat, disturbed from it’s slumbers by our happy chatter.

Summer is all about rides like this.

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#365daysofbiking Make a wish

July 10th – By the cycleway in Telford, I found this lovely seed head. It takes a jolly good breath to blow the seeds off these!

Not a dandelion – far too large, at least a couple of inches in diameter, with big, stout wind-borne seeds. The plant itself was a good couple of feet tall.

Following enquiries on social media it turns out to be salsify, or goat’s beard, a plant once prized for it’s edible root.

I can’t say i’ve ever noticed the flowers, though. I must look harder now I know what to spot.

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#365daysofbiking By any other name

May 22nd – One of the joys of late spring and well into summer are the various varieties and colours of wild roses that populate wastelands, hedgerows, thickets and any edgeland that’s relatively sun-blessed and open.

In Telford on the way to a client meeting, the cycleway from the station to Hortonwood is lined with splashes of pink – from pale, almost white to deep, deep almost purple. And without exception, they smell divine.

Unlike cultivated roses in parks and gardens, these wayside stars get little or no care and just do their own, dishevelled thing – and to me that’s far more beautiful than some preened and nurtured hybrid.

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#365daysofbiking Only sleeping

May 1st – Horses are curious beasts.  Just off the McLean Way at Goscote, home to many a tethered horse, I saw this one fast asleep on it’s side.

Horses often sleep lying on their sides like this, and it’s perfectly normal – however, it’s something that unless you’re around the animals a fair bit, you don’t realise. Sometimes people not knowing think the animal has died. In the vast majority of instances, it’s just a horse, sleeping, like this one.

Lying there, I watched it for a while, until it grunted in it’s slumber and farted loudly. Bless it.

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#365daysofbiking Fluffed up

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May 1st – On the McLean Way early in the morning for a change (the old South Staffordshire Railway route from Brownhills to Walsall) I noted at Ryders Hayes that the sallow  seeds were ripe and drifting on the breeze coating everything with fine white downy fluff.

Sallow isn’t the only member of the willow family to do this, nor is it the only species of tree, but it’s always fun to see, if a bit challenging to the airways to cycle through!

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