BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Ford’

#365daysofbiking Contrasting views

Saturday December 19th 2020 – A ride out with my friend though Canwell to Hints, and up through Tamhorn returning to Lichfield after dark for a photographic explore.

The countryside was wet and sodden, and I don’t think I’ve seen Hints Ford that swollen in a decade. But it was good to get back there, even with the shock of works ongoing for HS2.

Lichfield itself was lovely: It rained as we got there, and after a heavy but thankfully short shower, it was great to catch the diminutive city at Christmas with few people around.

Most lovely, though was my first sighting of spring flower shoots. There will be a spring, and nature knows that better times are on their way.

Such a strange year.

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#365daysofbiking In denial

Saturday, October 17th 2020 – A great ride really that didn’t turn out as planned. I was heading for the Churnet Valley again, and rather than take the boring road up over Willslock and through Uttoxeter to Denstone, I decided to wind may way through villages to the west of there.

I was beset by mechanical problems in the first 20 miles. And it rained that horrid, fine rain that slowly but surely dissolves your determination, by getting into your clothes and just by being no fun at all. But against my better judgment, I pressed on.

And as I neared Alton, the sun started shining weakly, and the rain abated. I found beautiful views and a lovely ford near Hollington, and in the dying hours of daylight the Churnet Valley was as gorgeous as I’d hoped.

I had planned to do a loop up Ousal Dale and Dimmings Dale but it was such tough going up Ousal Dale that I decided to leave the valley via Oldfurnace and Greendale, which were gorgeous in their sunset, with the smoke-wreathed cottaged particularly enchanting.

I headed home to complete the 70 miler though a gorgeous sunset at Crakemarsh and up Buttermilk Hill in the dark, Marchington Woodlands and Hoar Cross, accompanied by a soundtrack of owls.

The windmill at Longdon and Black Swan at Smeltingmill were lovely treats, too.

A ride that started badly but finished rather well.

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#365daysofbiking Nestling in green nowhere

June 15th – With things online getting on top of me, I headed out at lunchtime on a much better day to find cake, sunshine and solace.

The sunshine was patchy, but lovely and I went to my old haunt of Hints Ford to see it after the rains. Green and peaceful as ever, there was much to see: I was particularly fascinated by the honeybee nest in the tree there.

Hints is as gorgeous as it ever was and I’ve missed it – I must try to get here more often.

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June 30th – At Hints Ford, the water was cool and the air shady and still, and I spent a good 30 minutes just enjoying the relaxed, verdant scene and listening to water.

Sometimes, after a long ride, that’s all you really need.

I’ve been coming here since I was 12. It’s not really changed much, thankfully. This place is in my heart.

October 1st – With autumn really bearing down on me now, no choice but to embrace it. I went out on a really very grey afternoon with a strong wind and a heavy heart. I went to visit a new cafe I’d found, and despite arriving well within stated opening hours, they were no longer serving.

Some businesses confound me.

Heading out to Canwell and Hints though, the season was setting the hedgerows and trees ablaze, the scenery was fighting to show it’s beauty through the gloom and it was hard to be down.

So I just rode on and really, really enjoyed it.

May 21st – A much nicer day with warm sun and gentle southerly breeze. I headed out through Stonnall to Footherley, then Canwell, Hints, Tamworth and on the canal to Polesworth, returning via Orton on the Hill, Austrey, Clifton and Harlaston. A nice 60 miler.

We’re into summer now; the leaves are fully out, the air is alive with bugs, bees and birds, and pollen is the dominant scent. The countryside of Staffordshire and Leicestershire was beautiful, and I was pleased to note the honeybees still nest in the roof of Hints Church, as they have done for decades.

All topped off with a lovely sunset over Ogley Hay that showed St James Church beautifully.

Changeless, and beautiful.

August 26th – it’s been 7 years since I last rode this way. A fast run through Whittington, Harlaston, Clifton and Overseal, over to Moira where, looking for a cafe, I found Moira Furnace, which looks worthy of a more extended visit. Up through the ex-mining villages, through Blackfordby to Foremark Reservoir, as peaceful as ever it was. Back via Repton, Willington, Burton and Lichfield, a 72 mile ride at a fast pace, finishing under a gorgeous sunset.

It’s the little things you notice, the owl on a gatepost, the view up the Trent of the disused towers that will soon be gone, and the lovingly cared for Ford Escort that seems to look better now than it did when it was a current design.

A great ride.

September 6th – A bright but quite cool day with plenty of sun. I had the need for a good blast, and did 40 miles in three hours – out via Stonnall, Canwell, Hints, Fazeley, along the canal to Alvecote and back through Seckington, Clifton, Harlaston and Whittington.

The countryside glowed in it’s pre-autumn splendour, and the riding was fast and easy. A huge swan family at Tamworth were clearly in rude heath – 8 cygnets in all, with two on the other side of the canal. 

Great to see the new wind turbine at Hademore, too. Elegant. Wonder how long it’s been there?

The boat is for the Mad Old Baggage. She knows why.

August 29th – The ford at Hints, where the Black Brook crosses Rookery Lane is highly seasonal and is currently dry as bone. In dry weather,the brook ru s in a series of culverts around the site of the former mill and forge, remnants of which can still be seen from the beautiful pedestrian footbridge nearby. As I stood on this bridge, a Kingfisher flew under the arch. Far too fast for me to catch on camera, the cobalt blue flash is still a heart stopper.