BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Cycling’

#365daysofbiking A decent buy

August 7th – I’m always interested when I spot a new bike in any of the client’s facilities I use. This Halfords Carrera is a typical, mid range trail bike. Competently designed with mass market but decent looking equipment, including suspension forks with crown lockout and hydraulic disc brakes, this was obviously a new steed for someone.

It’s a nice bike and shows why Halfords sell a lot of bicycles despite the variable quality of their shop staff – particularly as regards technical knowledge.

I did, however, wince at the way the bike was locked. That really isn’t a great way to use a D lock and extension cable…

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#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 A break in the clouds

June 2nd – On my return, for a short while, the sun came out and the skies were lovely over Hammerwich and the canal from Chasewater.

One of the reasons I ride a bike is the connection to my environment it gives me – good weather or bad I feel on my bike that the world continues to spin, and that for better or worse, I’m part of it.

For a few sunny minutes on a green, beautiful canal on a blustery sad Sunday, the clouds thinned and as the world continued to spin, and I felt lifted and content to be part of it.

My cyclic antidepressant had worked again.

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#365daysofbiking Primrose and proper

April 14th – Spotted on a morning errand, these primroses and scattered down the bank of the McClean Way, the cycle and walking route on the former South Staffordshire railway line through the heart of Brownhills, just below the Miner Island.

I remember as a child watching trains thunder through here full of coal, oil or cars. Now, the lines are lifted and after 30 years of decay, the wonderful Back the Track group led by human dynamo Brian Stringer have done an excellent job of reclaiming the permanent way for public use – and their hard work continues.

These primroses don’t seem much, but they’re a huge achievement. Take a bow, folks.

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#365daysofbiking Beaming

April 1st – It’s the 8th birthday of this blog today – on April 1st, 2011 I started by joining the #30daysofbiking project egged on by Renee Van Bar, top cyclist, pal and Dutchperson. I enjoyed it so much, the only thing that ever stopped me riding was a very bad case of food poisoning at New Year 2012. Apart from those lost 2 days, I’ve cycled every day since then.

That’s cycling for 2,920 days out of the last 2,922.

I’m quite pleased with that. When I tell the #30daysofbiking people about this they always treat me like some kind of oddity.

Every day I get on my bike and ride somewhere, and take you readers along with me. Thanks for joining me and sharing my journeys, be they work, errands or pleasure.

And what better time to mark this achievement than to note the fresh white beam leaves of a new year? Gorgeous in their ridged perfection, they are beautiful and I was pleased to see them near Clayhanger Common.

Cone on then, grab your coat – I’m up for another year of this. Are you? Hop on.

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#365daysofbiking 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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#365daysofbiking Salt beef

January 29th – The cold weather for this winter has finally arrived, and the roads are icy. I’m fairly OK on the ice tyres, but it still takes time to build confidence back up when hitting black ice.

Thankfully, everywhere I’ve been, the major routes are well gritted, even though many motorists swear they haven’t been.

Road salt is not magic. It won’t work instantly, won’t de-ice the whole troad, and won’t allow you to drive like Sterling Moss in cold weather.

Tae care and take it easy, folks.

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#365daysofbiking IC


January 18th – A very cold, hazard-ridden commute as I got used to riding on ice – all be it with ice tyres – again. It takes time to reassure yourself that they actually work.

The road gutters and towpaths had some lurking black ice and it was rather cold.

Still only an IC1 on the fabulous Dry Marland canal ice scale though….

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#365daysofbiking Looking after the steed

 

December 31st – In Lichfield briefly, I noticed this little piece of pride and joy, locked outside the new library and later, near the Garrick.

That’s clearly a very much loved Christmas present and it’s good to see the parents getting the wee cyclist into the security habit.

This little blue, green and yellow steed could be the beginning of a lifelong love affair, like my first ‘real’ bike was. Cracking stuff, and a joy to the heart.

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