BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘golden hour’

#365daysofbiking The run of the mill

Thursday March 25th 2021 – Another beautiful spring day with a little sunshine warmth – but wrapping up was still necessary.

For the first time in a good while I came back from Darlaston to Goscote on the canal and flipped to the McClean Way (formerly the Goscote cycleway): I avoid this route in winter as the towpaths tend to be very slippery and hazardous despite their recent resurfacing.

But they’ve dried up now, and a lovely potter back through Walsall getting acquainted with old friends. No sign of swans nesting yet, though.

Birchills lock flight looked splendid in to the low sun, as did the millennially constructed flats complex forming part of Smiths Flour Mill, which up until the 1990s was a functioning flour producing plant.

Outsiders would never suspect Walsall had such splendid spots right in its heart like this.

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#365daysofbiking Gorge-ous

Friday, September 25th 2020 – Working in Telford, as I left work the light was lovely and it was a beautiful evening. So I headed down the Silkin Way and then across Madeley down to Ironbridge, and then rode home.

I love Ironbridge when it’s quiet and this evening was absolutely delightful.

In the golden hour, the village clinging to the sides of the Severn Gorge was captivating.

The ride home along the gorge, and back through Albrighton, Codsall and Coven was very nippy though and I wasn’t prepared – it’s starting to get quite cold out there now, even on sunny days like this.

I must return here when autumn starts to really set in. I bet the colours are wonderful.

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#365daysofbiking Timeless

May 22nd – It’s been a week of wonderful views, that started very much on a downer, but the restorative power of sunshine and landscape really improved my mental and physical wellbeing.

Riding around Shenstone and Stonnall in a sunny, listless golden hour I crossed Footherly Brook as I have for many years using the hump-back bridge on Gravelly Lane.

Something about the light, atmosphere and my mental state combined, and I stood there transfixed for a good few minutes, just drinking in the atmosphere.

I have seen this view in rain, hail, snow, sunshine, dusk, dawn, noon and the dead of night. It remains, and always will be, utterly timeless to me.

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#365daysofbiking As the light begins to fade

May 13th – I have come to the conclusion over the years that my favourite time of day in summer is the hour or so straddling sunset. The twilight time is when the wildlife starts to stir, when people drift home and the landscape shimmers in the evening cool.

I headed back from Chasewater to Brownhills as the light was fading, and was reminded of how beautiful the canal is here: The green overhanging trees, the reflections and peaceful separation from the road traffic.

If the saying is true that it’s always five o’clock somewhere, then it must always be twilight somewhere in my heart, too.

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#365daysofbiking Golden years

August 5th – I was at work in Birmingham, late. I came back on a Lichfield bound train at sunset, and stumbled out tired in a beautiful, quiet golden hour.

I’ve been riding this weary journey from work for years along Lynn Lane. Always the same story: Summertime, working late, fatigue. Climb the long, steep steps up from the platform at Shenstone carrying my bike. Look down the lane towards home and the setting sun. Become struck with the sheer beauty of the hour.

And for all those years, the joy of it, and the love for it never wanes.

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#365daysofbiking The last of the light

May 4th – On an evening with a very bad IBS episode, with stomach cramps impeding my progress significantly, I took a ride to Chasewater in absolutely gorgeous light.

The canal, my favourite tree at Home Farm, Sandhils and the sunset itself were a real tonic and made my tired, aching body feel much better.

Sometimes, actually getting out and making the effort makes you feel better: Especially when it’s such a beautiful day.

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#365daysofbiking The magic hour

April 21st – I was, it has to be said, physically battered from the previous day – my body is clearly raging and takes longer to recover now than it did. On a pleasant Sunday I pottered over to relatives in Burntwood and returned in a gorgeous golden hour and stopped as I laboured back up the hill to admire the oilseed rape fields of Hammerwich in the dying sunlight.

The recovery ride was pleasant and enjoyable but hard work. But in this light it was a joy.

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#365daysofbiking Colour me surprised:

November 10th – A late afternoon round trip to Aldridge and back to Pelsall was started along the canal, and in the dying afternoon light autumn had caught the trees of Walsall Wood on fire.

The autumn colour has been unusually and surprisingly vivid this year. This was absolutely beautiful.

365daysofbiking Noble jacket:

October 7th – I set out on a pleasant but cold afternoon full of optimism. I was off to Cannock Chase to find deer, fungi some fine downhills and some autumn colour. 

Fate had other ideas.

The first problem was I’d left home with a flat battery in my camera, so all these are phone photos, and without exception, I think they’d have been better pictures if taken with my camera. But I would tend to think that, I suppose.

Two mechanical failures and I was sunk. A makeshift repair on a shredded tyre wasn’t dependable, so a quick visit to Castle Ring was to be my lot. 

I found good toadstools on the sandy embankment by the canal between Wharf Lane and Newtown bridges, which was nice, and the golden hour at Castle Ring was beautiful. Sad to note though now the once stunning view is again obscured by the tall trees down the hill – you can barely see the power station at Rugeley at all now.

A great sunset as I passed back through Chasewater just rubbed salt in my flat battery wound.

Some days are just not well starred. This was one of them, sadly.

#365daysofbiking The dying of the light:

September 25th – Darkness has begun to impinge on my evening commute. Often finding I need lights nearing home, the golden hour is quickly shifting back towards 5pm. Soon the clocks will dog back, and the darkness will again be upon me. I hate that.

The harvest moon this year has been wonderful, though, so actually coming home in the dark had a reward – particularly with the thin cloud haunting the view.

Winter is coming.