BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘down’

#365daysofbiking Medicinal

Saturday March 20th 2021 – I wasn’t feeling so good and headed out with a friend onto Cannock Chase. I was down in the dumps and not feeling the love.

I was expecting the Chase to be crowded and the paths to be terrible, like they currently are at Chasewater, but to my delight it was very quiet and the trails were no different to normal.

I found myself cheered by the cinematic, wide landscape and open skies, despite the dull day, and found what I usually do – the best cure for the blues is a damn good ride.

Coming off the Chase at Milford, we rode through Tixall at dusk, Haywood and around by Blithfield and Admaston home.

Of course, the highly medicinal burger from Milford’s legendary Wimpy helped too…

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#365daysofbiking Harsh days indeed

Friday February 12th 2021 –  It’s been a hard week on the bike – cold, grim days, ice under the wheels and rain and snow.

Some weeks of commuting are like war: You push on, enduring them, trying not to become a casualty, stoically going forward as much as you can.

I was glad it was Friday and this week of bitter riding had passed. All I need right now are sunny days – even if cold – and a sight of some decent signs that this harsh season will end.

I was glad to be nearing home.

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#365daysofbiking Foreboding

Sunday February 7th 2021 –  Out on a short ride up to Aldridge, it was bitingly cold and I could sense winter coming in again for another go.

I don’t mind the cold; it’s life affirming and just part of life’s pageant, after all, but I’m aching for this winter to end. The foreboding told me my relief would still some way off.

The canal was grey and the towpath hedgerow still very much of the season, and the ride was hard work.

Oh well, while you’re marching you’re not fighting…

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#365daysofbiking Bogged down

Sunday January 17th 2021 – Riding hasn’t been great this winter, if I’m honest. The lockdown and pandemic notwithstanding, the weather has been consistently wet and unpleasant, and this is reflected in the muck and mud on every towpath, off-road trail and minor country lane. Everywhere is saturated, even on dry days.

We really have had some wet winters in recent years, that’s for sure.

On an evening ride out before a difficult Monday, I planned to head to Chasewater along the canal – I got on near Silver Street, headed up over Catshill Junction and got as far as Anchor Bridge, before giving up and riding back down the High Street. It was just too muddy to be enjoyable.

I hope this weather breaks soon.

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#365daysofbiking A low blow

Wednesday January 13th 2021 – Someone complained to me today that my 365days was a bit down in the dumps of late. I guess it is, a little. It’s always hard to stay positive when you’re in midwinter and inspiration, and daylight, are hard to come by.

I will try and make it a little more positive in coming days and weeks: but that shouldn’t be as hard, because we’ll soon have lighter nights, daylight commutes, and spring flowers.

On the way back to work after an errand I spotted this roadside daisy in Pleck. It was open, beautiful, and optimistic.

I think I should learn by it’s example.

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#365daysofbiking Surface water

Saturday, October 3rd 2020 – What was I saying about bad days and beauty? As if to challenge me, a truly foul day when the rain and wind barely ceased.

I busied myself with work, domestic tasks and a little bike maintenance, shooting out after dark to get a takeaway in.

As I came back from Walsall Wood, I realised the roads were empty, and there was something eerily stark about the Coppice Road Junction.

Here’s hoping for a better Sunday!

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#365daysofbiking A break in the weather

May 23rd – Over to Lichfield for some essential shopping and the closed state of the city was expected, but dragged me down. There was only one thing to rectify the gloom: A return via the country lanes of Wall, Chesterfield and Hilton.

On Bullmoor Lane I was caught in the briefest of short, sharp and intense showers, and it passed as quickly as it arrived, leaving nothing but sightly damp lanes and a beautiful partial rainbow.

Summer is fantastic.

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#365daysofbiking Silly things

May 19th – I’m finding working from home impossible, if I’m honest. It’s very hard to keep focus with family life happening around me. There is no separation, I miss the commute; and I constantly find myself needing things from my den, or elsewhere in my workplace that would make tasks easy but without them they take forever.

I need to go back to work.

In the mean time, my daily outdoors fix is essential, and this evening I spent probably longer than necessary admiring my favourite tree, at Home Farm, Sandhills. This handsome horse chestnut is currently in bloom and looks gorgeous in the Tuesday golden hour.

Some things are markers in the madness. These fields, the canal, the sun, and that tree. They save me from nosediving. Silly things, but there you go.

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#365daysofbiking – Silken

April 25th – In recent days I recorded the the female flowering of the sallow trees in Walsall Wood. At the Old Cement Works Bridge in Brownhills, the catkins are starting to go to seed.

The spines of the flower heads split and curl away, releasing the downy, silken fluff inside, each one attached to a tiny seed, easily carried long distances on the wind or any moving thing.

A fascinating and beautiful mechanism that will see the area around these trees soon coated in fluffy down.

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#365daysofbiking When the lights go out

April 5th – An exercise spin out at dusk unusually took my mood down. I wasn’t feeling great and this one scene made my mood nosedive.

I love the view of Anchor Bridge at night from the canal. It’s magical and beautiful and the light is normally gorgeous. Tonight, though, something was missing.

The incidental light from the adjacent Anchor Pub was absent: The pub lights normally add a warm glow to Anchor Bridge night photos.But the pub is dark, silent and closed in accordance with lockdown rules.

I hopped up the ramp to the pub. This normally welcoming place was in darkness, and looked forlorn.

My heart sank.

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