BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘IFTTT’

#365daysofbiking It’s all going on

Friday March 19th 2021 – Crossing Chasewater on a dull Friday with raindrops on the wind threatening a soaking that thankfully, never materialised, I stopped on the motorway bridge and looked down to the lake.

It was good to note the emergence of the leaves on the trees in the copses and hedgerows flanking Pool Lane. It didn’t feel like spring, but it was certainly coming.

Busily, quietly, the time of renewal is getting underway – it’s all going on.

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#365daysofbiking Worth the wait

Thursday March 18th 2021 – Attentive readers will remember back six weeks or so I noted the camellia I’d found in a neglected front garden in Darlaston. It had loads of flower buds on it and seemed totally unnoticed by the world around it.

I’ve been watching it carefully, and the first large, rich pink flowers are emerging on this stunning, beautiful shrub.

I would guarantee it’s not known care for at least four or five years; yet it’s a stunning, healthy, flower-laden picture of health.

A beautiful splash of colour in an otherwise dull urban environment. Wonderful to witness!

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#365daysofbiking Flower power

Wedesday March 17th 2021 – On the cycleway near Stafford Park in Telford, the blackthorn is heavily in blossom, and it’s beautiful. The first of the major blossom shows, it’s only beaten here by the odd ornamental cherry that would have come into flower a month ago.

Blackthorn – the once sought after sloe, beloved of home brewers – is interesting as it flowers before coming fully into leaf (much of the greenery here is an interleaved hawthorn).

Lovely on a dull, chilly morning.

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#365daysofbiking Opening out:

Tuesday March 16th 2021 – One aspect of my behaviour changed by the pandemic has been my avoidance of public transport, meaning longer commuting rides.

I’m back in Telford again regularly now, and generally only use the train between Wolverhampton and Telford, cycling to and from Wolverhampton, which takes far less time than I would have thought, and isn’t a bad ride, as it happens.

I finished work in Telford on a sunny, bright spring afternoon at 4pm, and decided to ride all the way home, to see how it was. It worked out OK: It wasn’t much longer in duration than using the train, and allowed me to avoid the busy roads around Wolverhampton, and also gave me chance to enjoy the lanes and villages of the landscape inbetween – including the wonderfully grandiose church at Tong.

I think I could get used to this as the days open out.

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#365daysofbiking Light in the distance

Monday March 15th 2021 – I’m spending more working time actually at work now, and things seem to be getting more back to normal, albeit a different form of normal with social distancing and masks.

Things after the pandemic will never, of course, be the same again but as spring comes, and I find I’m starting to commute in light at both ends of the day it feels like the world is waking up again. Just a little. Infection rates are falling, less people are being lost and hospitals are less full with virus victims.

The vaccine seems to be having an effect and things look positive, for the first time in twelve months.

Crossing Catshill Junction on my way to the High Street in the dusk, I stopped to capture the dying light and reflected on what a difficult year it had been – but also, on how at last, there was light in the distance.

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#365daysofbiking Going with the flow:

Sunday March 14th 2021 – An errand over to Burntwood meant crossing Chasewater dam for a second day running. I note that the water level in the Nine-Foot pool is still high and overflowing into the spillway.

With the lack of boat traffic on the canals due to lockdown, there has not been the demand for water in the canals, and Chasewater has filled and been in overflow for most of the last twelve months. Over winter particularly, through very wet weather, releasing water into the canal to flood the upper Tame overflows would be problematic, so the excess has been steadily feeding the alternative path via the spillway to the Crane Brook, to some local consternation.

An odd effect of the pandemic, it’s worth remembering that when water is released in large volumes it doesn’t just affect us locally, but all the way down the drainage system.

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#365daysofbiking Choppy waters

Saturday March 13th 2021 – The high winds continue, with the kind of blustery, cool weather one more expects in April than March, but without the warmth.

An evening run to Chasewater rewarded another decent sunset but the chill was biting. The noise of the water lapping against the dam was lovely, though and I stood mesmerised by it for a long while.

Through all the mess of the pandemic, Chasewater at this time of day has been a real anchor for me. However choppy the waters.

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#365daysofbiking Welcome return

Friday March 12th 2021 – In my desperate search for signs of spring, a major achievement: The hawthorn leaves are coming out.

This may not seem like much, but it means a familiar, bright green sheen will soon be upon the hedgerows, and the gloom of the bare branches will be pushed back into the background. It means it’s time for blossom to start – Blackthorn initially – and for catkins and sticky buds.

But most of all it means, seemingly against the odds and in this hardest, bleakest of winters, nature has restarted as usual, and there will be a spring.

I carried on to work, a good deal more bouyant than when I set out.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

Thursday March 11th 2021 – Still very windy as I pressed home the following evening, once again battling a wind with an edge forged on Satan’s own back step. It was grim.

Passing Silver Street on the canal I was confused why Tesco was emitting not only the usual red, blue and white light, but also a piercing green, which the picture doesn’t capture too well.

It turns out it’s the traffic lights to let shoppers into the store.

If nothing else, they’re making for some lovely reflected colour on the choppy canal.

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#365daysofbiking Buffeted

Wednesday March 10th 2021 – The warmer weather bought with it high winds. I’m less tolerant of these than I used to be, and find them more of an issue when riding. I’m not sure why; perhaps I’m more risk averse as I get older.

Coming back from work against a very unpleasant headwind which was peppered with raindrops, I stopped on the canal near the Black Cock bridge to take a picture – and realised there was no moonlight.

So I improvised with the bike headlight.

Not a David Bailey, but for such a horrid night it would have to do…

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