BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘rain’

#365daysofbiking All kinds of wrong

November 28th – For once, the trains weren’t too bad.  It was, of course, still a rain-sodden day and I was tired and wanting to be home.

I stood and waited and took three shots of what I could see: The exaggerated perspective and vanishing points – the people, crowding tensely but oddly patient – the train, engorging with people wanting to be home like me – the sleek, dripping machines waiting peacefully beneath their feast of wire.

New Street Station is still, and probably always be a conundrum to me. I both adore it, and loathe it. It’s like a bad mother to me: It may be all kinds of wrong, but it’s still mine.

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#365daysofbiking Waiting to fall

November 27th – In contrast to the cotoneaster, nobody seems to want the sour, hard crab apples growing just up the way from them.

The leaves on the tree have nearly all fallen, and so has most of the fruit, which lies on the ground rotting, untouched even by foxes.

I wonder how bad the winter would have to be before these were eaten by something?

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#365daysofbiking Level pegging

November 24th – At some point between last week and this, Chasewater’s level increased and it overtopped the spillway weir, but now is sits a couple of inches below this, yet the canal valve remains closed off. How could it be so?

I remembered there is a small valve-controlled weir bypass sluice in the back of the 9-Foot embankment, and for the first time ever, it was open. I’m not altogether clear why.

Releasing water into the full canal would mean loading the Ford Brook/Tame waterway through Walsall and Birmingham via the overflow system, so releasing to the spillway would mean the water goes via the crane brook to meet the Tame near Tamworth, which would be better. I suppose using the sluice allows the dropping of the level of the main reservoir in a much more controlled fashion and creates buffer space if necessary.

It’s very unusual and I don’t think I’ve seen this approach in the seven years since Chasewater was refilled.

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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 Damper and dampers

November 23rd – Another headache-grey wet day, with a better ride out than expected. I drifted over to Chasewater in the constant drizzle to visit the model shop there, and then went up the causeway to the North Heath.

With barely a soul around, and it actually being quite warm, it gave me chance to take in the misty, grey atmosphere that Chaewater can and does wear so very well.

I studied the power lines with their anti-harmonic and anti-gallop dampers, and wondered at the stress – both mechanical and electrical – they must be under in conditions like these.

And in the scrub and marsh there was muted colour – but colour all the same – in the foliage of the heather and marshgrass, and the marcescent  oaks that pepper the ridge.

The fresh air felt good in my lungs and I’m starting to not mind the rain either – the sort of meteorological Stockholm syndrome one only gets at the end of winter or during very wet summers.

Some cold weather might be nice, though.

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#365daysofbiking Little lights alive

November 22nd – Another horribly wet day. I returned to Brownhills at dusk and the whole town was sodden and grey, but for one thing: The Christmas lights had gone up, and this year they’re rather lovely, I have to say.

In fact, I did notice a light and reflection theme in my photos for the journey home which was unintentional but clearly on my mind.

Oh, for a few dry days though…

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#365daysofbiking Getting the bird

November 17th – Another rain sodden day. I know this is getting repetitive if you read these posts in series, but this is seriously what life here is like at the moment. It’s been so wet for weeks now that I’ve stopped grumbling at having to go out in it; it’s just a sort of a new normal.

The state of this is weird.

Down in Brownhills on a shopping trip, a wander over to the canalised for a loop over to Walsall Wood. The birds here – gulls, mallards, swans, geese and more – didn’t seem as tired of the rain as me, but they did seem a bit fractious. Maybe they were missing human feeding, which on a normal Sunday would be almost constant here.

I notice the goose with the white feathers on it’s head is still around. It’ll be interesting to track it over the winter, and see if it mates or if the colour discrepancy renders it an outsider…

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#365daysofbiking Washed out

November 14th – Labouring up Shire Oak Hill from Shenstone in constant rain, I began to wonder if by the end of the winter I’d develop webbed feet.

It seems to have done nothing but rain for weeks. I’m itching for a long ride on dry lanes. The Chase and Chasewater are nothing but mud baths.

And we’re hurtling toward Christmas.

Hope things improve soon.

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#365daysofbiking Kingdom of rain

November 9th – It rained all day, and into the night. A wet, horrible day stuck indoors working on DIY around home and trying to keep busy.

I slipped out after dark to do some essential shopping. Everywhere was saturated – we really are in a wet spell now. It seems like it’s been raining for weeks, although probably not; yet I don’t think I’ve every known such a miserable, wet autumn.

Brownhills and Silver Street were deserted. Anyone with any sense was inside, not out with me in this kingdom of rain. For once, I couldn’t blame them.

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#365daysofbiking Rising above the noise

November 6th – A late night and very long day at work, followed by an awful commute in steady drizzle. I felt low, tired and mentally exhausted.

Stopping on Silver Street canal bridge to take photos of the damp, snoozing town, I reflected on how much better it was here now with the new homes rather than unused, empty space.

Sadly the photos I took are awfully noisy and the camera mode wasn’t best for the subject. But they’ll have to do: The day was largely about unwanted noise, and this grainy images seem quite fitting.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

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