BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘road salt’

#365daysofbiking True grit


Thursday January 21st 2021 – The weather is wreaking grievous harm to my steeds. The continual mud and grime this year is getting into bottom brackets, bearings, brakes and wheel axles. Things are gritty and crunchy and graunchy.

My bikes will be OK. Unless essential, I leave maintenance until later, when the season changes and weather clears so new components get a summer start to bed in. The patina of mud, grime and road crud is left unwashed, as it does actually form a sort of protective coating.

Note in the lower picture some of the contamination is clearly road salt.

This winter has been one of the most brutally dirty ones I’ve ever seen. Continual mud and slime from rain frequent enough to keep towpaths and trails as little more than slurrey.

Oh well, I’ll sort it in spring…

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#365daysofbiking That was a bit nippy

November 18th – It was a cold, thankfully dry journey home. The roads were glistening with ice, and the main ones, a fresh scattering of road salt.

The first icy commute home of the winter is always hard. My hands and face were cold. It hurt.

Stopping at a shop in the way home, I noticed that the temperature was marginally still above zero degrees Celsius.

That was a shock. it felt much colder.

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April 14th – Another sign of spring is the roadsalt-loving Danish scurvy grass in bloom. This odd little plant has moved onto highway fringes normally burned and hostile due to winter gritting – but this wee plant loves the salt, and thrives.

This gives a lovely white fringe to roads, motorways and dual carriageways throughout the country at this time of year.

No matter how hostile an environment, nature always finds a way to exploit it.

November 22nd – A run around Brownhills and up to Chasewater on a wintry, cold afternoon. I was looking for deer, but I think they were sheltering from the chill somewhere. Chasewater itself had a great sky and dramatic, cold atmosphere. I note from the Nine-Foot that the level is middling these days, as it has been all summer. It seems to be being maintained here so perhaps that’s the ongoing plan.

The ghostly seed-heads – which I’m told are Clematis )thanks, folks!) just added to the feeling.

Another reminder of the season from the old Cement Works Bridge at The Slough: overlooking the council yard, the road salt barn is full and the council are gearing up for road gritting for another year.

Not been pebbledahed yet. I suppose that delight is yet to come…

June 22nd – The new council depot on Pelsall Road in Brownhills seems to be fully operational now. Now the days have just started getting shorter, the sight of gritting lorries parked in neat rows and a slowly increasing stock of road salt seems to be an unwelcome reminder of winter.

I just hope that if we get a northerly wind, that tent assemblage is fixed down well…