BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Shire Oak’

#365daysofbiking Oddly peaceful

January 4th – It wasn’t particularly late – I think about 5pm, maybe 6. I was test riding after repairs. I’d relented and cleaned the bikes and done to urgent jobs on them. So a test ride around the bounds of Brownhills was very much in order.

I’d dropped down off Castle Gate onto Chester Road to burn in new brake pads, but as I pottered up the Chester Road back towards Brownhills, I realised there was next to no traffic and hardly anyone about.

I guess it’s the post-Christmas lull, but even the Shire Oak pub looked sleepy in the evening.

A peaceful, but somewhat odd, journey.

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#365daysofbiking On the western skyline

December 1st – Looping around and back up Walsall Wood, I became aware I was in the midst of a gorgeous sunset. Chasewater would have been my place of choice to catch such a vivid one, but sadly I wouldn’t make it in time, so I headed up Shire Oak Hill.

The view downhill to Walsall Wood, Walsall and the wider Black Country is always stunning, and it’s a good while since I saw it in a good sunset. It was worth it.

This is one of the greatest local views and very much unappreciated.

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#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 Washed out

November 14th – Labouring up Shire Oak Hill from Shenstone in constant rain, I began to wonder if by the end of the winter I’d develop webbed feet.

It seems to have done nothing but rain for weeks. I’m itching for a long ride on dry lanes. The Chase and Chasewater are nothing but mud baths.

And we’re hurtling toward Christmas.

Hope things improve soon.

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#365daysofbiking The hiss of wet tarmac

October 25th – I seemed to have been cycling on water all day – the rain barely abated until evening. Returning from an errand in Stonnall, I stopped at Shire Oak to record conditions.

It had been raining all day. Everything was sodden. The forecast for the weekend didn’t look much better. We seem to have had a wet autumn (I’m not sure if we actually have or not, to be fair).

After a few good, dry days it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a few more, would it?

Ah well, down the hatch. I wiped the rain off my face, got back on the bike and coasted back home into Brownhills, listing to the hiss of my wheels on the wet tarmac.

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#365daysofbiking Crosstown traffic

September 20th – That evening, coming up from Stonnall as dusk fell I was, as I usually am, held at the lights.

There are few homecomings more significant to me that this small, triumphant wait – having climbed a large hill, all that’s left between me, a mug of tea, home and family – and often, the food in the pannier – is a long, pleasurable freewheel down the hill, over Anchor Bridge and into Brownhills.

Just got to wait for the lights, and I’m nearly there…

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#365daysofbiking Thistle and down

August 8th – Winching myself up Shire Oak Hill past Sandhills at the end of another long day, I noticed the thistles in the hedgerow, now gone to seed.

The breeze will soon catch those tufts of fluff and carry the attached seeds on the wind, hopefully to fertile fresh soil.

I loved how silly and beautiful the downy, soft seed carries were and how they caught the light. Thistles really are beautiful plants.

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#365daysofbiking Green, not blue

April 30th – Green alkinet is a misleadingly named plant – it has pretty, tiny blue flowers and is a member of the forget-me-not family. It’s largely a garden escapee and grows like wildfire if not challenged.

At the moment, it’s spreading a subtle blue haze to match the bluebells at roadsides, hedgerows and edge lands, like here on Shire Oak Hill at Sandhills.

There are so many lovely flowers to share at the moment. A fantastic time of year.

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#365daysofbiking I spire

April 25th – The weather is grim again – it’s cold with periodic heavy showers and I’m wondering what happened to spring – then, returning from Lichfield I realise that spring is still here and ongoing.

Looking over Sandhills from the Lichfield Road towards Ogley Hay over the green growth of a new crop and trees in fresh leaf, just peaking above the treetops, the spire of St James chChurch in Brownhills.

A lovely sight and a reminder that the weather will soon be better.

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#365daysofbiking Sleeping silence

February 21st – I’d been in Lichfield meeting friends, and came back late in the mild evening. Cresting Shire Oak ready to roll down the long hill into Brownhills, the quiet interested me.

Shire Oak junction was dark, the pub shut and almost eerily somnambulant. There was little traffic and nobody around.

Always strange to see such a usually busy junction deserted.

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