BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘night photography’

#365daysofbiking Changing times

January 17th -Slowly, imperceptibly almost, Walsall is changing. After many years in a state of flux, buildings are springing up around the north of the town centre.

Land that was, I think, a car park in the days when Walsall College was on Wisemore is now a smart new Travelodge hotel, with a beauty salon to be in the basement, and an odd kebab chain takeaway adjacent.

Further toward the new Tesco is a brand new drive thru Macdonalds, much to the chagrin of the dietary purists.

But this is the new economy – retail is dying, the new town centre is about entertainment, food and convenience. Over at the waterfront, a new cinema and restaurants are doing well and I wish hem success.

It’s time Walsall moved forward, and although slow progress, I’m glad to see it.

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#365daysofbiking Back to black

January 16th -Thoughts of spring had been very seductive, but as the following day had proven, it was way too early to call yet. A very wet, windy but warm day, I got soaked on the way in to work and soaked on the way home.

A day with bad traffic, near missed, lousy weather and terrible light.

Returning I had to leave the canal at Catshill Junction again, although I wanted to be well away from traffic, but the water on the towpaths was so bad I had no choice.

At least the lights of the Anchor Bridge Junction were pretty reflected on the canal.

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#365daysofbiking Facing rock

January 11th – I needed to collect something in Burntwood, then get something else in Lichfield. I was delayed. The wind was horrific and it rained on me. And when I got to Lichfield, the place I needed to go had closed early and I was thwarted. One of those days.

Hurrying down Abnalls Lane to Lichfield unaware of the oncoming disappointment, I rounded a bend on this ancient Holloway to find there had been a rockfall.

It looked like it had been there a while, and was largely sandstone and vegetation from the bank; here, water has eroded the rock the lane is cut into, and the undercut eventually causes the overhang to collapse.

Surprised nobody’s come a cropper there, to be honest. It’s not lit or barriered well.

One wonders how extensive the problem is. I cycled on my way down the middle of the road, just in case…

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#365daysofbiking Disappearing from sight

January 6th – On a weary, late return from work, mercifully with the wind behind me, I stopped on cresting the remarkably steep Black Cock Bridge, and looked downhill towards the Coppice Road, as I’ve done many, many times before.

It looks like a great downhill, but parked vehicles, a T junction at the bottom and an abundance of cats and kids in summer make it too risky to pile in.

One thing I noted tonight was the orange of the sodium streetlights. That will soon go, as the local council have now announced a plan to replace all Walsall’s old style lights for new, white energy efficient ones, which it has to be said are better for visibility, with less light pollution and lower energy.

But sadly without the comfy, warm orange glow that glistens so well on tarmac.

Oh well.

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#365daysofbiking Oddly peaceful

January 4th – It wasn’t particularly late – I think about 5pm, maybe 6. I was test riding after repairs. I’d relented and cleaned the bikes and done to urgent jobs on them. So a test ride around the bounds of Brownhills was very much in order.

I’d dropped down off Castle Gate onto Chester Road to burn in new brake pads, but as I pottered up the Chester Road back towards Brownhills, I realised there was next to no traffic and hardly anyone about.

I guess it’s the post-Christmas lull, but even the Shire Oak pub looked sleepy in the evening.

A peaceful, but somewhat odd, journey.

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#365daysofbiking In the dying hours

December 31st – So it was in the dying hours of 2019 I found myself at Ogley Junction, where I spent much longer than expected. I watched, and listened and thought about my surroundings: An owl over the old boatyard, traffic on the A5. Headlights on Middleton Bridge. The flashes of distant fireworks.The chatter of waterfowl disturbed by a fox.

This year has been arduous, and in places, very hard indeed. Keeping this journal is and has been personally challenging in terms of time and effort required, but I’m so attached to it I wouldn’t dream of stopping now. It’s an addiction.

I may, however, do more days with one post rather than two when busy in future. But my aim is true, I still love this thing, this place and the environment I ride in.

Thank you for following me for another year. I have no idea why you do so, but it’s most welcome. And in the dark and quiet of that old bridge, it didn’t really matter: The attachment I felt was key in those fading, dying, terminal hours of 2019.

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#365daysofbiking Linearity

December 29th – The ride cut a bit short due to the sunset alert, it was a good chance to try the long exposure on the M6 Toll from the Pool Lane bridge.

It rarely disappoints, I just wish it had been a shade busier.

These shots always make me think of science fiction artwork: the vanishing points, the defined, rigid lines. The tapering geometry.

Splendid, and very fun to take, even on a cold night.

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#365daysofbiking The blue period

December 28th – A stretch up to Walsall Wood on my way to Aldridge in one of those remarkable but fairly rare blue dusks we sometimes get at this time of year.

There must be a meteorological or astronomical reason for them, but I have no idea other than the fact that they are really, really beautiful. The view from Hollanders Bridge glowed in the cold night.

Reall,  really gorgeous.

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#365daysofbiking Starstruck

December 27th – Back in Brownhills I turned back in the gloom to look at Morris, splendid even on this unpleasant evening.

He doesn’t mind the rain, he’s maid of stainless steel. He’s constructed to shine whatever the conditions. And in the murk tonight, with Christmas lights behind him, Morris was a splendid symbol of home with more than a little star quality about him.

I think I should be more… Morris.

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