BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘urban’

#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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#365daysofbiking I can see clearly now

January 27th – I returned that evening in half-light and as I got to Brownhills, I couldn’t resist a shot of the canal at Silver Street from a bit of a different angle.

Night had fallen but it was the most clear, dry glistening evening I’d seen for a while. Not a trace of anything in the air. It was glass hard clear, and beautiful with it.

An area that’s nice enough by day becomes golden and almost mysterious by night.

The lights on the boat looked really welcoming, too…

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#365daysofbiking Purple wonder

January 27th – After the darkness of the weekend, a bright, sunny and chilly morning.

I stopped on the industrial estate near work to answer my phone on the way in, and looking down as I chatted, I noticed these tiny, tiny purse flowers in the bed at my feet.

They are truly gorgeous and a lovely colour.

I have no idea what they are, but they’re lovely. Can anyone help, please?

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#365daysofbiking An awkward subject

January 26th – Like the village itself, Walsall Wood Church of St John is a quiet, understated gem. Originally a tiny church, extended massively by the Victorians, then again pretty brutally by the diocese of Lichfield in the 1980s, its personality has maintained surprisingly well.

It’s a lovely subject at night, has a great clock and presents a great aspect to the road. But for a couple of things.

The bloody streetlight just out of shot on the right, and the pedestrian crossing light in the foreground.

Any decent angle on the building includes one, the other or both, destroying the shot. It’s one of those frustrations that just make the character of a place.

But that’s Walsall Wood for you. Never less than quirky.

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#365daysofbiking Wood and heart


January 26th – And there it were – gone. With neither a thank you nor a goodnight, the mist upped and left, and Sunday was damp, wet but mercifully clear with an appreciable wind.

The air was clearer. I could breath again without feeling that grip on my chest from traffic fumes.

I came back from helping a pal in the early evening, and stopped for the cashpoint in the High Street. It was quiet. The takeaways were doing trade, the pubs seemed alive, but traffic was light and this still identifiable ex-mining village straddling the Walsall to Lichfield Road slumbered peacefully.

I like Walsall Wood. I always have. It’s not prepossessing, exotic or flash. But it has soul and warmth and always looks welcoming at night.

It’ll always have a bit of my heart.

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#365daysofbiking Starting to show


January 24th – It’s happening, it really is happening.

In Kings Hill Park on a wet, grey morning, flowers are coming – from humble, enduring daisies to the first crocuses (yellow. Why are yellow always the first?) with the taller, bolder spring flowers now developing well too.

Spring is showing. It’s starting to come now, and whatever happens in the next month, soon it will be here, with it’s warmer, lighter days, flowers and green.

I am so ready for it.

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#365daysofbiking Diffuse

January 23rd – The murk continued through the next day, too, and it was beginning to get on my chest. Cycling in it, with it’s grim cocktail of traffic fumes, damp, road spray and smog is not inspiring.

However, I had to nip up to Coppice Side on the way home to see a pal. As I crossed the old Jolly Collier bridge, the urban lights and mist combined to make something special.

The diffuse glow of the gas discharge lamps suddenly made a very ordinary place extraordinary, and I was captivated.

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#365daysofbiking On the waterfront

January 18th -Whatever happens, Brownhills is always in my heart. The old place has it’s problems – like those of any post industrial town – but I love the canals, the open spaces, the countryside and the frontier feel of a town on the fringe between the West Midlands Conurbation and the rolling countryside of South Staffordshire.

On a cold, clear evening, returning from errands I came along the canal at Silver Street and over the bridge.

I love the Peter Saville efeect of the railings on that bridge, and the great views from it. But I also love the friendly feel of the new housing and occasional moored boat.

I take photos here lots… but it’s so photogenic at night. I love this place with all of my heart.

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#365daysofbiking Linearity

December 29th – The ride cut a bit short due to the sunset alert, it was a good chance to try the long exposure on the M6 Toll from the Pool Lane bridge.

It rarely disappoints, I just wish it had been a shade busier.

These shots always make me think of science fiction artwork: the vanishing points, the defined, rigid lines. The tapering geometry.

Splendid, and very fun to take, even on a cold night.

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#365daysofbiking – Wooden heart

December 6th – I had to pop to the Touchwood Centre in Solihull, a place I’ve only been once or twice: In fact, I rarely visit the town at all.

I left in the afternoon, and as usual of late, the trains were messed up and the journey was horrible. But Solihull had some interesting views in the early evening gloom.

That underpass was stunning in the dark.

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