BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘summer’

#365daysofbiking And still they come

June 12th – I think that very soon I shall start growing webs between my toes. This rain is remarkable and without a break. It’s beginning to get to even me – there’s a permanent rainbow in our kitchen from drying waterproofs.

But still, nature does it’s thing: On a short errand out of work at Darlaston, my first spots of the lovely, thistle-like knapweed and cleavers, the sticky, velcro-like seeds that stick to anything furry – socks, dogs, cats.

Cleavers, or sweethearts are we called them, always now remind me of leprechaun testicles after a comment from Susan Marie Ward years ago.

I’ve given up hoping for an end to the rain and am just hoping I don’t drown…

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#365daysofbiking A break in the clouds

June 2nd – On my return, for a short while, the sun came out and the skies were lovely over Hammerwich and the canal from Chasewater.

One of the reasons I ride a bike is the connection to my environment it gives me – good weather or bad I feel on my bike that the world continues to spin, and that for better or worse, I’m part of it.

For a few sunny minutes on a green, beautiful canal on a blustery sad Sunday, the clouds thinned and as the world continued to spin, and I felt lifted and content to be part of it.

My cyclic antidepressant had worked again.

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#365daysofbiking So, where were you?

May 16th – Such lovely days this week – sunny, but not overly hot, with a fresh breeze. The burst of early summer has jolted trees, wildflowers, wildlife and the community into life.

The roads are full of fair-weather cyclists, the countryside full of walkers. People taking the air, enjoying the beauty of the season. Here in Green Lane this evening I noted unfamiliar folk out and about – and what a fine spot, alive with greenery and birdsong.

Of course, it’s mostly beautiful all year around, even when in the darkest winter days. But it takes a lot of time and experience to appreciate that.

So for now, I greet those newly rediscovering the outdoors with a cheery ‘Hello!’ or wave, and resist the urge to ask where they were six months ago…

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#365daysofbiking Hall or nothing

April 20th – First dayride of the year on a glorious spring day racked up a decent 188 miles.

Leaving at dawn to return in the evening, a run the length of the High Peak and Tissington trails and then over the Weaver Hills was just what the doctor ordered although I was exhausted at the end of it.

The rout was broadly Lichfield – Burton via Whittington and Walton; Derby via Findern; over to Keddleston Hall where I opened these majesticic gates to cross the hall grounds. From there, Mercaston to Kirk Ireton, joining the HPT at Middleton Top.

Return was via Rochester, Abbots Bromley and Handsace.

I have missed having the Peak District in my life so much.

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#365daysofbiking Neighbourhood watch

April 13th – Near Catshill on the way back, I was being watched. It took me a while to spot my observer, but puss ambled along the bank and mewed at me softly.

There’s been a marked increase in recent days of cats out and about, taking the air. It’s  sure sign summer is coming when these generally quiet, studious and indolent urban flaneurs appear on the patch.

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#365daysofbiking Going down:

September 26th – Crossing Cathshill Junction and heading up to Anchor Bridge, I caught it on the cusp of day and night, and realised that soon, I would be doing this once more in darkness.

I don’t know where summer went this year; it seems barely days since I was riding the roaches, eating ice-cream at Blithfield or riding in short sleeves around North Warwickshire.

Time passes so fast these days. It was a good summer – I doubt I’ll ever see one with such consistently fine weather again.

#365daysofbiking Still hanging on:

September 15th – Back on the canal in Brownhills on the way back home, the autumn was far more subtle. The hawthorn hedgerows are very, very crimson this year with hawthorn berries showing a particularly heavy harvest,  and the reed beds, grass and waterside trees are still pretty green. 

If I tried hard, I could just forget the oncoming season and still convince myself these were the end days of a great summer.

#365daysofbiking Back on track

September 1st – I took a bimble on the bridleway that runs from Claypit Lane by Aldershawe at Wall to to the old Watling Street by the Birmingham Road, which I haven’t done for years.

The fields on Harehurst Hill were being ploughed, and under the railway bridge, there seemed to be a fault in the rendering of reality…

A beautiful little green lane I’d forgotten all about.

August 20th – One of the sad but beautiful signs of a closing summer is toadflax, otherwise known as butter and eggs. This beautiful plant, in shades of yellow, white and orange will be common now in hedges and on towpath fringes until October.

It’;s a lovely thing but it does make me sad for a season passed.