BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘seasons’

#365daysofbiking Yellow reassurance

February 11th – The spiky gorse bushes always seem almost prehistoric in nature, and flower pretty much through the winter in various spots along the canal and on particular local edgelands.

This patch of the spiny, hostile but beautiful shrub has just come into bloom at Clayhanger, adding to the impression that spring is nearly here.

A welcome, if prickly character after the cold and surprise snow of the day before.

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#365daysofbiking – Snow joke


February 10th – I was at work in a windowless building. At 3:30pm I stepped out of a fire escape answering a call to find it had been snowing, but only a little. An icing sugar dusting was remaining in gutters, shady grass banks and in the shadows of trees and buildings, but disappearing fast.

I have the feeling this will be the only snow we’ll get this year.

Sad really, as I love a bit of snow cycling.

Perhaps it’s for the best, though: Spring is too important to me now I think.

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#365daysofbiking – Just for me

February 7th – A test journey to work was tough, but so worth it: A stop for a break and a snack in Kings Hill Park rewarded me with gorgeous spring flowers.

It felt today, in that moment, that they’d made the extra special effort because they knew I was coming, that their admirer and champion was back.

Happily, the sun came too, and warmed my face.

Some things you just wish you could bottle for the darker days.

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#365daysofbiking – Small but positive signs

February 6th – the signs of the nascent spring are all around in the little things. Grass starting to grow again. Snowdrops. Gorse flower. Spring flower shoots. Easter primroses.

And hazel catkins, which although we pass without thought generally, are actually really gorgeous if one studies them, closely.

Spring is in the air, and just a wee bit in my step too.

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#365daysofbiking – Out for a duck

February 6th – My wellbeing is steadily improving, and so is the weather. Finally, it’s seems like spring is on the way and summer might be a thing, too. It’s been a long winter.

I’m still building myself up gradually with rides increasing in length as my energy, and capacity to process food, improves.

It was nice to pause at the Clayhanger canal overflow and chat with the mallards. Unlike the swans, they aren’t fussy about the company they keep.

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#365daysofbiking Persistence of the night

January 24th – But of course, the crippling thing about this time of year is that there’s great optimism in the morning light, when one can actually see the dying of winter.

But when the dark repossess the day on the way home, it feels like deepest winter again: Which being in January as we are, it actually is.

The persistence of the night – like here in Green Lane, Walsall Wood – is sobering, depressing, but essential. The dark may be retreating. But we’re a ways away from the death yet. We must keep pushing, keep going.

Until the persistence is no more. For another season.

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#365daysofbiking Starting to show


January 24th – It’s happening, it really is happening.

In Kings Hill Park on a wet, grey morning, flowers are coming – from humble, enduring daisies to the first crocuses (yellow. Why are yellow always the first?) with the taller, bolder spring flowers now developing well too.

Spring is showing. It’s starting to come now, and whatever happens in the next month, soon it will be here, with it’s warmer, lighter days, flowers and green.

I am so ready for it.

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#365daysofbiking Mist but not missed


January 22nd – This is a very strange winter we’re having. I hope spring and summer prove more traditional. It’s not really been very cold, but it’s been horrendously wet. I’m so used to rain now that it barely surprises or bothers me, and I think I’m developing a love of it, like some weird meteorological Stockholm syndrome.

At the moment, the warm damp is masquerading as a heavy, cloying mist-drizzle that’s settled here for the best part of a week, really. It’s grimy and horrible to ride in, and is also keeping the fumes and smell down from the local landfills and industry, making the whole atmosphere feel dirty and polluted.

Leaving Bloxwich station I passed a couple of the town’s many backstreet boozers: The venerable Romping Cat, as classic a Black Country pub as one could find, and the more boisterous Spotted Cow, which despite a chequered history, hangs on as a popular local’s pub.

In the murky, nasty mist they looked beautifully warm and welcoming. I could have slipped in there and then for a pint.

But this wasn’t 1995, and that isn’t the current version of me. So I admired these watering holes from the street, remembered fondly long gone days with workmates and their many, many post-work pints, then rode home.

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#365daysofbiking Back to black

January 16th -Thoughts of spring had been very seductive, but as the following day had proven, it was way too early to call yet. A very wet, windy but warm day, I got soaked on the way in to work and soaked on the way home.

A day with bad traffic, near missed, lousy weather and terrible light.

Returning I had to leave the canal at Catshill Junction again, although I wanted to be well away from traffic, but the water on the towpaths was so bad I had no choice.

At least the lights of the Anchor Bridge Junction were pretty reflected on the canal.

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