BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘hilton’

#365daysofbiking Lane’s end

Monday March 8th 2021 – I was discussing online the other day a local lost stub of a lane that used to be Bullmoor Lane. Bullmoor Lane ran from Raikes and Chesterfield, a mile or so north of Shenstone, shadowing the Watling Street, to a junction near Wall Butts at Hilton, where it met Cranebrook Lane and Boat Lane. As a kid it was one of my first local discoveries. I loved that quiet, undulating backway, and still do.

When the M6 Toll came through at the turn of the millennium, the last half a mile of Bullmoor Lane was diverted south, to meet Cranebrook Lane without building a second flyover, leaving the old stub abandoned.

It still exists, and is now gated, but when nostalgic one can push past the gate and ride the crumbling asphalt to the edge of the new motorway, echoing in my childhood tracks.

I always find these dead, divorced and orphaned lanes a bit sad: Dark Lane at Longdon is one, just closed as out of use, like School Lane at Norton. But other lanes were lost to the toll, especially around Hammerwich and and Shenstone Park.

It’s the feeling that they hold memories, which cannot be put back, I think.

A curious bit of melancholia on the exercise ride.

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#365daysofbiking That’s more like it

Tuesday December 29th 2020 – The snow again came in in waves. Contrary to my expectation, it had become cold and clear and the previous day’s snow had not melted away. new falls in the morning – quite intense, as it happened – topped it up. It still wasn’t much, but it kept the fun up on the bike and I enjoyed riding in it more than the day before.

I went to Stonnall, once more calling at the church, then around Hilton (avoiding the flood), up to wall and down into Lichfield, returning up Cross o’ th’ Hand Lane which was gorgeous, as were Farewell Church and Stonewall.

It looked like I missed driver of the year at Bulmoor Lane, and one tends to forget the hardiness of sheep. I particularly enjoyed the tree growing from the remains of another in Farewell churchyard and the lovely flowers on Shute Hill.

More, please. I love real winter rides like this.

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#365daysofbiking Snow… And a touch of colour

Monday December 28th 2020 – It had snowed a little, and I headed out before lunch to catch something I thought would be fleeting – I love cycling in snow.

It was very wet, and only an icing sugar dusting on the whole. It was noticeably less over Stonnall and Wall than it was back through Hammerwich, Chasetown and Chasewater, which I found interesting.

Be warned that the road is flooded to some depth at Cranebrook Lane, Hiton, between the Pouk Lane and Boat lane junctions, just before the rise for the motorway flyover. It’s deep. I suspect this may be rated to increased load on Crane Brook with Chasewater in spate.

Splashes of colour caught my eye: The robin in Stonnall Churchyard, and also the old, minimalist gravestone with partially coloured lettering.Wonder whose stone that was?

The snowman and postbox decorations at Hammerwich were lovely.

An interesting change in the weather!

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#365daysofbiking Renewal

April 12th – Easter Sunday was so quiet as I slipped out on a changeable afternoon. Mindful of the exercise only diktat, I figured a ride around the backlanes to Little Hay and back would be acceptable.

I was shocked to note very few people about at all. I pretty much had the lanes to myself – and how beautiful they were.

The blossom, green shoots and beautiful skies made for a refreshing, rejuvenating ride that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I really do feel like I’m beginning to get that old spark back.

It’s been gone awhile, washed away in the rains of the winter, I think…

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#365daysofbiking Country roads, taken me home

March 15th – The first real ride out for the hell of it in a few weeks proved to be a real tonic. Not far: Just up over to Walsall Wood, Lazy Hill then around the lanes of Lower Stonnall, Hilton and Warrenhouse, but a delight all the same.

I hadn’t been in these lanes for the devil of it for so long. It felt like coming home – and the flowers, views and rain-sodden landscape made me feel at once refreshed and home again.

Whatever happens in coming months, I’ll always have this, my spiritual home.

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#365daysofbiking Taking a toll

December 22nd – I’ve not been riding back from Shenstone or Lichfield much this winter, and the backlands are not the familiar haunts they were, so it was a shock to me on Bullmoor Lane and Cranebrook Lane that they were flooded, breaking up or deep in mud in quite a few places.

Going was tough and wet.

When this weather breaks there’s going to need to be a lot of cleaning and investment to fix the roads.

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July 15th – It was a gorgeous, mellow golden hour that caught the dry grass, hedgerows and crops safely afire. I was interested to see the sun rays from behind the clouds as I laboured back up over Barracks Lane. They put one in mind of a child’s drawing of the sun. I’ve never seen that before.

We’re having some remarkable weather lately.

May 13th – I was still feeling groggy but it was a lovely day and the outdoors beckoned, so I headed tentatively for a ride, not expecting to get far.

It was a lovely 52 mile ride, actually, fluid and enjoyable, but sadly dogged with mechanical issues. Time to break out the spanners and do a little maintenance I think.

I headed out to Hints through the backlanes of Stonnall and Shenstone, then on to Hopwas, Wigginton, No Mans Heath, Netherseal, Overseal, Coton in the Elms, Catton and back home through Huddlesford and Lichfield.

I haven’t visited the church at Wigginton for a very long time – it’s a remarkable place: Foursquare, built of very red, red brick. The main church dates from 1777 but the Spital Chapel dates from 1272. This is a very historic place.

The flowers are out, hedgerows are verdant and the landscape a patchwork of gold, white and green.

Hard to think that just a few weeks ago the Tame in the same spot was filling the flood channel.

David Oakley will be pleased to see Chilcote Pumping Station remains pretty much unchanged as viewed from Honey Hill. I adore that view.

A great ride that was much better than expected.

March 11th – If you’re riding Bullmoor Lane between Hilton and Chesterfield, in the back lanes near Shenstone, beware of mud and … other stuff.

The farmland here has been up for sale for a long time, but now seems to have an owner and they seem to be improving the soil. Slurrey tankers appear to discharge into a large red mobile tank from which a crop sprayer is replenishing it’s supply before returning to it’s smelly, but important task.

Nice to see, but man alive it makes a mess on the nearly roads

February 25th – There’s cold weather coming in, and on this splendid day, there was a razor-sharp edge to the harsh east wind that made the journey to the cake stop at Hints hard work, made worse by the fact they mithered about serving me 40 minutes before closing time. 

Customers are such a pain in the arse.

The cake and day however, were beautiful, as was the countryside. I saw my first full size daffodils of the year on the old A5 at Hints, and lots of plants are clearly waiting for the warmth to come and spring will be on her throne.