BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘lake’

#365daysofbiking Seeing it out and moving on

New Year’s Eve, Thursday December 31st 2020 – I really hate New Year’s Eve. I’m so glad it’s curtailed this year – the forced jollity and camaraderie, coupled with the ‘we will have fun!’ attitude really kills it for me.

But there is one tradition I always uphold at the year end: A reflective ride to somewhere quiet, to think about the year and in my own way, see it out.

And like most folk, I’m bloody happy to see this one out of the door in person. With bare hands, if necessary, and a large blunt weapon. It’s safe to say it’s been a terrible year.

The pandemic has been awful for us all, and the future, at least until we get the population vaccinated, looks very uncertain. Yet all most of us want, me included, is things back to normal. To be able to stop at a country cafe or pub again. To meet friends. To be with family.

In the dead, icy calm of Chasewater, we rode up the frozen snow to the top of the pit mound as night fell, and waited in the still for night to properly come in. There wasn’t a soul around apart from me and my pal: From here, we could hear the terminal seconds of this terrible year ticking away. It felt good; cleansing.

Back down at the dam, on the way back it was very cold, but the lake so beautifully peaceful: Until a raptor disturbed the gull roost which must have been several tens of thousands strong. The cacophonous taking to flight of the flock was stunning, as was the similarly swift return to peace.

My word this year has been tough – but not as tough as it has been for many, I’ve been lucky. But it has affected me and I feel it deeply. And I’m sorry, readers, that I abandoned this journal for a few months in summer. I just couldn’t cope with it at that time. I’m sorry I let you down. I promise I will not waver again.

So here’s to a new year, with maybe better prospects. Hopefully we’ll meet again this time next year – with a full year’s photos between – and recall this year as a past, distant and very bad memory.

Here’s to that thought. Happy new year to you all: Let us not dwell on the past. We must move on.

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#365daysofbiking Across the water

Saturday November 6th 2020 – A trip to Lichfield on an errand was necessary and it looked like a decent sunset so I headed to the pools – Stowe and Minster – to catch the Cathedral and misty salmon-pink views of the city.

I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s such a local cliche – those spires over the water, the reflection, the windows. But it is gorgeous and it’s never really the same twice. I love it, I really do.

Sometimes, it may not be original but you just have to do it…

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#365daysofbiking Recovery

Saturday, October 31st 2020 – A lazy day spent at home avoiding torrential rain, high winds and attending to bike maintenance issues that had cropped up in the previous day’s long ride.

I had to nip out for shopping so went late to catch the supermarket quiet, and for a change, I decided to go to Morrisons in Burntwood.

Returning via Chasewater, and realising I’d left the SD card from the camera in my computer, I tried a night photo on phone: It didn’t turn out to badly.

I’ve missed Chasewater lately. I must get up there more often.

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#365daysofbiking Caught in time

December 29th – The sunset was gorgeous, but I and my companion were not in a good place to record it. A quick summit meeting and we raced to Chasewater and got there as the sundown was in it’s dying, deep pink phase, which made for some lovely long exposure photos.

I guess folk must be sick of seeing Chasewater here, but when it’s as beautiful as this I’ll never tire of it.

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#365daysofbiking Fire in the sky

October 26th – It had been a frustrating day. I needed to get some stuff from a store on the Orbital Centre in Cannock to get started on a job, but the rain was preventing me venturing onto the A5. Finally, as twilight fell around 5pm, the rain ceased.

On the new road that runs to the back of the orbital past Kingswood, the cloud cleared for the most majestic sunset I’ve seen in a very, very long time.

In 15 minutes, it had built from nothing, peaked, and ebbed into darkness.

Proof that even the worst days can contain real, unexpected and worthwhile beauty.

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#365daysofbiking Clear water rising

October 9th – A rare journey to Chasetown in the morning saw me crossing Chasewater on a decent morning.

I noticed at the Nine Foot that the water level, thanks to recent rains, is now less than 200mm off full. It’s been a coupe of years since the reservoir was this full.

I don’t know why but I always get a childish thrill from seeing the water flow down the spillway.

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#365daysofbiking Time’s Arrow:

December 4th – Once again in Redditch, I passed through Arrow Valley Park on a grey, unclear and cold afternoon. 

It was interesting to note the final vestiges of colour on the trees around the lake, and I was intrigued by the sailing club, as I don’t think I’ve ever seen a boat on the water here. I guess I just pass by at the wrong time – the club itself looks like a lovely facility.

The lake itself is also home to a remarkably large variety of waterfowl, presumably,y enjoying the peace undisturbed…

#365daysofbiking Darker now:

November 6th – Today was another day distant, so I felt proportionately better. Still in Redditch, the morning was dull but I headed down through Arrow Valley Park and was rewarded with the most beautiful autumn display; the colours were gorgeous and I was reminded that even when we’re desperately sad, nature is still doing stuff just to try and grab out attention and make us happy.

March 25th – Lee Marston settling lakes continue to fascinate me. Created from old gravel pits in the early 80s, they are now more or less redundant as heavy industry is no longer polluting the Tame in Birmingham, and Minworth sewage works is a lot cleaner than it was; the dredging of the settled out toxic silt has now stopped and the site is becoming a haven for wildlife. 

It really is quite beautiful.

It’s still a live river, though, and where the weir carries the water downhill a notch, the plastic bottles and detritus still circle in the vortex here, a sign of our huge problem with plastic waste.