BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘urban’

#365daysofbiking Sky gazing


December 3rd – Returning to Walsall a little earlier than usual from Birmingham, I was just in time to see a most beautiful sunset descend upon Walsall – but not in the best place to catch it on camera. Standing on the steps at the station side entrance. the view down Station Street and back over the empty station platforms was much better than I expected.

I’m glad I caught this one – but by heck, it felt cold…

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#365daysofbiking Purposefully brutal

 

 

 

 

 

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November 21st – The cycleway between Wellington and Hortonwood was a bit hard to follow and convoluted, but as it happened, quite fun. It took me through variously playing fields for a private school, along a goods rail line, along a major highway (safely on the pavement adjacent) over a huge, bizarre double roundabout system, and also over a complex bridge arrangement at Hadley, which was most interesting of all.

This brutalist, utilitarian construction of tiered walkways, curling ramps and single span bridges reminded me very much of the Joy Division publicity shots from the late 70s in Manchester, or of the Great Charles Street crossing in Birmingham.

The bridges twanged gently as I crossed them, or when HGVs went under. They felt safe, and wide, and the views and design interesting, if stark. I was particularly interested in the nearby towerblock of Brookdale, which seemed to be made from the same Wimpety system build technique as the flats in Brownhills, but with some peculiar twists in the design.

It certainly looks to have been well refurbished.

All in all an interesting ride.

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#365daysofbiking Morning due

October 24th – I had to be in work very early and woke up bleary and grumpy. The cold air, clear skies and empty streets as I seed through north Walsall though were gorgeous.

Cycling through sleeping suburbia I heard alarms waking folk from their beds, and watched the day coming to life and I felt a bit like a low rent Dylan Thomas without the talent. There’s something special about being out legitimately obscenely early. I always love it.

The church visible from North Street bridge was beautiful against the sky as was the college and listening skyline.

Riding a bike can really set you up for the day.

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#365daysofbiking Submission

October 23rd – Another fine autumn day, and I must say, as it usually does, Autumn is starting to rest easy with me. It usually takes me a while to get over the loss of warmth, sun and light evenings, but when I do finally cave in, I find the season gorgeous.

In central Darlaston, the tree-lined roads, fallen leaves and sun-dapped scenery are beautiful and really enjoyable to ride through.

Yeah, go on. I can do this now. I’m ready.

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#365daysofbiking Just nuts

October 19th – The sweet chestnuts have had a good year. In this country wild or urban trees rarely get the conditions to produce edible fruit, but on a journey to Tipton I found these near Brunswick Park, Wednesbury – still very thin but some of a size that contained a thin, edible nut.

I’ve not seen that before.

The boughs are laden and the windfallen fruit litters the footpath, the spiny husks looking like debris from some dinosaur shedding its skin. The nuts, however, are proving a delight for the squirrel population who are busily engaged in eating and planting the next generation of sweet chestnut saplings.

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#365daysofbiking Daisy, daisy

October 19th –  A puzzle. I found this flower growing from the brickwork at the canal edge in Walsall. It’s clearly day-like, but not a daisy. But it’s delicate and very, very lovely.

My curiosity was piqued by the colour. In the soft autumnal sunlight it appeared to be a very, very light purple or pink. But I can’t actually tell for sure.

Any ideas?

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#365daysofbiking Always restful

October 17th –  On the way to work, I stopped for a break in Victoria Park, Darlaston – the park curiously formed from a railway cutting abandoned in the 1930s.

It’s always beautiful here in Autumn and today, the trees were just shrugging on their seasonal jackets of gold.

Victoria park is a great example of how urban edge land with a peculiar topology can be repurposed into a beautiful and well loved place, that’s always restful and a real oasis in the heart of a busy town.

I’ll never tire of this place.

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#365daysofbiking Completing the circle

October 17th – One of the things that makes me happy in autumn is the parting of ways of that year’s cygnets and their parents. Gradually, as winter closes in, that year’s clutch are gradually pushed away by the parents who still keep a loose family group but won’t tolerate the young too close.

This gradual transition into adulthood is visible about now as you meet lone cygnets like this one, hustling for treats on the canal in walsall, a few hundred yards from its parents.

For once I had some corn and it ate like they always do, like tit had never had food before.

Soon, it’ll join the main local flocks and will spend a few years socialising before pairing off and the family cycle continuing.

Another successful year for the local swans.

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#365daysofbiking The storm’s passage

October 8th – Returning from Birmingham, caught suddenly in a shower on the platform at New Street Station, I was fascinated by the darkening of the sky, then the light catching the buildings as the end was in sight.

In all the mad, frenetic urban landscape, I love the power it still maintains to capture the light beautifully.

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#365daysofbiking Explorations

October 3rd – I drove to work and rode home – sadly I chose a really, really unpleasant evening to do so. Again, drizzle and a punishing headwind – but at least the town looked beautiful in the glistening, dripping night.

I decided to quickly try the camera and the phone for a comparison.

Top, the iPhone 11 Pro Max in night mode, which since a beta firmware upgrade on Wednesday evening seems a whole bunch better. It’s not as hyperreal, but is still very strange, but beautiful I think.

My preference is still to the warmth of the Canon G5X, below, which is altogether mellower without losing detail.

Further explorations to come, I think.

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