BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘snow’

#365daysofbiking Deceptive

March 10th – Some days you look at the photos you’ve taken and wonder if the camera experienced the same thing you did. Today was that kind of day.

I slipped out mid afternoon. I had things to check up on. I felt rough, I needed the air. But it was bitterly cold, had periodically been snowing, and there was a very wolfish wind that punished for any open zip or gap in clothing.

The towpaths and trails were muddy and wet, but I headed for the common anyway, and found it looking good. The heathland management is still going on here and the latest effort has been using and excavator to pull pack the grass in small squares all over the common.

This will help small, fragile plants take a hold and also give bugs and other small creatures access to fresh earth.

Looking at the pictures, I notice how blue the sky looks and how serene it appears. It was really rather unpleasant. My camera is lying.

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#365daysofbiking Receding gently

February 3rd – There was still ice on the canals and the fringes of Chasewater, of course. In the gentle wind that formed the usual waves here, the edge of the ice was a battleground between frozen water and the gently dynamic open lake.  The fight was continual, and made a lovely, gentle tinkling sound continually.

It Wass so gentle and slight you really had to strain to hear it, but it’s a gorgeous, magic sound.

Shame is was too quiet to record it…

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#365daysofbiking Sugar me

January 30th – Heading to Hortonwood in the morning, I alighted in Telford in a snow shower that didn’t last long, but rendered the cycleway beautiful with an icing sugar dusting of fresh, undisturbed snow.

What made it even more gorgeous was at the same time, the sun was shining.

An odd experience on a beautiful, cold and crisp morning.

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#365daysofbiking Unstoppable, now

January 29th – Despite an icing sugar dusting of snow and a very cold wind, the dates and emergent daffodils of the industrial estate where I work know spring is a thing.

Jack in the Green has tapped the ground with his stick and it’s all systems go.

The cold might slow things up a few days, but it’s underway now. It’s coming.

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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 Just ice

January 23rd – The journey home was not so enjoyable. The snow had thawed, but it had gone cold again, and there was a lot of ice. I made an awful decision to try the canal between the Black Cock Bridge and Brownhills, and the towpath was barely ridable: The thawing snow had frozen hard and the problem was not the ice, but the ruts in it which were numerous when they took your wheel.

Almost worth it though for my regular muse Clayhanger Bridge at night, with a very different appearance for a change.

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#365daysofbiking Ice kingdom

January 23rd – The snow quickly petered out, and it went very cold overnight, with a small, further flurry in the early hours. I had stuff to do near home early in the morning, so left for work when the sun was well up and the sky a precious, azure blue.

Jockey Meadows in Walsall Wood and the Mystic Bridge in Darlaston were nothing short of stunning.

It’s not often we get sun and snow together like this. It was absolutely captivating, and a joy to be cycling in it.

For a while, my commute was like the kingdom of Narnia, and it ma=de me happy.

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#365daysofbiking A shock to the system

January 22nd – A further shock to my sensibilities was the snowfall. I left Telford in relatively dry, clear conditions, but noticed the icing-sugar dusting of snow becoming more evident as the train neared the Black Country.

Leaving the train at Shenstone, there was more snow, but it was very wet. Whilst there was a little snow falling, I thought I’d missed the worst.

Within ten minutes I was cycling in persistent, large flakes of snow, making visibility difficult and soaking me to the skin.

I was glad of the  studded tyres once more, and when I finally got there, glad to be home, too.

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365daysofbiking Ladies, please:

October 8th – This is a post that will hopefully confine us to a mild winter.

After suffering a spill in November last year on ice while riding summer tyres, I’m taking no chances this year and have the ice studs on now as we’ve already had a couple of heavy frosts, and I’m, getting too old for the falling off lark.

My rubber of choice for the cold months is Schwalbe Active Winter 30mm which has a good tread and several hundred tungsten carbide studs that bite into black ice and keep me upright.

They are a little noisy, and although not slow, not the nippiest tyres in the world.

Now I’ve fitted them, expect it to be warm throughout the winter…

March 18th – I thought Saturday had been grim. I had no idea just how unpleasantly bitter the wind – for that’s all it can be – would make a short ride on Sunday.

I pottered up to Chasewater again. Setting out in a partial thaw, I was surprised that within 30 minutes, package was hardening on roads and tracks and everything was freezing again. We’d had a fair old snowfall and Chasewater was beautiful for it – but it was very hard going. 

Trees at the lake edge on the causeway wore jackets of pure ice and the boardwalk over Fly Creek was flooded, as it always does when the main lake is full. Coming back i had to leave the canal towpath due to the deep drifts.

I haven’t known a winter this combative and protracted for years. When I got in the cold was physically painful. I’ve had enough now.