BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘hazards’

#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

Sunday November 15th 2020 – As another wet, grim weekend drew to a close without a decent ride I pottered down the Black Path and stopped to watch the local fox travel back to his nearby set carrying a discarded chip wrapper, sadly too hastily for a picture.

It’s been a few weeks since I last came down here and the leaves will soon be all gone, instead littering the path and creating a slippery but fun hazard for the unwary cyclist.

It’s stark, but a beautiful spot at night with a surprising amount of wildlife.

Can we have some decent weekend weather soon, please?

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#365daysofbiking Under the cloak of darkness

Tuesday, October 27th 2020 – Another cycleway, beautiful in the autumn night, but very treacherous as I found out, very nearly taking a spill on a corner.

This is the shortcut between the A51 near Beacon Park and Leomansley, a great way of cutting off the Friary island that pops you out further up the Walsall Road, giving a great route through the park when coming back from Lichfield.

The leaf mulch here was very wet and slippery, and despite taking care, my summer tyres still failed to grip as I skirted the anti-vehicle barrier.

Thankfully I held it and no harm done, but a timely reminder that there’s danger in the darkness.

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#365daysofbiking Declining cover


Monday, October 26th 2020 – Back in Telford, I noticed with sadness the cycleways here that are so beautiful in summer with their tree canopy covers are now opening back out as the leaves fall.

People don’t really seem to appreciate how beautiful these routes are – and mostly they’re unmapped. Cycling around Telford is generally a real joy to the heart as a result.

The colours are gorgeous, though, the downside being that the fallen leaves make for a slippery, wheel-stealing challenge to the unwary rider.

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#365daysofbiking A gentle fall

Monday, October 19th 2020 – The autumn is now in full swing, and the leaves are dropping at a rate.

Combined with the rains, it can make cycling hazardous as the leaf litter turns into a slippery goop that steals wheels and makes for interesting braking.

No such concerns on the Black Bath beside Holland Park, however, where the lights, sky and seasonal detritus gently combine for some great dusk colour.

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#365daysofbiking Sucked down

Monday, October 12th 2020 – Back to the rain and grey. Such is the season.

I’ve been ignoring as much as possible the nights closing in, for my hatred of the darkening in Autumn causes me to get down if I think about it too much, but this evening, leaving work only a little later than usual, I hit The Suck.

The Suck is the season of commutes from when they start occurring in darkness until about Christmas, until motorists are used to the dark and bad weather again. All through this period, riding a bike home especially, is more arduous mentally and more hazardous. Unused to the gathering murk, drivers seem less attentive, more aggressive and riding safely in traffic requires absolute attentiveness in a way it doesn’t in daylight.

At around Christmas the hazard wanes as the traffic is more used to the lack of light, and the pressure and aggression gradually eases.

This evening, at Rushall feeling mentally flat, I realised how hard I’d been concentrating and that for another year, the traffic was sucking me down.

Be careful out there folks. Every other person on the road is someone’s child. Let’s look after each other.

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#365daysofbiking – Road cones

February 10th – I went to Telford. Hard work, a tough ride, but finding my wheels again.

Sadly, they were nearly snatched from under me on the Priorslee cycleway by an unusual hazard – huge cones brought down off the nearby pine tree by the previous day’s storm.

Normally soft and compliant, these were not ripe, but hard and slippery.

Quite an unexpected hazard!

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#365daysofbiking Facing rock

January 11th – I needed to collect something in Burntwood, then get something else in Lichfield. I was delayed. The wind was horrific and it rained on me. And when I got to Lichfield, the place I needed to go had closed early and I was thwarted. One of those days.

Hurrying down Abnalls Lane to Lichfield unaware of the oncoming disappointment, I rounded a bend on this ancient Holloway to find there had been a rockfall.

It looked like it had been there a while, and was largely sandstone and vegetation from the bank; here, water has eroded the rock the lane is cut into, and the undercut eventually causes the overhang to collapse.

Surprised nobody’s come a cropper there, to be honest. It’s not lit or barriered well.

One wonders how extensive the problem is. I cycled on my way down the middle of the road, just in case…

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#365daysofbiking Come and have a go

June 9th – To the Canada geese with young, I remain their biggest enemy.

This momma was separated with 2 chicks from her parter and was anxious to rejoin the main brood.

I loved the little guy peering out from behind her.

It would be nice to be able to potter about the canal without being hissed at and pecked for a change…

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#365daysofbiking Mind your head

April 7th – I came back up Albutts Road and down the old rail line to the old cement works bridge at The Slough. On the part of the track between Engine Lane and the A5 which isn’t an official cycleway, there are several fallen trees making riding fun, necessitating an array of ducking, weaving and bunny hops.

Great stuff.

The fallen wood also may have the added benefit of chinning some pillock on a quad or scrambler who illegally terrorise these woods scaring wildlife and walkers.

We live in hope.

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