BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘rest’

#365daysofbiking Happy valley

May 9th – A run into Birmingham the day before had me hankering for the Sandwell Valley. I had errands to do, and the park is on the route between West Browmwich and Rushall Junction on the Tame Valley Canal, so what better chance to pay it a visit?

It was on my return I chose to visit the park: With snacks in the saddlebag and a cooling alcohol free G&T I enjoyed a small, private picnic overlooking Swan Pool.

It was busy with walkers, runners, cyclists and promenading families, but everything was well distanced and pleasant.

And while I sat cross legged and munching, the late afternoon sun warmed my soul and the azure blue sky, reflected in the water, was gorgeous.

A very welcome afternoon of clarity and peace.

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#365daysofbiking Sometimes the darkness is your friend

January 21st – Returning home from Bloxwich through Clayhanger, I took the Spot Path back to Brownhills rather than the usually manic and stressful Pelsall Road, the main reason I don’t usually go that way. As I left the village and headed up over the common, I found myself totally alone in the dark.

It was murky and drizzly and there wasn’t a soul about. I could hear distant traffic, dogs, the sounds of people on the new estate over the back – but compared to the ride I’d just had, this was blessed solitude.

This is never a particularly beautiful spot by day. It’s OK, it’s nice enough. But it’s at night that it’s specialness comes to the fore.

Sometimes the lonely dark can actually be reassuringly companiable.

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#365daysofbiking Alton states

August 26th – I spent way more time in the CHurnet Valley than I meant to. A bit of stomach cramp invited a restful drink at the Talbot, and the fascination of Red Road and that castle in the glorious golden hour was too much to resist.

Alton could almost be French.

It’s so sad this place is mostly known for a theme park, there’s so much more to it than that. I shall return – I always meant to do this one in Autumn. It’s about time I did.

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#365daysofbiking I know it’s under here somewhere


August 13th – Spotted at lunchtime on an excursion from work to the hospital, a heron loafing on a wall in one of the most urban, industrial bits of Walsall: Pleck.

I adore herons for their impressive fishing ability, their shabby, almost mad appearance and their raw, appreciable character and individuality. They are endlessly entertaining to watch.

This large adult bird was preening, being slow, methodical, and thorough. It paid me scant attention as it picked at whatever underwing irritation was troubling it, but for all the world it looked like it was searching for a misplaced wallet or pair of glasses.

A welcome distraction on a lovely day.

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#365daysofbiking Stopping to smell the flowers

May 26th – On a weary recovery day, I pottered to Brownhills on an errand, and passed the canoe centre at Silver Street.

Although not as beautifully maintained as it once was – the planted boat has been left to wild and weed over – the poppies and other flowers growing on the embankment are gorgeous.

Some days it’s about distance, some days it’s about stopping at the wayside to admire the flowers…

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#365daysofbiking Peace, at last

April 18th – The end of work for a few blessed days, good weather in prospect and time on my hands. Bliss.

This of course meant the last working day was everything busy, at top speed. Finally nearing home as darkness fell, I stopped to look at the canal as I crossed Clayhanger Bridge.

Blossom is out, the trees are that bright, lucid green they only achieve at the very peak of spring, and things were calm and quiet.

It’s only been a few weeks since Christmas, hasn’t it? Yet here, in the light, the green, and warmth again.

And me, myself, at peace, at last.

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365daysofbiking Lying low

December 28th – People have asked me where the long rides out are this Christmas. There’s an answer to that – the weather isn’t great, just warm and grey, and I’m doing something I’ve needed for a while – getting some rest.

So, limited to errands, local trips have been the order of the day. This evening was a simple spin around Brownhills, as somnambulant and lovely in the cloak of darkness as ever.

I’ve resisted taking time to rest for years. That has clearly been a mistake…

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July 7th – When I initially spotted this grubby tabby and white puss lying in the shadow of a hedge at the lakeside I thought it must be injured. I was quite worried. Not even a flinch when I stopped.

I needn’t have worried. Puss was fine, and just snoozing in the heat, too torpid to move, but it did get to it’s feet for a stroke and a fuss.

I loved how unashamedly grubby it was from rolling in the dust.

Hot cats know how to do summer.

June 30th – At Hints Ford, the water was cool and the air shady and still, and I spent a good 30 minutes just enjoying the relaxed, verdant scene and listening to water.

Sometimes, after a long ride, that’s all you really need.

I’ve been coming here since I was 12. It’s not really changed much, thankfully. This place is in my heart.

May 16th – I noted the cuddle puddle of goslings as I came back into Brownhills at Catshill Junction – the large brood of Canada goose chicks were all huddled together on the canal bank under the watchful eye of mum and dad having a communal nap break.

Couldn’t resist taking some pictures of this lovely group.

The parents weren’t aggressive today, either – which shows they must be getting used to me. Or are lulling me into a sense of false security.