BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘lanes’

#365daysofbiking Take me home

Saturday November 7th 2020 – Some important bike maintenance tasks and gusty weather kept me busy at home, and I slipped out very late on a test run.

Coming off Lazy Hill and down through Bosses and Footherley, I caught the wind behind me and the speed of empty, but owl-haunted lanes.

The reassuring light of my headlight, some good music on the phone and the joy of quiet, assured speed took me on a night flight home that was rather wonderful.

I did enjoy it so.

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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 Darkening skies

September 14th – I left in the afternoon after a bad morning at work and a day of family errands and hassle.

Heading up to Chasewater on the canal, the skies were overcast and dark and matched my mood beautifully.

Autumn is starting to come now to my favourite local views over Home Farm to Sandhills, Hammerwich and the local canal. Nothing can stop it, and as usual, after the initial horror of summer’s end, I’m getting to love it.

But some peace and quiet would be nice…

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#365daysofbiking Lost lanes

August 4th – A lane I’d not really ever registered the existence of disappeared a while ago, without me being aware. This is unusual, as I’m normally fascinated by these things.

School Lane, Little Wyrley was a quiet, winding, lightly used lane with no dwellings between the A5 Watling Street and Gorsey Lane. This whole area of scrubby, grubby not-quite countryside between Brownhills and Great Wyrley is plagued with fly tipping and other antisocial behaviour, but School Lane was particularly badly affected.

Having endured enough, in 2016 [Edit – It’s been closed much longer than this, from at least 2009 – Bob], Cannock Chase Council decided the best way to stop the problem was to gate the lane. Permanently.

This completely passed me by at the time, and I only noticed when it was mentioned in passing a few months ago on social media, so I made a mental note to ride it while I still could. As you can see, nature is now taking over and it’s an odd, but peaceful and wonderfully pollution-free byway disappearing slowly back into the landscape.

Like Dark Lane near Longdon, lost lanes intrigue me no end.

I’m glad I checked this out.

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#365daysofbiking Going for gold

July 20th – A day of maintenance, work interruptions and grim weather. I spun out mid afternoon into the wind for a run over to Burntwood on an errand.

As summer advances, the greens of the hedgerows and woodlands are darker and more weary, and the fields are now turning gold for harvest.

How quickly this year is passing. But the summer is still beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Into the blue

June 30th –  A rest day, a day for bike maintenance and feeling a little bit down after the exertions of the previous days. The weather was less warm and it felt a bit like that had been summer.

I slipped out in the afternoon for a gentle spin and cruised a loop of Brownhills on a test ride. I felt OK, fluid, and not stiff, but I was already yearning to be out again – but the wind was quite strong and I really wasn’t into it. I ran some errands and caught up with things.

The landscape at Home farm was beautiful in its high summer jacket, and on the positive side, it does look now like summer has started.

As my ride reminded me, perhaps this was the start, not the end.

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#365daysofbiking Oh flock

Boxing Day – Another day pressed for time, so another short but fast run up the canal. Intrigued to see that there is a flock of several hundred sheep grazing on what I think might be kale on Home Farm, Sandhills.

I don’t think I’ver ever seen livestock on this land before.

I wonder if the sheep are resident on the farm now, or if the crop has been sold for grazing?

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April 6th – Dipping into Stonnall and the backlanes on an errand on the way home, spring is indeed in the lanes: The first bees are dozy, but about and feeding. Spring flowers are decorous here as well as Telford, and a pheasant pranced in a field, it’s gorgeous golden plumage sparking in the weak sun.

We’re getting there, slowly.

October 17th – My deer magnet hasn’t been great lately, so returning from a Birmingham train at Sandhils, I was surprised and pleased to note this pair browsing the healthy-looking winter crop at Home Farm, Sandhills.

Terrible long range images in very poor light, nonetheless they amused and pleased me, rightening an otherwise dull commute.

Of course, the farmer won’t be so pleased, these animals – breeding well and expanding in numbers rapidly – are beginning to cause appreciable dame to crops and fences.

September 14th – Further on, still nestling in green, the countryside of Stonnall is beautiful. The harvest is largely over, with just maize and potatoes left in the fields, and the machinery one now sees in the lanes is for ploughing, harrowing and seeding. Near Stonnall itself, the oilseed rape fields are already growing a new crop.

And so, the seasonal wheel turns. As the cold, darkness and winter come on, these fields will slumber until reawakening in spring. It’s all part of the cycle, and the cycle is round.

It’s not been a bad summer. Just wish it had been longer…