BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Goscote’

#365daysofbiking Dripping with life

March 23rd – A wet morning, and with the Prime Minister and clown in chief due to address the nation in the evening. Life was not feeling positive.

The morning was wet, and dripping. Rain stalked my journey to work and seeped into my clothing.

However, there were fresh leaves shooting everywhere, and early, very early cherry blossom, so it wasn’t all bad.

Some days getting to work and home in one piece and in good shape is enough.

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#365daysofbiking A prickly observation

November 25th – Some things that are seasonal are always a shock when you find them, as they remind you of a year passing. Snowdrops and acolytes after Christmas, the first daffodil, the first berries and galls, etc.

One that always catches me up short is holly berries.

That’s Christmas – it is after all, a great element of Yule symbolism. But they do appear a ways before Christmas and tend to be around long after. I don’t know why, but holly berries never seem that attractive to birds.

These, spotted on a wet Monday morning on the cycleway near Ryecroft Cemetery quite took me by surprise – but then, it’s only a month to go…

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#365daysofbiking A fascinating kingdom

October 14th – A damp morning showed a remarkable range of fungi on the way to work. From what I thought was going to be a very disappointing season, there have been some remarkable displays of this remarkable kingdom.

These specimens were all in one short stretch of cycleway in Goscote and were absolutely fascinating.

One of the few redeeming features of autumn for me is definitely the fungi…

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#365daysofbiking Toeing the line

May 30th – For the first time in quite a while, despite the rampant hay fever I decided to ride home along the canal through Birchills in Walsall to Goscote.

Climbing the lock flight here is always a pain – not so much the climb but negotiating the many sets of anti-vehicle barriers, so it’s not one I do often; but today, I had a pleasant surprise.

The towpaths on the stretch I rode are all being resurfaced. This is good news: The runs through Leamore and Harden particularly have been deteriorating in recent years and this will make them much more viable in winter on dark evenings, which is when they’d be most useful to avoid the traffic in central Walsall.

At the moment, the route as far as about Leamore is surfaced properly with asphalt down, the rest is in various stages of excavation or restoration, and on anything less than a mountain bike will be very hard going, so if planning to ride this stretch, I’d wait a week or two.

Now, if only the authorities could be persuaded to re-lay Ryders Hayes to Blakenall and Aldridge to Rushall Junction we’d have a totally ridable local network, possibly for the first time ever…

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#365daysofbiking Only sleeping

May 1st – Horses are curious beasts.  Just off the McLean Way at Goscote, home to many a tethered horse, I saw this one fast asleep on it’s side.

Horses often sleep lying on their sides like this, and it’s perfectly normal – however, it’s something that unless you’re around the animals a fair bit, you don’t realise. Sometimes people not knowing think the animal has died. In the vast majority of instances, it’s just a horse, sleeping, like this one.

Lying there, I watched it for a while, until it grunted in it’s slumber and farted loudly. Bless it.

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#365daysofbiking Rime and season:

November 22nd – First really cold morning of the year I think, with lurking black ice and hedgerows and verges adorned with a hoar frost. It was the kind of penetrating cold that hurts your throat and forehead, and even though I was wrapped up, on the morning trail, towpaths and cycleways the -2.5 degree temperatures were still a little raw for me.

Every year it takes time to re-adjust.

I was certainly glad of the ice tyres this morning.

#365daysofbiking It’s because I’m a fun guy:

September 11th  – Riding down a post-rain Goscote cycleway, the edges of the trail were dotted with mushrooms and toadstools, I’m fairly but not absolutely sure of the identity of the large, spotted specimens: I think they’re blushers but could, at a pinch, be shaggy parasols. I welcome further views on that.

The field mushrooms were copious, and I got out my cotton bag and plugged about 2lb of them, which made a lovely accompaniment to my evening meal.

#365daysofbiking All misty wet with rain:

September 4th – A very wet commuteto work along the Goscote Cylceway on NCN 5 was actually far better than I would have expected, as the rain on on the hedgerows and berries lit them up and made them precious.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hawthorn harvest this heavy – from a distance the hedgerows and trees appear red.

Not a bad ride, despite the weather.

June 4th – The flower display is continuing. So much stuff is appearing now it’s very hard to keep track, but canalside and meadow orchids are looking beautiful, dog roses and x-eye daisies all caught my eye on my commute.

There really is no better time to be on a bike, right out here in the outdoors during great sunny weather.

I have waited so long for this.