BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘new’

#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 Cornering

Tuesday, October 20th 2020 – Home late, I found myself waiting at Streets Corner lights in Walsall Wood, which are on a fairly long cycle. This junction was rebuilt a couple of years ago, and has been made a lot smoother in operation, and nicer to use with added filters, slip roads and refuges.

You know a good job was made of the redesign as you never hear anyone moan about it now. They don’t praise it, either, but it doesn’t register as an annoyance which has to be the measure of a great success in the UK.

With the imposing Ivy House flats, rebuilt in the early 2000s and named after a house demolished in their construction and the wide open, quiet tarmac, it’s an interesting night time subject while I wait patiently and dream of a hug and mug of tea.

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#365daysofbiking A complex question

May 1st – Not far away, just a few tens of yards up the Chester Road, the new nursing home, built on the site of a former quarry and blockworks seems open.

Castlehill Specialist Care Centre seems to cater for people with quite marked dementia and it seems to be intended to serve a growing market – and it’s a very decent looking building, which now appears staffed, and open.

I found myself wondering if they were admitting residents yet, what with coronavirus being so pronounced in such places.

But it’s a fine looking place and I wish all concerned with it – residents and staff – well.

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#365daysofbiking – A new cat of Cathsill

February 7th – Passing through the appropriately named Catshill Junction on the canal near Anchor Bridge, a handsome, dapper puss on the far side of the canal.

I think he’s a new resident. I saw him a few days ago having a standoff with a tabby in the same spot. I’m also thinking I’ve seen him on the towpath side too, which may mean he’s jumping the canal at the toll narrows, or crossing at Anchor Bridge.

Whatever his status, he wasn’t too keen on me taking his picture!

A lovely cat, clearly. I look forward to seeing him more as the days lengthen and warm up.

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#365daysofbiking Beginning steps

January 12th – A better day to complete the errands I utterly failed at the day before.

I noted that on the Anglesey Branch Canal where it crosses the South Staffordshire Railway via an elegant Victorian cast iron trough aqueduct, contractors working for Back the Track had started to build a much needed and welcome stairway between the canal towpath and the cycle and walking route below – the McLean Way.

I’m glad I’m not building that. It looks like hard, precarious work. It also occurred that there’s no easy access to get the hardcore to the site, either.

My best wishes to the people building these steps, and thanks to the folk from Back the Track for dedicating so much time and effort to make things better for us all.

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#365daysofbiking Step right up

January 1st – Happy new year you guys!

A short spin out and up the McLean Way – the former South Staffordshire Railway line that’s gradually being converted to a walking and cycle route, extending the current one from Pelsall to Newtown, Brownhills.

Back the Track, the group doing the work entirely under their own volition have sought funding for gradual improvements, and working with Sustrans and others, a new set of steps with a handy-dandy cycle wheeling channel is now nearly complete at Bullows Road, just off the Pelsall Road, making accessing the trail much, much easier for walkers and cyclists.

My compliments to the team – it’s looking great thank you!

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#365daysofbiking Changing places

August 30th – I headed into Brownhills to pick up a takeaway on the way home.

Riding up Pier Street from the canal, I realised how changed this area was. With the new housing on the former market site, this now feels way less desolate at night and actually looks quite warm and cosy.

The design of these homes is pleasant and care was clearly taken with line and materials to extend the line of the street.

I like this very much – and more people living in the centre of town can only be good for the place.

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#365daysofbiking A decent buy

August 7th – I’m always interested when I spot a new bike in any of the client’s facilities I use. This Halfords Carrera is a typical, mid range trail bike. Competently designed with mass market but decent looking equipment, including suspension forks with crown lockout and hydraulic disc brakes, this was obviously a new steed for someone.

It’s a nice bike and shows why Halfords sell a lot of bicycles despite the variable quality of their shop staff – particularly as regards technical knowledge.

I did, however, wince at the way the bike was locked. That really isn’t a great way to use a D lock and extension cable…

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#365daysofbiking Up the junction

June 4th – On the way home, eating at the Lichfield Street/New Ring Road lights at Walsall. The rain had stopped but road conditions were… challenging.

I wish I new why this awful junction and road held so much surface water: It’s not as simple as drainage – it’s something about the surface holding it.

Ah well, at least the downpour had passed. To be in England, in the summertime…

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#365daysofbiking Full time mum

April 15th – Always nice to spot the first mallard chicks of the season and these today were spotted near Bently Bridge in Darlaston.

Clearly new hatchlings, these energetic and busy little ducklings followed mum as she puttered in the reeds. There seemed to be 12 in total, but it was difficult to keep count with several stragglers!

You know it’s spring when the ducklings arrive…

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