BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘winter’

#365daysofbiking Orange aid

November 27th – In Telford again, more berries, but unlike the holly ones on Monday, these laden boughs of cotoneaster will be very much appreciated by the songbird population.

Cotoneaster are really appreciated by blackbirds who will defend a discovered bush for weeks if need be. The berries are bitter, but laden with sugar and a read aid to the birds over a cold winter.

If the adage about heavy crops of fruit meaning we’re due a cold spell is true, looks like we’re in for. a bad one this year…

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#365daysofbiking Maintaining the bite

November 22nd – And when I got home, an essential job – replace the missing studs in the winter tyres I’s saved from last season.

Schwalbe, the makers of the tyres, sell kits of replacement studs and a tool for inserting them – they are fiddly to do but with a tiny spot of silicone grease they go in well enough.

I had six to do. Took me a while to re-find the knack, but I got there in the end… and hopefully maintaining the excellent grip I love these tires for.

But so worth in the end.

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#365daysofbiking Metal guru


November 19th – One of the reasons I was comfortable with the ice and frost was that I now have the winter tyres on the bike.

There’s nothing more painful than coming off on ice on a cold day – everything seems to hurt far more. To keep upright as far as possible I fit Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus tyres. They’ve an aggressive outer tread loaded with 240 tungsten carbide studs which grip the road through the ice to give purchase even when cornering. There’s a more continuous, subtle central tread which rolls well when at maximum pressure.

Riding these is noisy and harder than normal tyres – but there are no worries about stability – these grip beautifully, like the ice isn’t there at all. They’re also very effective on leaf mulch which I find a lot of this time of year.

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#365daysofbiking That was a bit nippy

November 18th – It was a cold, thankfully dry journey home. The roads were glistening with ice, and the main ones, a fresh scattering of road salt.

The first icy commute home of the winter is always hard. My hands and face were cold. It hurt.

Stopping at a shop in the way home, I noticed that the temperature was marginally still above zero degrees Celsius.

That was a shock. it felt much colder.

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#365daysofbiking 25 minutes to go

November 16th – Getting home, I looked at the GPS and noticed sunset – which I hadn’t really been tracking this year at all over much – was now at 4:14pm. I think it tends to peak at about 3:50pm, so I guess we have a further 25 minute slide before things inexorably start to improve – and that’s only just over a month away.

Bring it on!

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#365daysofbiking Misty morning sunlight

October 28th – The descent into winter seems quite fast now: Heading off to get the train to Brum and onward to Telford on an early morning with frost on the ground and ice on the roads – and I’ve not got the winter tyres on yet, as the bike reminded me in an unguarded moment.

Stability restored, the sunlight streamed through the trees of Mill Green and despite the chill, rendered the day precious.

As welcomes to winter go, that wasn’t so bad.

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#365daysofbiking Sliding into darkness

October 15th –  Returning in the evening at the usual time is now crossing into the night: My commute now often starts in twilight and just about ends in darkness.

As I passed Catshill Junction on my way to the High Street on a sodden canal towpath, I just caught the last of the light.

Oh how I hate this gradual, inexorable slide into darkness.

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#365daysofbiking Fair field

October 6th – A favourite local view – from the canal over to the hills of Hammerwich is unexpectedly green right now. Well, green and yellow.

The slopes of Meerash to the old railway are bright green with fresh crop growth and are dusted with bright yellow. Clearly a flowering winter crop.

I wonder what it is? Must go check it out when I feel better. A fare treat to the eye, that one.

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#365daysofbiking An early delight

February 14th – Unexpectedly encountered on a Telford cycleway, this hedgerow blossom. It’s lovely, crazy white, and almost insubstantially thin, like apple blossom.

I have no idea what it is. the tree is certainly flowering before its leaves have grown.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen this before, but the tree isn’t alone in its flowery beauty; so it’s not just an aberration.

Speckled with water droplets from the quite thick mist, this was a beautiful and unexpected delight.

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#365daysofbiking I mist again

February 14th – An early morning train commute to Telford was gorgeous on a beautiful, late winter morning. It was cold with a lingering frost, but the low, clinging mist rendered everything it touched precious when the sun caught it.

From Grove Hill and Stonnall to Mill Green and Little Aston, this morning was a joy to be on a bike. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world – my only regret was that I couldn’t enjoy it for longer.

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