BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘dusk’

#365daysofbiking In my solitude I am least alone

April 13th – Dusk, on the canal. The bite of a chilly spring evening. The sound of wind, waterfowl grumbling and no traffic at all.

I realised that for the first time in weeks, nobody else was on the canal towpath. I was alone.

Since the lockdown, people have taken to canals for exercise and walking in a way I’ve never seen before – which is good: I really want people who don’t know the beauty of local canals to come and share it.

But it’s still nice to find myself here, alone, but accompanied by my thoughts and feelings. It it at moments like this I feel least alone.

I stood enjoying it for quite a while.

Realising I was shivering, I got on my bike and rode back home.

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#365daysofbiking Trying to see clearly

March 29th – The first light, British Summer Time evening of 2020 was grey, but quite soft. At Pelsall Road on the canal the old Victorian railway bridge took on an ethereal air in the mist, which was actually caused by a garden bonfire nearby.

Up on the old Cement Works bridge, I continued my mission from the night before, as I tried to clear my head. I stood here in the chill, watching the lights come on.

These are incredibly hard times. I’m better off than most – I am reasonably financially secure, and I have a job which is needed. But I have no idea where I’m going or where this will end.

I can’t see if there’s a way through, so all I can do is to take the next step.

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#365daysofbiking Into the light

March 19th – It’s not just public transport that was deserted, either: The roads and towns are too.

Like something in an apocalyptic 1970s drama, all of a sudden people are draining out of view in this country. It’s most odd.

At this time on a weekday on the canal at Catshill Junction I’d normally see a dog walker or two, usually some runners.

But not today. Even in these final days of winter time, before the clocks change and light floods back to the evenings.

Very quiet.

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#365daysofbiking Trouble on the wind

March 16th – Due to coronavirus, there appear to be odd times coming, and I don’t much like the look of them, I can tell you.

Returning home in the dusk the canal was still as I paused before heading to Silver Street and central Brownhills. People had been panic buying hand sanitiser, cleaning products, long life food and toilet rolls.

All because of a virus we are lost as individuals in the face of. There is not much we can do, so we panic buy for the reassurance of affirmative action.

This is not my country.

Thankfully, though, the calm of the canal and falling night was still reassuringly so.

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#365daysofbiking The darkening hour:

March 8th – I was out late the following day, too: the weather was awful and very un-springlike.

I stopped on top of the bridge I’d crossed under the night before and looked at the view. The sky was dramatic again, and the world was quiet, save for a little traffic.

This is a great spot in summer, and a stark one in winter. In spring and autumn, it takes on an otherworldly feel, as if only existing a the interregnum of night and day.

I do wish the weather would pick up.

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#365daysofbiking Radio activity

March 7th – Spinning over to Pelsall on at errand at dusk, I passed under the Old Cement Works Bridge at The Slough, and noted the radio masts there, the larger of which has always been a bit more than the average cellphone mast.

There since the days of analog mobile phones, it was the first cellphone basestation in the area and has been repeatedly upgraded as technology improved. I also carries on the same structure some microwave transceivers and what looks like maybe VHF telemetry antenna. It’s a busy mast for one lurking in a car park of an average, fairly remote trading estate.

Next to it of course, the three armed mast of a Tetra node, the UK emergency services digital network.

Antenna and masts fascinate me. And they never look better than against a dusk sky.

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#365daysofbiking Gathering darkness

February 29th – Joy of joys it was raining again.

I returned to Brownhills via Catshill Junction in a darkening hour. The weather was getting to me, as was the lack of colour in my world.

I try to be, and stay a positive person at heart. I like to try to make this journal as positive about the places I got and things I see as possible. But of late, I seem to have done nothing but whinge about the weather.

But be in no doubt: Out there, right now, it’s pretty awful to be on two wheels.

These are some of the hardest weeks I’ve ever ridden, if I’m honest.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

February 28th – Brownhills High Street. The rain was still perched upon my world as I came home, looking for a takeaway and some solace in the gloom.

A couple of minutes later I met an old pal, we dived into Costa for a coffee, and rolled the years back.

Brownhills isn’t nearly as depressed as it was; things are improving, slowly.

It almost looks beautiful in the rain. Or have I got meteorological Stockholm syndrome again?

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#365daysofbiking Night lines

February 3rd – My short local bimbles continue as I build strength back up – and a run up to Catshill Junction, then to Ogley Junction and back up the Lichfield Road was about my limit on a chilly Monday evening.

I enjoy the canal at night. The sounds of waterfowl, the quick glance from foxes and rabbits suddenly illuminated by my bike light. The peace, quiet and the sky.

Hopefully soon my range will start expanding a bit more.

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#365daysofbiking The blue period

December 28th – A stretch up to Walsall Wood on my way to Aldridge in one of those remarkable but fairly rare blue dusks we sometimes get at this time of year.

There must be a meteorological or astronomical reason for them, but I have no idea other than the fact that they are really, really beautiful. The view from Hollanders Bridge glowed in the cold night.

Reall,  really gorgeous.

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