BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘warm’

#365daysofbiking Climbing, slowly

May 1st – A ride down into Stonnall and the lanes. It had been a rollercoaster of a week emotionally, but at least we seem to be getting the virus under control. Things don’t seem as terribly threatening as they did.

Winching my way up Castlehill out of the village onto the Chester Road, the lanes here – severed by the straightening of the Chester Road many decades ago – are leafy and peaceful, and diverge oddly.

But in the quiet of a lockdown spring evening, with birds singing and soft sunlight coming through the leaves, this was close to heaven, and like my body, my mind was climbing, slowly.

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#365daysofbiking Mist but not missed


January 22nd – This is a very strange winter we’re having. I hope spring and summer prove more traditional. It’s not really been very cold, but it’s been horrendously wet. I’m so used to rain now that it barely surprises or bothers me, and I think I’m developing a love of it, like some weird meteorological Stockholm syndrome.

At the moment, the warm damp is masquerading as a heavy, cloying mist-drizzle that’s settled here for the best part of a week, really. It’s grimy and horrible to ride in, and is also keeping the fumes and smell down from the local landfills and industry, making the whole atmosphere feel dirty and polluted.

Leaving Bloxwich station I passed a couple of the town’s many backstreet boozers: The venerable Romping Cat, as classic a Black Country pub as one could find, and the more boisterous Spotted Cow, which despite a chequered history, hangs on as a popular local’s pub.

In the murky, nasty mist they looked beautifully warm and welcoming. I could have slipped in there and then for a pint.

But this wasn’t 1995, and that isn’t the current version of me. So I admired these watering holes from the street, remembered fondly long gone days with workmates and their many, many post-work pints, then rode home.

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#365daysofbiking Autumn on my shoulders


September 25th – A better day after all the rain. On a soft morning with light, hazy sun and the smell of the canal and wet earth, the grim trials and disappointments of the previous weekend seemed a million miles away.

It was still warm, and I have to keep reminding myself that we’re only a whisker from October, and The Suck, the season until Christmas of night-time commutes where the conditions and driving are a nightmare.

Autumn is certainly on my shoulders but today, with my sleeves rolled up and the waterfowl chattering, I could kid myself I had a few more weeks yet…

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#365daysofbiking The neighbourhood watch

July 14th – So pleased to see the cats out and about at last, as I noted last week. This ride was all about the cats.

As usual there are a whole variety in the feline watchers of life: From the lithe white puss resting in Kingsley Wood Road to the stately black and white overseer of the canal towpath. But the real star was Wilf, the ginger narrowboat cat who was helping his dad fishing.

I love to see cats out and about, it’s a real sign of summer and one I’ve really missed so far this year.

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#365daysofbiking The remains of the day

April 17th – An absolutely gorgeous day and the first jacketless commute of the year didn’t come a day too soon.

Sadly I was indoors all day, but riding home in the still warm golden hour, I caught the sun throug the canalside trees near the Black Cock Bridge and the remnants of the sunny day were precious.

It’s good to have the warm days back again. I hope they stick around.

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#365daysofbiking Disturbing the ladies

April 7th – The group of deer that have been loafing around the spillway and dam for the last couple of weeks were hanging around the south shore when I returned from a ride out at dusk.

The day had promised decent weather – it was much warmer than it has been which was a good start – but it was hazy and grey and not inspiring at all, which was sad.

As I rolled up to take their picture, three ladies ambled out of the scrub to my left, which was a surprise: A sign to be a bit more careful with deer numbers increasing, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Receding gently

February 3rd – There was still ice on the canals and the fringes of Chasewater, of course. In the gentle wind that formed the usual waves here, the edge of the ice was a battleground between frozen water and the gently dynamic open lake.  The fight was continual, and made a lovely, gentle tinkling sound continually.

It Wass so gentle and slight you really had to strain to hear it, but it’s a gorgeous, magic sound.

Shame is was too quiet to record it…

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#365daysofbiking The united colours of autumn:

October 3rd – After the rain of the night before, the morning commute was warm, dry and almost humid. I made the very best of it by riding the canal the long way, and wasn’t disappointed – the autumn colours are very beautiful this year, and the canals and wooded areas of Darlaston are absolutely gorgeous.

There are some upsides to the time of year after all.

June 21st – Another high summer day, the longest as it happens, and from here on in, the days shorten to darkness; but there’s plenty of summer left and it’s been glorious so far, so I’m not too sad.

On the Walsall Canal heading for Darlaston, life is busy hunting, blooming and multiplying, with herons hunting on the far bank, families of geese making their way through dense waterlily beds and flowers looking gorgeous in the hot sun.

A Walsall Top Lock, basking on a piece of drifting wood, I even saw a terrapin, about the size of a saucer. Sadly, it slipped away before I got the camera out but these poor creatures, often released into the wild when too large for captivity are becoming a common sight in canals and pools of the UK.

A great day to be on a bike in the place I love.