#365daysofbiking Swanning around
August 28th – Oh hello guys, not seen you for a while.
Just at Bentley Mill Way aqueduct, the swan family seem to come from Moxley were determinedly heading towards Walsall – mum dad and five cygnets, now nearing adulthood. They were in a perfect line and a wonderful thing to see,
It’s nice to see another generation maturing.
June 3rd – I made it to Draycott in the afternoon, after a very fast ride up the A515, and found the usual assortment of unusual cars, motorbikes, tractors, stationary engines and yes, steam traction by the… erm, truckload.
Such events rarely show you anything new, but they are lovely to see the labour of love that maintaining and running a vintage machine – be it steam or petrol – really is.
The Deluxe Trabbant was astounding, and the chance to guzzle ice cream, chat geeky stuff with people who love mechanical engineering like I do was wonderful.
Always a lovely event, and there will be another in October.
December 18th – Off to Telford again, and caught out by a sharp frost, I nearly lost the bike on black ice, having chosen the one bike without ice tyres as I thought it was too warm.
I’d set out at dawn, and in Brownhills, it wa misty and warm. Unusually, as I got to Mill Green, it was cold, clear and frosty. This was unusual, as normally the reverse is true. Turning into Mill Lane I realised ice was a problem and about 100 yards on I did a series of shimmies that would have please Torville and Dean.
Luckily, I had no following vehicles, and relaxed, I let the bike go where it wanted and gradually let the velocity drain away, before walking back up the lane to the main road.
A close shave, which meant I missed my train; but it did give me chance to catch an icy dawn over Hill Hook.
April 18th – The Churnet Valley is beautiful – no ifs and no buts – it’s like Staffordshire’s equivalent of the Loire Valley. Featuring a canal, a river, a preserved steam railway, a castle, several beautiful villages and steep, beautiful slopes, the reason it’s generally overlooked is because it contains Alton Towers, the theme park people seem to come to without visiting Dimminsdale or any of the other beautiful places here.
The old Flint Mill at Cheddleton is stunning.
The castle is now a school and religious retreat, an is extraordinary.
The Churnet Valley does, however, eat cyclists. The 16% and 17% hills in and out of the valley between Oakamoor and Froghall nearly finished me.
But I have to come back.