BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Telford’

#365daysofbiking Surprises along the way


Tuesday March 30th 2021 – I’m enjoying riding back from Telford so much I’m doing something I’ve not done in years, really – blindly exploring. I’m varying my route to find the best one, and today, I had an extra hour to play with as I left early. So at Stanton Hill, near RAF Cosford, I took a dive down Neachley Lane.

My word, it’s gorgeous. A lovely, quiet, long downhill run through woodlands. I loved ever turn of the pedals.

Then, as I left Bilbrook heading Coven, Brinsford ways on, I was looking for a decent backway – they’re thin on the ground in this motorway and trunk road bisected area. I found one on the map – part of the Monarch’s Way from just north of Pendeford to Coven Heath. It crossed the motorway via a pedestrian bridge, and wound around the side of the Landrover Engine Plant, horridly called ‘I54′.

Skirting a building site, it was an interesting and worthwhile route – but the best thing was the surprise I found on the far side of the motorway: A huge solar farm.

It’s so good to see this sort of thing and I just love the technology of it. I stood and admired it for some time.

I’ve passed this spot many times on the motorway to Telford, without ever realising the solar farm was there.

This my friends, is what’s great about riding a bike.

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#365daysofbiking Certainly not mad, well, maybe not

Monday March 29th 2021 – When I said here the other day that I’d been riding home all the way from Telford I had a message telling me I must be mad. I strongly disagree. I’m getting more bike/open air time, my mental health is improving daily as is my physical heath. This lockdown porkbarrel will not be in a hurry to depart at my decrepit age, I can tell you. It needs this kind of help.

It isn’t that far. I wouldn’t do it in bad weather, or if very tired. There’s always the rail alternative. and there’s the sights one sees: Like today. Riding near Brewood, the plethora of pheasants were tricky from a safety point of view (they have no road sense) but they are such handsome birds and their antics can be hilarious.

But I had most time for the tiny black puss I met on the edge of a stable yard at Coven: In beautiful condition with the kind of piercing green eyes that make you feel guilty for the sins of your elders. Puss sat her ground (sure she was female) and stared me out resolutely. She was gorgeous.

I got home feeling happier, more relaxed and better physically than I’ve felt for weeks. And only 20 minutes later than had I gone by train, and 30 minutes later than driving.

That’s all win while the weather is so nice.

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#365daysofbiking Thick and fast now

Tuesday March 23rd 2021 – Up on the Hortonwood cycleway in Telford, the signs of a new growth year are everywhere coming thick and fast now, and one of my favourites is just emerging: The hornbeam leaves.

Gorgeously green, ridged in a beautiful way with delicate serrated edges, few new leaves are so beautiful.

It’s a lovely thing to find and a great way to kick off the season proper.

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#365daysofbiking Flower power

Wedesday March 17th 2021 – On the cycleway near Stafford Park in Telford, the blackthorn is heavily in blossom, and it’s beautiful. The first of the major blossom shows, it’s only beaten here by the odd ornamental cherry that would have come into flower a month ago.

Blackthorn – the once sought after sloe, beloved of home brewers – is interesting as it flowers before coming fully into leaf (much of the greenery here is an interleaved hawthorn).

Lovely on a dull, chilly morning.

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#365daysofbiking Opening out:

Tuesday March 16th 2021 – One aspect of my behaviour changed by the pandemic has been my avoidance of public transport, meaning longer commuting rides.

I’m back in Telford again regularly now, and generally only use the train between Wolverhampton and Telford, cycling to and from Wolverhampton, which takes far less time than I would have thought, and isn’t a bad ride, as it happens.

I finished work in Telford on a sunny, bright spring afternoon at 4pm, and decided to ride all the way home, to see how it was. It worked out OK: It wasn’t much longer in duration than using the train, and allowed me to avoid the busy roads around Wolverhampton, and also gave me chance to enjoy the lanes and villages of the landscape inbetween – including the wonderfully grandiose church at Tong.

I think I could get used to this as the days open out.

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#365daysofbiking Welcome return

Friday March 12th 2021 – In my desperate search for signs of spring, a major achievement: The hawthorn leaves are coming out.

This may not seem like much, but it means a familiar, bright green sheen will soon be upon the hedgerows, and the gloom of the bare branches will be pushed back into the background. It means it’s time for blossom to start – Blackthorn initially – and for catkins and sticky buds.

But most of all it means, seemingly against the odds and in this hardest, bleakest of winters, nature has restarted as usual, and there will be a spring.

I carried on to work, a good deal more bouyant than when I set out.

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#365daysofbiking A fleeting visitor

Monday February 15th 2021 – One of my most beloved spring flowers, one that was also one of my mum’s favourites too, is the humble aconite.

These small, yellow, woodland flowers are not terribly common, but there, if you look really hard. They don’t last long, a couple of weeks in flower, tops, with only a few days at their peak, but they’re well worth catching.

These, just past their best, were spotted growing under trees on the Hortonwood cycleway in Telford, in a spot one would normally pass without noticing.

I’ve passed by that spot many times – and all that while they’ve probably been trying to get my attention. Poor things…

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#365daysofbiking Declining cover

 

Monday, October 26th 2020 – Back in Telford, I noticed with sadness the cycleways here that are so beautiful in summer with their tree canopy covers are now opening back out as the leaves fall.

People don’t really seem to appreciate how beautiful these routes are – and mostly they’re unmapped. Cycling around Telford is generally a real joy to the heart as a result.

The colours are gorgeous, though, the downside being that the fallen leaves make for a slippery, wheel-stealing challenge to the unwary rider.

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#365daysofbiking Gorge-ous

Friday, September 25th 2020 – Working in Telford, as I left work the light was lovely and it was a beautiful evening. So I headed down the Silkin Way and then across Madeley down to Ironbridge, and then rode home.

I love Ironbridge when it’s quiet and this evening was absolutely delightful.

In the golden hour, the village clinging to the sides of the Severn Gorge was captivating.

The ride home along the gorge, and back through Albrighton, Codsall and Coven was very nippy though and I wasn’t prepared – it’s starting to get quite cold out there now, even on sunny days like this.

I must return here when autumn starts to really set in. I bet the colours are wonderful.

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#365daysofbiking Maybe it’s the breath of Autumn on my shoulder…

Tuesday, September 15th 2020 – First of all, thanks for all your positive words and encouragement over the last few days. I had no idea so many of you were reading this rambling pile of cobblers. Thanks so much, it has meant a lot.

I’ve started going to Telford again as the pandemic eases, but now, instead of going the longer way around by train, I tend to ride to Wolverhampton and hop on the train there, to minimise my use of public transport. It works better, if I’m honest and the ride to and from Wolverhampton is nicer than I would have expected.

Actually in Telford, the cycleway I love – up from the station to the Priorslee crossing – is showing a beautiful lack of hedge maintenance as my favourite green tunnel starts to turn for autumn.

Boughs brush my head. Squirrels and rabbits dart out of my path. Hips, haws and berries glow colourfully in the dark green.

Not all effects of the pandemic have been bad. I’ll be a bit sad when they get around to trimming this back… And the gentle feeling of autumn is not so grim this year. I’m quite enjoying it.

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