BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘lane’

#365daysofbiking Spot check


Wednesday December 2nd 2020 – Nipping to Clayhanger on an evening errand, I took the ‘new’ Spot path – the footpath that goes between Bridge Street, over the Common (’Spot’) by the settling pools and comes out by Pier Street pedestrian bridge.

It’s the ‘new’ path as it was created in the early 1980s while Clayhanger Common was being reclaimed from an old refuse tip, and served as a diversion for a shorter, more direct path called ‘Spot Lane’.

Spot Lane was reinstated as a footway when the common was complete, but the new path remained, and I’ve always preferred it. It’s especially atmospheric at night.

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#365daysofbiking Sheen

Thursday November 12th 2020 – Heading home from an afternoon at work and the weather was grim: Blustery and damp.

I took a different route home to usual, to tack along the wind. I stopped on the crest of Clayhanger Bridge to adjust my jacket and looked behind me towards the Lindon Road.

That night-sheen of wet tarmac. It doesn’t matter how bad things are, or how grim the location, there’s something attractive about it. It fascinates and captivates me.

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#365daysofbiking A break in the weather

May 23rd – Over to Lichfield for some essential shopping and the closed state of the city was expected, but dragged me down. There was only one thing to rectify the gloom: A return via the country lanes of Wall, Chesterfield and Hilton.

On Bullmoor Lane I was caught in the briefest of short, sharp and intense showers, and it passed as quickly as it arrived, leaving nothing but sightly damp lanes and a beautiful partial rainbow.

Summer is fantastic.

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#365daysofbiking Timeless

May 22nd – It’s been a week of wonderful views, that started very much on a downer, but the restorative power of sunshine and landscape really improved my mental and physical wellbeing.

Riding around Shenstone and Stonnall in a sunny, listless golden hour I crossed Footherly Brook as I have for many years using the hump-back bridge on Gravelly Lane.

Something about the light, atmosphere and my mental state combined, and I stood there transfixed for a good few minutes, just drinking in the atmosphere.

I have seen this view in rain, hail, snow, sunshine, dusk, dawn, noon and the dead of night. It remains, and always will be, utterly timeless to me.

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#365daysofbiking A king’s ramson

May 10th – The weather was still excellent the following day so I decided to ride out to another of my great restoratives – the Needwood Valley and Hoar Cross.

On the way, I came through Hanch, the tiny hamlet between Longdon Green and Handsacre.

This small cluster of large houses is old, and there’s a brook flowing noisily alongside the tree-lined lane. In the margin between the two, a veritable forest of wild garlic, or ramsons.

The smell of garlic was strong and heady, and very appetising. This common wetland plant can be used as a substitute for normal garlic and is tasty in stir fries and can make for lovely jams and sauces.

I picked a little for later…

A treat for the senses.

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#365daysofbiking Life by water

January 28th – By the time I got to Whitehorse Road/Wharf Lane, things felt a bit better. My trepidation was still there, but night was coming in now and the light was altogether better, friendlier and more comforting. And the wind seemed to be subsiding.

There’s a current Canal and River trust campaign about life being better close to water. They’re not wrong, actually.

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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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#365daysofbiking Pumpkin it up

October 31st – Nice to see so many little groups of kids and adults out trick or treating this Halloween. I’m not entirely in love with the US import, but it does seem popular and anything that gets kids out and about is fine by me.

Sadly this year not so many houses seemed to be decorated for the newly-rejuvenated festival.

There were, however, some great examples like this decorated house at Cartersfield Lane near Stonnall.

It really was lovely in the dark…

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