BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘funny’

#365daysofbiking A case of tinselitis

Friday December 4th 2020 – Heading home along the High Street, something in the dark looked different about John McKenna’s Brownhills sign.

Some kind hearted soul had decorated it for Christmas.

With things in the town a little grim for the season, with the pubs shut and the pandemic ongoing, this guerrilla act of festive cheer was welcome and beautiful.

My thanks to the beautiful soul that did this. Merry Christmas!

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#365daysofbiking It’s only flat at the bottom!

Friday November 21st 2020 – One here for Bob’s big book of bizarre mechanical failures – specifically the ‘This is not my circus, and those are most definitely not my monkeys’ chapter.

This is not my bike. I was asked by an old family friend to change their tyres, as they didn’t feel comfortable to do so themselves. ‘No problem!’ I assured them as they wheeled the bike into the garage.

First step, remove rear wheel and let air out of the old tyre. Simple enough. Since the tubes would be too big for the new tyres, I removed the valve for a full deflation – and the telltale green ooze of tyre sealant – slime brand – bubbled out.

This would be no problem, usually, except the local bike shop who originally fitted these tyres made a mistake.

What I found was only half of the tyre went down – the other half opposite the valve state inflated. That I was astounded and somewhat bemused is an understatement.

Never, ever had seen that before, and it took me a few minutes to work out – with the help of a mate by text – to diagnose that the tube had been twisted when fitted, under inflation the pressure had compressed the two twists, and the sealant blocked them creating an effective seal.

Great. But how do you release the trapped air?

I didn’t want to try puncturing it. Friend suggested a sharp tap with a blunt, soft object on the inflated section, or bouncing it off the floor. I grabbed an offcut of 2×2 and rapped the tire sharply.

There was a loud bang, and a volcanic ejaculation of green sealant.

Everywhere.It went everywhere. It’s just possible there’s an object in the workshop that doesn’t have green slime on it somewhere, but as yet I’ve not found one. A total mess. I was dripping.

The areas where the tube had twisted had clearly worn tissue-thin against the tyre, and the tap with the wood was the straw that broke it’s back.There was no patching THAT tube.

I have never seen this before, and probably never will do again, but it was a messy, if perplexing adventure.

That was a blowout on the road waiting to happen, and the bike shop deserve a slap.

Fixing other people’s bikes is never as simple as you think…

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#365daysofbiking A quiet Chase

Friday, October 23rd 2020 – I had to nip over Penkridge Bank on Cannock Chase for business so I cut across Maquis’s Drive to catch the autumn colour – and wasn’t disappointed.

It’s always a lovely route, and being a Friday, wasn’t very busy. The Chase itself was quiet.

I was on the lookout for interesting fungi but sadly the only example I came upon of note was wooden…

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#365daysofbiking Behind the mask

Thursday, October 1st 2020 – I had business to do in Bolton so took the bike up on the train. In these bizarre, pandemic days trains are strange: Even early on a weekday morning the inter-city services and suburban commuter trains are next to empty, populated by wary, slightly suspicious, bemasked travellers. Rail ravel is really not a pleasant experience right now.

Bolton is one of the areas apparently in greater lockdown, but it seemed as relaxed and unperturbed by the outside world as usual.

I was amused and puzzled by this restaurant on the Wigan Road: How on earth did that come to happen? Top marks for the name ‘Steaks on a plane’ though.

Coming home, I got off at Stafford and rode home for the exercise, chance to enjoy the sun before oncoming rains next day and maybe a treat at Milford’s Wimpy. On the side of a boarded up pub in Stafford, the intellectual giants of the local conspiracy theory scene say more about their capacity for reason and mental acuity than any outsider ever could. Meanwhile, over at the frankly insane website mentioned, you can buy a promotional mask bearing the website URL…

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#365daysofbiking The grass is always greener…

Thursday, September 24th 2020 – This healthy horse has made me smile a few times of late. Passing it at Newtown, on the A5 Watling Street in North Brownhills, it dwells in a small paddock between the footpath and canal.

I often see it atop the steep bank, craning through the fence to get to the grass on the footpath edge.

The horse is friendly and always enjoys a nuzzle when you stop and say hello.

Gorgeous animal. But I’ll never understand horses.

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#365daysofbiking Flagging it up

May 21st – I adore flag irises. They are lovely yellow harbingers of summer, and when they appear at the margins of the canal I know the peak of the very best of seasons is upon us.

Unfortunately they give me appalling hay fever and consequent sneezing fits.

I tolerate them though, as you cannot avoid the waterways when everything is just so beautiful.

So if you see a cyclist with streaming eyes, sneezing his head off and cursing profusely, it could well be me enduring my love for flag irises…

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#365daysofbiking The angler

May 20th – Wednesday was better. Things are easing up and I can see light in the darkness, and hopefully, a path back to work, and hopefully a little normality.

Out earlier than usual, I was held up by an angler on the towpath. Nothing unusual about that – one often has to stop and wait for a rod to be lifted or some gear to be be pulled in – but this one was lightly equipped.

I just couldn’t bring myself to disturb it, and it wasn’t being moved by anyone.

I’m more used to herons now – there are so many about, especially in hatchling season – that seeing them is no longer a shock and reach for the camera moment. But seeing one this confident and reluctant to move was a real treat.

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#365daysofbiking Fame at last

May 18th – A spin up over Clayhanger Common and a delight to see the chalk fairy had been active again and drawn a new game on the Spot Path over the common.

Just as the previous one, it’s a long trail with lots of physical activities to do to complete it – from walking squiggly lines, to hopping and counting, it really is a lovely, fun activity for kids and parents alike.

It’s lovely that people are doing this for each other in lockdown and I hope it continues beyond, too.

Oh, and it seems I’m locally famous. I’ve got my first, physical hashtag.

Good lord, I’m flattered. Thank you, chalk fairy!

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#365daysofbiking Stonnall rocks

May 12th – While visiting the shops in Stonnall, I spotted this smilestone in one of the planters outside.

Smilestones are a real phenomena – like the previously mentioned chalked games on local paths, they provide a safe, fun activity for kids and families, who decorate randomly selected stones and leave them for others to find.

This brightly coloured one made me smile, and did it’s job. They’re wonderful to find as one wanders about daily life.

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