BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘video’

#365daysofbiking Crosstown traffic

Tuesday November 24th 2020 – I’ve got hold of a GoPro Hero 9 action camera: The last model I used was the Hero 5, I was never particularly impressed with, so I drifted out of using it.

I decided to revisit ride cams and managed to borrow a Hero 9 from work, and it’s quite a bit more complex and more polished than the 5. I have to work out how best to mount the thing for a start, so this cam is cropped down from a 4k shot in portrait. The image quality considering that is remarkable.

The light balance, exposure and colours are better, and I have to say the image stabilisation is remarkable. It’s really quite impressive. Once I can work out how to mount it on the bike securely in landscape, we’re off on some adventures. Be interesting to see the low light quality, and if they’ve sorted the formerly lousy reliability of the flash card interface.

Here’s an unedited, real time journey from an appointment near the Arboretum back towards work through the ring road of Walsall on a grey, dull Tuesday afternoon. The music is Bent’s lovely bit of electronic blippery ‘Exercise 6′.

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#365daysofbiking – Chalk mark before a rainstorm

April 26th – With the sudden burst of lockdown shaming, finger wagging and the boom of the morally prurient social media shamers, it’s really easy to miss small little things at this time that are actually encouraging acts of community between, mainly it has to be said, children.

Painted rainbows and teddies in windows, garden displays and other curiosities created during long, isolated lockdown days are treats and ways of communicating the shared confinement without breaking the rules, and they put a huge smile on the faces of kids out for their daily exercise, parents and me, too.

There’s been a really fun trend to revive chalked games on pavements and paths for other kids to find and participate in. More than just the old fashioned hopscotch (although most incorporate it, almost as a tribute), these courses are linear with a start and end, incorporating line following, instructions to hop or jump or do some movement, reciting games, spins, pebble target throws and races.

They are a shared happiness, but shared from a distance – the separation being time. They are an utterly joyous thing and this one, on the Spot Path over Clayhanger Common, was a brilliant one.

Sadly I think it’ll probably be erased by the oncoming rains, but I hope that won’t deter the creation of a replacement.

Well done to the creators of these, and my best wishes. Life will be normal soon and we’ll all look back on these days, and smile when we think of how we all loved the chalked games…

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#365daysofbiking Go with the flow

February 27th – The weather at the moment is almost continually foul.

Everywhere is saturated. The canal overflows are at full capacity, like here at Clayhanger; the towpaths are a long series of conjoined puddles. The roads are filthy, swamped and traffic bad tempered.

Every ride means carefully drying waterproofs and bags on arrival.

I’m used to it now. I don’t even frown when I see the rain.

But we must be due an end to it now, surely? Or at least a cessation in the merciless, continual wind please?

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#365daysofbiking Chirrup, it’s Monday morning

June 24th – When I left for work on a decent but grey Monday, I took to the canal with a heavy heart.

It wasn’t long though before something cheered me up – the Walsall Wood swan family, chirruping to each other as they begged for treats in Walsall Wood.

Such a cheerful, delightful family, always under the watchful eye of mum and dad.

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#365daysofbiking Passengers

May 4th – Another marker of the advancing spring is they waterfowl chicks on local canals. On a gorgeous evening near Middleton Bridge, Brownhills, my first cygnets of the year.

This clutch of what appeared to be at least six – several of whom were riding on momma’s back – are a bit of a mystery: The pair at Barrow Close Walsall Wood are still sitting and at the Watermead, she’s apparently hatched three this year.

So where this lady has been nesting I have no idea. But lovely to see.

Sorry for poor image and video quality: The light was fading.


#365daysofbiking A shock to the system

January 22nd – A further shock to my sensibilities was the snowfall. I left Telford in relatively dry, clear conditions, but noticed the icing-sugar dusting of snow becoming more evident as the train neared the Black Country.

Leaving the train at Shenstone, there was more snow, but it was very wet. Whilst there was a little snow falling, I thought I’d missed the worst.

Within ten minutes I was cycling in persistent, large flakes of snow, making visibility difficult and soaking me to the skin.

I was glad of the  studded tyres once more, and when I finally got there, glad to be home, too.

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#365daysofbiking Way over the top:

December 5th – A bit further towards home, the lavishly ostentatious nature of Shelfield’s (presumably civic) Christmas lights amazes and delights, as ever.

I have no idea who or why someone chucks a short string of colour-change lights over one single tree on the Four Crosses Road open space every year. It’s one tree in maybe 10. Seemingly random, this minimal festivity always amuses me.

Merry Christmas – but don’t get too excited, kids!


October 29th – It’s been a long time since I did a proper ride cam, something I’ve been needing to sort for a while. I have lots of footage to edit up, but the software I use has been a bit crabby in recent versions, which has now been ironed out, so hopefully I’ll get some more done.

This is a short film of riding Rainbow Hill on Cannock Chase from the edge of the golf course on the Rugeley Road, over Rainbow Hill and down to Moor’s Gorse, a ride I’ve recorded before but on this bright, sunny autumn afternoon it seemed a good one. I’m riding a mountain bike for a change, and get to speeds of about 30mph. The ride is recorded real time.

The music is ‘All of the Time’ a cult classic by Mason Williams.

September 7th – It’s about time I started doing ride cams again, and having discovered how to overcome the piss poor battery life of the Hero 5, they should be a lot less hassle to capture.

On my way home on a grey day in North Walsall rush hour, life on a bike is faster and more efficient than many of the motorists around me seem to think…

Soundtrack is ‘Smash It’ by Fuzz Townshend (yes, THAT Fuzz Townshend).