February 16th – At last, a long ride and a day that felt like spring! This is what my heart has been hoping for.
I sneaked out of work at lunchtime on a sunny, reasonably warm day with not too much wind, called home, then left on a mission: To visit the cake stop at Abbots Bromley for the first time in 2018. And boy, was that pistachio and honey sponge worth the effort!
I delivberately pushed myself as hard as I could – I rode up through Hammerwich, Chorley, Longdon, Handsacre and Blithbury, managing a healthy average of 13.1mph over 16 miles. Not too shabby considering my recent illness. Following cake, I rote up through Abbots Bromley to Hoar Cross, and back through Hadley End, Kings Bromley, Lichfield and Wall. 48 miles in total at 12.5mph.
The day finished quite overcast, but Hoar Cross in the grey evening light with it’s huge clump of snowdrops was still a joy to the heart, as was the endless Trent at Kings Bromley.
A great, restorative ride.
February 8th – I’ve not ridden through Little Aston Forge for ages – and this curious hairpin over the Footherley Brook on the plain between Stonnall and Little Aston hasn’t changed a bit.
The brook still flows noisily, and those cottages still sit at an oblique, alarming angle to the lane on a series of nail-biting bends around them and over the hump bridge.
This is aways a good spot for early spring flowers in the hedgerows of the copse-lined lane, and this evening didn’t disappoint – just as the light was dying, a beautiful patch of wild snowdrops to compliment a pretty decent sunset.
Must start coming this way more often again.
February 4th – A bitterly cold day. I rode out to Hammerwich to check out a grave for an article on the blog. I came upon these fellows in the churchyard.
They are legion. They are spring.
A nice surprise.
February 5th – A day that started horribly murky and then picked up, and towards the late afternoon as I headed to Lichfield for shopping, the sun came out and once again spring insinuated itself in the flowers, the colour, the families enjoying the light and in a terrific sunset.
So lovely to see the world reawakening for another year.
March 12th – Since I’d had to miss the bike jumble last week, and spring always starts with a ride into Birmingham on the canals and cycleways, I took a gentle ride into the city via Sutton Park and the Witton Lakes cycleway, returning via NCN 5 through the Galton and Sandwell Valleys.
It was warm, still and the journey was as full of surprise and delight as ever it is. Everything form the ladybirds to the urban cats is awakening, and I see Bill Drummond is still communicating with Birmingham via the patch of light under Spaghetti Junction.
A good start to spring.