BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘forest’

#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 Over the rainbow

December 30th – Finally, a ride over the Chase. it started late, and felt very, very cold (although it wasn’t, particularly, just out of practice) but it was gorgeous.

Up over Rainbow Hill to Moor’s Gorse, up through Slitting Mill and Birches Valley to Penkridge Bank – from there the Ranges, Wolseley Plain and Abraham’s Valley to Seven Springs. All in the most gorgeous sunset.

The trails are mostly badly water damaged with large water channels washed into them; but it wasn’t as muddy as I expected and going surprisingly good. A lot of fallen branches, though.

Nice to see the deer at Penkridge Bank, if only form a distance.

Not been able to do much riding over the Chase this winter. I’ve missed it. Let’s hope for better weather for the rest of it.

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#365daysofbiking Rainy Chase and Sundays…

October 20th – I set off mid afternoon for Castle Ring. It was spotting with rain, that wasn’t;t really forecast. By the time I got there feeling a bit sad, the rain had set in for the afternoon.

Something happened, though, and I found my happiness in the drizzle, getting wet and finding fungi at Stonepit Green and explored a boggy, muddy forest until darkness fell, visiting places around Beaudesert I haven’t been for years.

You can find peace and contentment on even the most horrid days if you stop looking for it and just get on with finding out what’s over the next hill.

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#365daysofbiking The night comes in

September 8th – Time at last for a ride out on a very pleasant, but distinctly autumnal Sunday afternoon. I headed for the Chase and Brocton Field, descending into Sherbrook Valley, then over to Milford for the restorative power of a Wimpy burger and chips.

On a whim, instead of heading back to Rugeley, I chose to return across the Chase up Abraham’s Valley and over the old ranges, and back through Hednesford in the gathering night.

The forest was as splendid as it always is is, and far less lonely than one would expect, with the sounds of deer, owls and other creatures scuttling around, it’s really quite busy.

A lovely ride reminding me that the nights really are closing in fast now.

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#365daysofbiking The thrill of The Chase

July 14th – Working in the morning, I slipped out late afternoon for a fast ride over Cannock Chase and back through Rugeley via the canal and Longdon.

The sun, canal and golden hour were just the tonic after a hectic day, but my energy was low.

I don’t often visit the Chase in summer, as it’s usually crowded and bikes and dogs don’t really mix, but this evening – probably due to sporting excitement on TV – it was very quiet and away from the centres at Marquis Drive and Birches Valley I saw hardly anyone.

I note Rugeley Power Station is looking forlorn now: The desulphurisation plant has been removed and demolition continues with most of the ancillary plant no gone. It won’t be long now before the huge icon and photographic muse will be nothing but a memory.

It was a long, slower haul home but a lovely ride.

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#365daysofbiking Feeling so much better

February 17th – I carried on the ride – out through Hammerwich where I met the most wonderful pigs in a laneside paddock. They trotted over to investigate me and were real characters.

From Hammerwich through Moat Bank, Hilton and Chesterfield to Shenstone, with both towers visible until the leaves come. From there up through Weeford to Whittington Common, over the ranges and to a dusk thrash around Hopwas Hays Wood.

It was a great ride in generally good weather that I enjoyed thoroughly. Looking forward to getting more of this in now spring is coming.

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#365daysofbiking Rainbows in the dark:

December 2nd – A session of intensive and long overdue bike maintenance dragged on until sundown, then a thrash onto Cannock Chase, specifically Rainbow Hill.

It was warm, quiet, and there was a gentle drizzle. Owls and deer called in the darkness, and rabbits and badgers scurried from my light.

A surprisingly enjoyable blast.

#365daysofbiking Finding what’s important:

October 28th – I was lost. The week had been stressful, Saturday had been a disaster in many ways and I felt beaten, down and hopeless.

I did what I always do at times like this – wrapped up warm, got on my bike and hit Cannock Chase.

I found rutting deer at Brocton Field; marvelled at the sunset over Sherbrook Valley, laughed at a retriever playing fetch in the water at Stepping Stones. I raced down to Seven Springs, listened to owls calling in Abrahams Valley and rode the night forest braking sharply for foxes at Brindles Heath.

Some days. the forest is all you really need, and it does just what you require. 

June 17th – A much better day all around with a ride out in steady, fine drizzle to Cannock Chase – heavily pregnant deer were seen near Penkridge Bank, and following a treat at the Wimpy in Milford, aa bimble over Shugborough was just what the doctor ordered. 

The lamb had escaped his paddock and flock through the fence, but defied attempts to recapture him, and his antics were entertaining, but left the cattle nearby unimpressed.

At the canal near Bishton, the remains of the boathouse on the river – one a grand affair but now just a Brik-lined caver and passage – were as fascinating as ever. You can find out more here.

December 31st – At last, a decent if rain-sodden ride. Going stir crazy on a wet New Year’s eve, I slipped out at 3pm determined to test the loan cameras on something decent. Instinct had me head for Hopwas Hays Wood near Tamworth. 

Both cameras are excellent. At the moment, the GX7 has the edge but the user interface is bizarre to me. I’ve never had much joy with Canon kit before, but this was a revelation.

I didn’t use flash once, just the bike headlight. I’m quite pleased with these.

Oh, and happy new year!