BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Road’

#365daysofbiking Crawling up a hill

November 16th – Another wet and grey day, another errand: I had to pop over to Shenstone and then to Lichfield at teatime. The wind was hell coming home and the rain sporadic. It wasn’t;t a great ride if I’m honest.

Coming back up the A461 to Shire Oak over the Summerhill motorway bridge, since there was a break in the rain, I tried a long exposure with the G5X. Interesting result, but I needed more traffic – unlikely at this time on a Saturday, to be honest.

With the wind against me, rain starting and no fuel in my tank (I’d forgotten to eat during the day) the ride uphill was not nice.

Still, it was nice to get home.

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#365daysofbiking Nice chopper mister

August 20th -Whilst riding down Old Park Road in Darlaston at lunchtime on my way to Wednesbury, I heard a tremendous noise from the adjacent industrial estate.

Looking up the embankment through the trees, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Quickly zipping onto the estate and up the drive, I managed to take a few pictures of what I assume was the head honcho of the adjacent, very large car sales pitch taking off for… maybe sunnier climes.

Nothing succeeds like excess.

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#365daysofbiking Locked out

May 21st – On a late journey to work following a meeting near home earlier, I tried to get on the canal at Smith’s Flour Mill, on the New Walsall Ring Road – but I was thwarted by…. A flood.

I’ve noticed this happen here before: Someone leaves both paddles open on the lock above and I don’t think the overflow sluice next down the line – the lowest in the Birchills flight – can handle it. As a consequence, the pound between floods under the bridge.

The cause  appeared to be inexperienced boaters who were in the lock above, looking a bit helpless.

I contacted the Canal and River Trust local team who came and sorted things out.

At least it should clean some of the detritus of the path under the bridge…

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#365daysofbiking Thank you Gordon

April 2nd – One of the delights of Walsall Borough in springtime is the huge amount of daffodils on verges, in parks and other open spaces, like here on the corner of Four Crosses and Lichfield roads in Sheffield.

They are a credit to Gordon Kinnair at the council, sadly no longer with us, who was responsible for their planting.

This post is dedicated to both Gordon and his good friend Kate Goodall.

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#365daysofbiking Ring around

January 31st – I shoot around Walsall’s new ring road all the time, and it’s not a road system I like at all. The junctions are complex and often, badly thought out; it’s unfriendly for bikes and the signals are only just seeming integrated with each other after ten years of being fiddled with.

However, it does have it’s plus points. Sweeping over the hill and canal bridge from Place Road past the old Smiths Flour Mill and up towards the Magistrate’s court is a delight, which flows well on a bike if the traffic lights and drivers will allow.

It’s also rather beautiful.

Don’t be deceived though; despite the marking and seemingly wide cycle lane there, it’s shared use, full of obstacles and soon Peters out to nothing.

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#365daysofbiking Salt beef

January 29th – The cold weather for this winter has finally arrived, and the roads are icy. I’m fairly OK on the ice tyres, but it still takes time to build confidence back up when hitting black ice.

Thankfully, everywhere I’ve been, the major routes are well gritted, even though many motorists swear they haven’t been.

Road salt is not magic. It won’t work instantly, won’t de-ice the whole troad, and won’t allow you to drive like Sterling Moss in cold weather.

Tae care and take it easy, folks.

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#365daysofbiking Trail blazing

December 21st – Summerhill motorway bridge on a dry evening is the ideal place to try long exposure photography, with the opportunity presented by the  motorway below and also down the A461 from kerb level.

Today is a turning point: Not just last day of work for 2018, but the shortest day. Today, I have beaten The Suck – the darkening, grim winter commutes when traffic is bad and huge riding concentration is required. From today, the days will lengthen, sunset will get later and later and the driving will actually improve.

Regardless of the weather, the light will return and things will get better. Today was a turning point, and a very welcome one.

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#365daysofbiking Solid air:

December 11th – Heading back to work after an errand into Walsall at lunchtime, the air was misty, smoggy and heavy and caught the weak sunlight in an unusual way.

I could feel the exhaust fumes trapped low to the ground, but the effect was quite beautiful.

Sad to see the old Workhouse Guardian’s Office, listed but still rotting and vacant, marooned before the monolithic Walsall Manor Hospital.

As far as I know its the only part of the Victorian municipal workhouse in Walsall to survive, and is a remarkable building. Cruelly stranded and ignored by the hospital redevelopment, it sits forlorn an lost, waiting for a use to emerge.

Even down on it’s uppers, it’s a gorgeous building still.

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#365daysofbiking Not forgotten:

December 6th – In an otherwise unremarkable, workaday wall  on a main road in Place, Walsall, one of the UK’s many hundreds of industrial memorials to the lost employees in the Great War.

The fourteen lost souls listed on the memorial worked for the Cyclops Foundry which was near where the plaque is now, and has long since passed into history – but the original memorial was saved and restored by the NHS, who operate Walsall Manor Hospital, opposite, not once, but twice: They refurbished the memorial in 1989, and replaced it totally in 2002.

I’m glad it survived and still stands today, bearing witness to those lives lost, and it’s good to see that 100 years on, people still place crosses here to remember them.