#365daysofbiking Falling, down::
October 20th – I was very down today. At the moment I’m working hard, long hours and it caught up with me when everything I attempted failed, or had proven to need more stuff than I had to do it with: From DIY to bike repairs, the day was an utter failure.
I slipped out at dusk, and in a half-light Brownhills, unusually my mood did not improve at all.
The gorgeous avenue of trees on The Parade few locals seem to realise is there is as photogenic as it is every autumn, and the M6 Toll and Chasewater are always good for the photographic, darkness soul.
But today, rarely, cycling didn’t help.
#365daysofbiking For those about to rock:
September 30th – The water level at Chasewater has been dropping since late summer, due to the valves being left open allowing the reservoir to drain into the canal. The drop in water level I was told was necessary to facilitate one of the periodic dam inspections that are required here, but also to undertake some maintenance on the causeway the bisects the lake from Jeffrey’s Swag, by carrying the railway and main footway to the North Heath.
Where the embankment has been collapsing, large rocks are being laid to make up for the loss, and presumably to form a barrier for further damage.
It looks like a proper job, too – not like the piles of concrete posts that were used for this purpose in the early 70s.
#365daysofbiking Falling slowly
September 2nd -I’m under the impression that water is being released from Chasewater at the moment for a dam inspection; but usually the water in recent years has been low at the end of summer.
With the reservoir being kept so high these days generally, it seems to worry people when the level drops, but this was perfectly normal for years when I was younger.
It might not be great for the Watersport folks, but for lovers of the mini-beach at the north end of the dam it’s a real boon…
July 29th – Following all the brouhaha over the leak at Little Bloxwich and the dispute between the owners of Chasewater, Staffordshire County Council and the people who rely on it for water, the Canal and River Trust, it’s interesting to see the valves are open at Chasewater, resulting in waternflowing into a full canal and draining away via it’s overflows.
I guess they have their reasons, but it seems odd to be wasting the water at the moment, with conditions having been so dry. Perhaps they’re trying to keep up flow into the Ford Brook. The level of Chasewater itself is, of course, steadily falling now.
Nice to watch and listen to the water though – very relaxing on a dull, cool wet afternoon.
June 28th – I had an early meeting in Droitwich, so cycled back home. I’ve always loved the stretch of canal up through Browmsgrove and Alvechurch to Birmingham, so many sights, although now, north of Kings Norton it’ a bike-commuter trunk route and one has to concentrate hard on other users, which prevents you taking in the best of it.
The way over the Wast Hills Tunnel is arduous but interesting, and I still love the Birmingham University Clock; such an elegant edifice.
In between, peaceful rural and urban waterway.
I’m curious about the growing fashion for jokey, not that funny, punny names for narrowboats. They seem to be allowed the same artistic license as hair salons and some of the worst city centre bars. Bewildering.
A great ride on a day much hotter than expected.
May 28th – It was a lovely ride to Staunton Harold and Melbourne, but the North East wind, a feature of most of. the last two weeks, was insistent and wearing, but did blow me home down the Trent Valley.
The reservoir itself is fascinating, and has much more character than nearby Forewmark, surrounded by denser woodland, and from the Calke end, where the old road disappears under the water, it feels magical and almost private.
Returning home through Repton along the Trent, I found a great bridleway near Ingleby, and the farmland just east of Battlestead Hillretains it’s magic, despite the impending quarrying there. Netherstowe and Lichfield by night are always a joy too.
Considering how poor the weather forecast for the bank holiday weekend was, and despite SUnday’s deadly storms, it din;t turn out too bad after all.