BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

February 25th - Terrible pictures grabbed quickly in the half light… but cause to celebrate. My daffodils are here. Spring is underway!

These early ones come every year at the end of February. They grow on the verge corners by the cottage at the junction of Wood Lane and Chester Road, Mill Green. They are showing beautifully this year, after being a little sad last year. 

They fill me with joy. I spotted them a couple of days ago, but have had no time to stop and photograph them. I say hello outloud, every time I pass. They are my signal to hold on, because the greening is coming again… and not a moment too soon.

January 20th - It was an awful day for travelling (and work generally, really). I went a long way on a fools errand, and on my return, got tangled up in travel chaos on the Cross City line. 

In between, however, the day was misty, bright and cold with a beautiful frost. Sadly, I spend most of my cycling time dashing late from one place to another and didn’t get chance to take many pictures.

I’d like a few more days like this if possible…

December 11th - These are the days. I’ve waited for fair weather for ages. Such a change from the grey and drizzle, it lasted long enough for me to enjoy a lovely cold, crisp commute to work. Had it not been for the fact that I was already running late, I’d have cycled all the way into Brum. Grove Hill, at Stonnall looked wonderful, and the only cloud in an azure sky was the plume of steam from Rugeley Power Station. At Mill Green, the hoar frost was beautiful, and made magic everything it graced. I love rides like this.

We’ve maybe got another couple of days of this. Wrap up warm and go out - cycle, walk, whatever. I never love my world more than when it’s embraced by a fine winter frost.

September 11th - For the hell of it, today I got off the train at Four Oaks and rode back from there. On my way back through a sunny Little Aston, I noted the TV transmitters at Hill Hook. Having recently converted to digital, there are currently two masts - the taller one was first, then the one on the right was erected to substitute for it when the original was upgraded for digital. Now the switchover has taken place, I’m looking for signs of the temporary mast coming down, but nothing yet. 

I love these structures. So elegant, so beautifully engineered. Visible for miles around.

August 17th - Some development decisions baffle me totally. Out again at dawn to Four Oaks station, I found myself early and hanging around. I studied the apartment blocks that had been built on the former builder’s yard next to the station. The yard was originally railway sidings last used to serve MotorRail, and is cut into the hill back towards Mere Green. That means a very narrow strip of land with an oblique retaining wall one side, and a view over a commuter railway station at the other. Into this narrow dog-leg, builders have squeezed bland, characterless boxes. 

Presumably, the Mere Green/Four Oaks adress sells them, and the commuter links. I find them utterly hideous, with a dreadful outlook.

May 4th - Morning commute to Sutton, and another great example of inconsiderate, dangerous and stupid driving; this time it’s on the A5127 Lichfield Road in Mere Green, just at the junctions of Harland Road and Holly Lane. This is a shamefully poor piece of road use for which there can be little excuse. Yet again I find myself cut up in a posh area. What gives?

April 13th - Morning downhill commute. Long uphill run from Little Aston, the hill crests at the lights at the junction of Streetly Lane and Four Oaks Road. An exhilirating blast at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour ensues. Just right for blowing away the morning blues.