BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘surface’

#365daysofbiking Inverted

Wednesday November 25th 2020 – I took to the canal towpath on the way home which was a bit of a mistake as it had rained a fair bit in the morning, and the way was lined with muddy puddles that made for damp legs.

But there was a treat waiting.

As I travelled, my headlight started picking up swirls of mist over the water, and by the time I was near the new pond and Clayhanger Bridge, there were appreciable clouds of vapour rising and tumbling above the water, but only in short stretches, whereas others were clear.

This phenomena is a meteorological inversion and is absolutely captivating to watch.

The bike headlight did a great job of lighting the scene up. It really was gorgeous. Best I’ve seen for a few years.

from Tumblr

#365daysofbiking Up the junction

June 4th – On the way home, eating at the Lichfield Street/New Ring Road lights at Walsall. The rain had stopped but road conditions were… challenging.

I wish I new why this awful junction and road held so much surface water: It’s not as simple as drainage – it’s something about the surface holding it.

Ah well, at least the downpour had passed. To be in England, in the summertime…

This journal is moving home. Find out more by clicking here.

from Tumblr

March 29th – On a practical level, the bad weather is taking an awful toll on the lanes. Here, near Springhill this backlane like many has a ridge of wash down mud in the centre, and the tarmac either side is fracturing into potholes and covered in loose detritus and marbles that are slippery and prone to stealing your grip.

The roads now will be in a parlous state, and without much money to repair them, I fear for the condition of minor lanes like Whittaker Lane here in years to come.

We really need to tackle this very serious road safety issue.

March 4th – The thing about an inversion is it’s transient. This one came and went in about 15 minutes, and it’s ever changing. As it drifted away, it left clear skies, a very noisy gull roost and beautiful colour.

Even the coos looked impressive with their clouds of steam

That’s how you fix a bad mood, and that is exactly why I ride a bike.

March 4th – I was going stir crazy. A bad day – the internet was getting me down, the thaw had set in and the world outside had the slimy, grey, filthy wet feel you only get with melting, heavy snow.

I slipped out on an errand at sunset and something magical happened. I caught a surface-air temperature inversion. I saw it start on The Parade in Brownhills, as it was gathering over the common. I raced to Chasewater. It was stunning.

An inversion occurs when the ground is colder than the air above and mist forms is very low, isolated pockets. I’ve not seen on this strong since I was a kid. Mist drifted around and almost deserted Chasewater, and I was in the middle of it, like a kid in a sweet shop.

July 18th – On the canal near the Black Cock Bridge, there’s again a natural, organic scum that seems to be originating in the reed beds on the far bank. I can’t see what it is, but the film is definitely organic and natural.

There’s been a lot more of this phenomena this year than normally – I wonder if it’s a factor of the particularly warm summer we’ve been having?

March 1st – I noted with some curiosity that earlier that day, the worst potholes and uneven patches in Brownhills High Street had been fixed by the council. This is good news – some of those potholes were so old and large, they had their own ecosystems. But it does mean that a full resurface, which the street really does need – must be a long, long way off.


May 8th – I’m fascinated by the Selfridges building that forms part of the Bullring in Birmingham. I’m intrigued by the curves, textures and interaction with the surrounding environment.

It’s a brave, bold piece of architecture, and I love it. I’m particularly fond of the car park link walkway, which looks like something from a 1960s sic-fi film.

It’s a surprisingly local affair. Built and project managed by Midlanders, The discs, freshly cleaned this year, were anodised in Walsall. 

You either love it or hate it, but it can’t be ignored.