BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘seasons’

#365daysofbiking All things must pass

Monday January 11th 2021 – Life is grim in the UK right now: The pandemic is claiming higher and higher numbers of people every day, and the economy is taking sustained hits from it and Brexit. It’s taking superhuman levels of self discipline to be able to just listen to a radio news bulletin.

But all is not lost: The darkest hour comes before dawn and the vaccine is being distributed quickly and professionally. It’s nice to see science working so well.

In the midst of all this I ride my bike to and from work as usual, in an often alienating world of masked up, hostile fellow citizens. Some days it feels like normality will never return.

But it will, and the spring flowers know it. Jack in the Green has tapped the ground with his cane, and everywhere you look fresh green shoots are optimistically shooting skyward, in anticipation of the warming spring sun.

They know like we must all  know deep down, that these cold, grim days will pass. And so they will.

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#365daysofbiking Gaining already

Sunday January 2nd 2021 – A day of pre-back to work bike maintenance and cleaning, so only time for a short test ride to check everything was OK. Which was sensible anyway, as during the day the temperature had risen and the snow had melted, leaving behind muddy, unpleasant road conditions.

Looking at the bike computer as I left, I noticed the sunset time was now already at 5 minutes past 4 – around the shortest day is was 3:53. 11 minutes clawed back from the sunset already.

By the end of January, we will have gained pretty much an hour.

This is very good reason to be cheerful.

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#365daysofbiking Contrasting views

Saturday December 19th 2020 – A ride out with my friend though Canwell to Hints, and up through Tamhorn returning to Lichfield after dark for a photographic explore.

The countryside was wet and sodden, and I don’t think I’ve seen Hints Ford that swollen in a decade. But it was good to get back there, even with the shock of works ongoing for HS2.

Lichfield itself was lovely: It rained as we got there, and after a heavy but thankfully short shower, it was great to catch the diminutive city at Christmas with few people around.

Most lovely, though was my first sighting of spring flower shoots. There will be a spring, and nature knows that better times are on their way.

Such a strange year.

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#365daysofbiking Anchored in the canal

Thursday November 26th 2020 – I’ve spoken a lot about anchors in the last few weeks – constant things that act as a reference point and help me get through the rough times of winter, illness, sadness or stress at work. One of the biggest is the canals that snake their way through the town in which I live, the Black Country and Birmingham which I love, the countryside I ride in and through my life like rich, flowing vein of natural energy.

Whether it’s the Tollhouse loop under the M5 Viaduct in Smethwick, the Trent and Mersey in Rugeley or the good old Wyrley and Essington at Anchor Bridge, I watch the canals in all weathers, and any time of day or night. They are a peaceful, nowadays clean haven of calm and wildlife, where I can enjoy my own company or that of close friends and get fresh air, solace and inspiration.

With a slight mist, the merest hint of an inversion, no sound of traffic to distract me, a late loop up the High Street to Anchor Bridge and back around to Newtown was just what I needed after finishing work late.

I’ve posted many shots of this view over the years, but this is my favourite yet. I like the colours.

My canal. My Anchor Bridge. My anchors.

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#365daysofbiking Shroom for improvement

Monday November 23rd 2020 – It’s not been a good autumn for fungi, if I’m honest. The weather was pretty dry and many of the usual damp-loving species popped up at the wrong time or not at all. I saw very few decent fly agaric, no Japanese or shaggy parasols, and very few ink caps.

But as I noted today when the frost of the night before had passed, there are some examples about. This cap I couldn’t identify had clearly been broken and lay downside up on the grass verge outside work.

The gills and the detail in them are absolutely beautiful.

It’s nice to be reminded of the beauty of toadstools now and again. Hope they have a better season next year.

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#365daysofbiking Downtown lights

Sunday November 15th 2020 – As another wet, grim weekend drew to a close without a decent ride I pottered down the Black Path and stopped to watch the local fox travel back to his nearby set carrying a discarded chip wrapper, sadly too hastily for a picture.

It’s been a few weeks since I last came down here and the leaves will soon be all gone, instead littering the path and creating a slippery but fun hazard for the unwary cyclist.

It’s stark, but a beautiful spot at night with a surprising amount of wildlife.

Can we have some decent weekend weather soon, please?

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#365daysofbiking These days will surely pass

Tuesday November 10th 2020 – Autumn seems to have lasted for ages this year, and at the same time, seems to have passed in the blink of an eye; but then, it doesn’t seem five minutes since I was delighting in daffodils here in Kings Hill Park, but this most unusual of years has passed quickly.

I’m hoping the future holds a return to some kind of normality, but for now, my traditional anchors keep me stable, and as November ticks away and turns to my least favourite season Winter, I look to the changeless things to keep me going.

My beloved twin sisters are still watching over Wednesbury and the last of the golden leaves are now falling. They have seen this season many times, those spires and they will yet see many more. They have witnessed war, disease, boom and recession; Christenings, weddings, funerals and the Sunday worship of generations. They know as I do that these days will surely pass.

So I look to them and feel comforted that in unsteady times, there are still my anchors to rely on, here in my beloved Black Country.

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#365daysofbiking Acceptance

Tuesday November 3rd 2020 – A better day with milder weather and better cycling. I crossed Kings Hill Park on an errand, and stopped to admire the autumn colour.

There comes a point in autumn where you have no choice but to roll over and accept the darkness and cold, and just get on with it – but the consolation is always the colour and what the season does to favourite places like this park.

Autumn isn’t too bad once you stop fighting it, and then it becomes stunningly beautiful.

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#365daysofbiking Last of the year

Wednesday, October 28th 2020 – Over in Darlaston, the parks – Victoria and Kings Hill – are gorgeous in their seasonal jackets. I notice there are still beautiful flowers in bloom in the planters at Kings Hill, and the fallen leaves make for lovely colours in these vital, hidden gems.

I will always shout up for the parks in Darlaston: They get very little attention and they are such a lovely part of the town.

A real spirit lifter on the way to work.

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#365daysofbiking Declining cover

 

Monday, October 26th 2020 – Back in Telford, I noticed with sadness the cycleways here that are so beautiful in summer with their tree canopy covers are now opening back out as the leaves fall.

People don’t really seem to appreciate how beautiful these routes are – and mostly they’re unmapped. Cycling around Telford is generally a real joy to the heart as a result.

The colours are gorgeous, though, the downside being that the fallen leaves make for a slippery, wheel-stealing challenge to the unwary rider.

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