BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Pelsall ROad’

#365daysofbiking Trying to see clearly

March 29th – The first light, British Summer Time evening of 2020 was grey, but quite soft. At Pelsall Road on the canal the old Victorian railway bridge took on an ethereal air in the mist, which was actually caused by a garden bonfire nearby.

Up on the old Cement Works bridge, I continued my mission from the night before, as I tried to clear my head. I stood here in the chill, watching the lights come on.

These are incredibly hard times. I’m better off than most – I am reasonably financially secure, and I have a job which is needed. But I have no idea where I’m going or where this will end.

I can’t see if there’s a way through, so all I can do is to take the next step.

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#365daysofbiking Going green

March 10th – On a brighter evening, on a better day than the previous Sunday, I was returning home along the canal and passed the same Victorian former railway bridge I’d admired yesterday.

Unlike then, in the gloom and darkness of a bad day, today it looked green, fresh, uplifting and springlike. The narrowboat nearby gave the scene a jigsaw like quality and in that moment, the whole thing was beautiful and the problems of the world were miles away.

What a difference a day or so can make.

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#365daysofbiking Wet and quiet

March 8th – I pottered back down the canal to Brownhills. Thankfully, the toads seem to have disappeared, leaving behind wet, muddy and rather unpleasant towpaths.

The old railway bridge near Pelsall Road looked imposing and solid in the gloom.

One of the very few listed structures in Brownhills, it rots gently without the railway that once crossed it – now a cycling and walking trail called the McLean Way which is being created by (mainly elderly) volunteers and is a truly wonderful, community effort.

I guess we’ll never get the railway back – but McLean Way is certainly a great replacement.

In the wet and silence of a miserable Sunday night it was a warming thought.

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#365daysofbiking Lost weekend:

October 14th – Sunday was again bad for most of the daylight hours, only improving during the late afternoon. The wind had again been strong, and continual rain again kept me in. I got things done though, and that in itself made me feel better.

Nipping out for the shopping I’d forgotten the day before, I noted the swan family by Pelsall Road where thriving, and they didn’t seem to mind the gloom.

I’m curious though, about Morris and his lights: They haven’t actually been on the last couple of days at least. I wonder if they’re broken? That’s sad if they are.

August 20th – Much as I hate the current fad for obsessively mowing the canal towpaths, I quite like that they seem to be leaving the reed beds alone for now (although I don’t doubt they’ll be next).

Here near the Pelsall Road in Brownhills, they are little oases of disparate species, havens for insects and other wildlife. 

And they just look really, really good.

Do we have to keep cutting everything back? Put the mowers away!

March 28th – Another type of life entirely, and one for the cat lovers out there. I don’t know who he is, but this large, affectionate and charming ginger lad was sat on a canalside fence near Pelsall Road. He said hello, let me fuss him, and tried to lick the camera.

A gorgeous cat whom I sure someone loves lots. I certainly fell for him!

November 16th – A grim ride, mostly in rain, up to Chasewater and back round by Brownhills Common. It wasn’t cold, but the light was atrocious and it didn’t feel great to be out to be honest. Some great views at Chasewater, though, with that wonderful colour from yesterday. I see the grebes are in winter plumage now, and the waterline on Jeffrey’s Swag and the North Shore could have been Penmaen.

Mr. Whiskers was the first cat I’ve ever seen on the north shore. He did’t seem to be lost. 

Back in Brownhills, a lone cygnet made the canal view complete, and winter marigolds guerrilla planted by Becks Bridge on the Pelsall Road  raised a smile.

Hope the weather improves soon.

August 10th – I realised I hadn’t really done a circuit of Brownhills like this for a while, and despite the grim weather warnings, it’s wasn’t a bad day at all. The light was bright, and the scenery good. It was a good day to photograph landscape, I guess.

A the Pelsall Road bridge on the canal, I discovered how the otherwise inaccessible flowerbed was being maintained – formerly I’d wondered if it was from the boat so often moored nearby. 

At Chasewater, the lake was very, very choppy. The wakeline had been abandoned for the day, and only a few very brave windsurfers were out.

I note that the valves are currently open, and the water level at the reservoir is steadily lowering, probably to the lowest level since last summer, the high watermark evident on the spillway bridge in a line of white surface scum.

An unexpectedly great day to be out.

March 8th – On the former railway embankment that is now a cycle track, I stopped to survey the council depot at Pelsall Road. Slumbering in the evening, there was nobody around. This time last year, the gritting hoppers would have been on lorries and working hard. This year, they’ve barely been used at all. 

Let’s hope there’s no further call upon them until next winter…