BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘Train’

#365daysofbiking Classical gas

March 5th – The BOC plant in Wolverhampton isn’t the most photogenic of things  but it certainly seems interesting as I grabbed this sunset from a moving train on the way home.

The huge yard with thousands of canisters and metal bottles supplies industrial gases for everything from brewing to welding. It is massive, and a bit otherworldly if I’m honest.

The sunset looked gorgeous and mat a mundane, industrial thing appear like something from a science fiction film.

You don’t get that every day!

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#365daysofbiking The ends of the day, ending

February 12th – Around 9pm at the far end of the same day. Bloxwich station.

I felt really tired, and can barely recal riding home. My stomach was uncomfortable and I needed home, tea and a hug.

But I’d done it, and I’m back up and at it. Things, like this train, were moving in the right direction.

I hate being ill.

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#365daysofbiking – The ends of the day, beginning

February 12th – Really getting back into the swing now, but tiredness is a big issue, it has to be said.

Up at stupid o’clock to get a train to Leicester, not many were around New Street Station when I arrived before the commuting day was really kicking off.

I like this place empty, it’s atmospheric and oddly beautiful.

All I needed now was a train…

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#365daysofbikingTension makes a tangle


November 8th – Spotted on a rather new-looking Raleigh ladies step-trough bike on the train on the way to Birmingham in the morning. A curious spring fitted between the downtime and rear of the fork crown.

I’ve never noticed this before. It seems an odd idea and I had no idea of the function, other than perhaps to modulate the handling to compensate perhaps for poor frame design.

A bright friend came to my aid – it’s actually a very weak spring to serve a somewhat unusual purpose. The bike has a kickstand fitted. The spring merely stops the forks flipping around when using the stand, keeping it upright.

A strange idea, but I would imagine quite effective.

You learn something new every day.

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#365daysofbiking An unexpected flash of orange



August 21st – Returning from Birmingham, the train unexpectedly terminated at Tame Bridge due to a line fault or something, maybe the elastic band snapped.

I couldn’t be bothered with the ride home up through Walsall so hopped on the Tame Valley Canal and then home via Rushall Junction, Park Hall and Aldridge.

Passing through a nondescript bit of towpath near the Birmingham Road, a flash of bright, vivid orange caught my eye.

A gorgeous par of feral marigolds, just trying to make me happy.

They succeeded in their aim.

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#365daysofbiking Across the rooftops

July 29th – I came back from New Street to Shenstone, a run I do less these days since the Chase Line upgrade made those trains comparatively less crowded.

I forgot how much I love coming home through Shenstone, a great station to start and end any journey from.

I note that of the twin towers of St Johns, only the modern Gothic horror is visible above the rooftops; the older, earlier tower – the last remnants of a more handsome church – is shrouded by trees as is usual in summer.

I guess I’ll have to wait until autumn to see the twin towers again.

I’ve always adored this view in summer or winter…

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#365daysofbiking Exorcising ghosts

July 7th – The sunset was the culmination of a glorious golden hour.

Birmingham and Aston shone and shimmered in the gathering dusk.

A train caught the sky and was golden: Britannia fought a pitched battle on the former hotel roof with the TV antennas. The skylines and canal spoke of quiet dignity, worship and daily life.

I spent many hours as a young man in these streets, on the canals and at this station. The ghosts that haunt me here are not scary, or hostile, but warm and comfortable like enveloping sheets of memory.

My place, my past, present and future.

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#365daysofbiking Semaphore

March 11th – A trip to Droitwich made a pleasant change.It’s not often I come out here these days – the younger folk in the team generally do it those jobs now, but sometimes I like to pay a call for the adventure of it.

Droitwich Station is interesting – the line here hints at a much busier past, with derelict sidings and a large signal box, but today the line is pretty sleepy and rural.

I’m interested to see that here, old mechanical semaphore signals are still in use, which always seem terrifically heath Robinson to me. They are a masterpiece of rods, wires, rollers and mechanical interlocking and it’s a wonder how they keep working so long.

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#365daysofbiking The sound of music:

November 20th – This is the coolest bloke I’ve ever seen on a commuter train. 

Bar none. 

We were sharing the bike space on a Birmingham commuter service. He’s on an urban flat bar; partially consumed coffee in the cup holder. He clearly works in something musical as he’s playing a small, portable electronic keyboard of the musical variety, and listening on headphones whilst reading sheet music.

He was playing the keyboard in total silence to the outside world, pensively and in the considered way someone might type an email on a laptop.

I’m not sure if he was learning music, marking it or writing it, but I have to say, you are a seriously cool man. Fascinating.

#365daysofbiking Platform game:

October 25th – Unusually, I had stuff to do in Bloxwich, so returning from a meeting in Birmingham, I alighted there instead of Walsall. It was dark and the only lights on the platforms were in the waiting shelter.

So here come the late night feelings again…