BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘mud’

#365daysofbiking Bogged down

Sunday January 17th 2021 – Riding hasn’t been great this winter, if I’m honest. The lockdown and pandemic notwithstanding, the weather has been consistently wet and unpleasant, and this is reflected in the muck and mud on every towpath, off-road trail and minor country lane. Everywhere is saturated, even on dry days.

We really have had some wet winters in recent years, that’s for sure.

On an evening ride out before a difficult Monday, I planned to head to Chasewater along the canal – I got on near Silver Street, headed up over Catshill Junction and got as far as Anchor Bridge, before giving up and riding back down the High Street. It was just too muddy to be enjoyable.

I hope this weather breaks soon.

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#365daysofbiking That’s enough for now, please

Wednesday December 16th 2020 – Talking of water, the overflow at Clayhanger Bridge, safely conducting the excess canal water to the Tame via the Ford Brook is at a fair pelt in this wet season. I really am getting fed up of the mud and rain and would like a dry spell for a while.

With everything that’s going on in the world, would it be really be too much to ask for a cessation in the mud and wet grime of urban life with daily rain?

I shan’t hold my breath but I fear I might be getting webbed feet.

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#365daysofbiking Surface tension

March 11th – Returning home that evening the weather had improved some in that the rain had stopped, the sky had cleared and a reasonable sunset was happening.

I stopped to look behind me in Walsall Wood, and was captivated by the reflection fo the trees on the surface of the canal.

On days like these beauty can be found in unexpected places.

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#365daysofbiking Stuck in the mud

February 18th – One of the more grinding, miserable effects of the tremendously wet year so far has been the constant sea of mud that accompanies any off-road ride: From towpaths to cycleways, every journey is accompanied by damp and filth and the unpleasant, dogged drag through goop.

When things finally dry out a bit it will be so lovely.

But that feels a long way away right now.

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#365daysofbiking Stuck in the mud

February 15th – Another weekend, another storm, this time the more mundanely named Dennis.

Dennis was a sod though, bringing heavy rain and high wind.

Slipping out on a foul afternoon to get shopping I hit the saturated towpath to Burntwood. An attempt to plough has been made at Home Farm, Sandhills and seemingly abandoned due to muddiness.

The wind howled and rain sang on the surface of the water.

The only bright spot was the Millfield Commemorative Stones – over 130 of them – that had been driven over by a Canal and River Trust contractor – have been lovingly recovered, washed and placed back in position by local man Micheal Newton Turner, who saw my blog post on the matter.

I sent him an Amazon voucher to thank him for his hard, selfless work.

Brightness in unexpected places is always a joy.

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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 Grime scene

December 9th – The increasingly poor weather really is taking it’s toll on the bikes. I’m not a fanatical bike cleaner, and prefer my steeds to show the dull patina of constant use: but right now it’s less of a film and more inches of crud picked up from the muddy trails and roads.

I’m working on the basis that this layer of detritus will prevent further ingress, but to be honest I’m not hopeful.

Next spring I’m going to have to do a lot of work on these bikes.

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#365daysofbiking Cleaning the equipment

November 23rd – Despite the wet, I had the urge to pop down the Fly Bay track to the north heath. It wasn’t luck, I think my innate deer magnet pulled me that way.

And there they were – a handsome, young stag and his harem mud bathing. He had clay on his antlers that he cleaned off on a bush, the pleasure this gave evident in the stag’s expression.

Within minutes the ladies were on the move, and he drifted after them – a lovely sight on a wet, grey afternoon.

My companion and I were transfixed, and these are not my photos – but I was stood right there when they were taken…

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#365daysofbiking Unkind cuts

November 17th – The Canal and River Trust are still doing their best to piss me off, their talent for which is so prodigious I doubt they actually have to try.

After grumbling a couple of weeks ago at pointless towpath grass cutting up on the Anglesey Branch on the way to Chasewater, I see they’ve been up on the canal through Brownhills too.

They are cutting grass that the hungry waterfowl would have grazed overwinter. a colony of earthstar fungus has been destroyed. Grass mulch now is all over the paths, bunging up the bike and folk’s shoes. Parts of the grass that were formerly lush and verdant are now a cropped mud bath.

Why? Who the hell cuts grass in winter? This is sheer, pointless, piss-poor grounds management, and an utter waste of desperately needed cash.

Please stop!

A canal towpath is a wild place. That’s it’s charm – a rough cut twice a year would be more than enough.

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#365daysofbiking Rainy Chase and Sundays…


October 20th – I set off mid afternoon for Castle Ring. It was spotting with rain, that wasn’t;t really forecast. By the time I got there feeling a bit sad, the rain had set in for the afternoon.

Something happened, though, and I found my happiness in the drizzle, getting wet and finding fungi at Stonepit Green and explored a boggy, muddy forest until darkness fell, visiting places around Beaudesert I haven’t been for years.

You can find peace and contentment on even the most horrid days if you stop looking for it and just get on with finding out what’s over the next hill.

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