BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

March 28th - It had been a gorgeous day of spring sun, had being the operative word. I had errands to run in Caldmore and Walsall town centre on my return from work, and as I left there, the heavens opened. They opened again as I left Caldmore, and yet again in Walsall. For the third time this week, I got wet, cold and miserable. But hey, I had a saddlebag full of indian snacks, at least. 

At 6:20pm, as darkness and rain were falling fast, Darwall Street, the heart of Walsall’s entertainment district, was deserted, but the wet street caught the light beautifully.

Let’s hope for a better weekend…

March 26th - It was a grim commute home. The morning had been fine, but cold. Leaving work fairly late, I thought I’m missed the day’s showers so left off the waterproof trousers. This was a mistake. As I headed home through Walsall, the skies darkened threateningly. From the first spots, to a freezing-cold, wind driven downpour. 

These shots follow the rain as I I rode into it, and were captured from the ride camera.

I got in soaked, tired and freezing cold. Spring, eh?

March 25th - The commute to work had been wet and quite, quite horrid, but the wind was more or less favourable. The roads were greasy, the traffic was mad. It wasn’t a hugely enjoyable journey.
Later in the morning, I felt rather ill, and was resigning myself to getting a lift home if I didn’t feel better. Thankfully, sweet tea, a lie down and some food sorted me out, but on leaving work during a break in the rain, I just floored it and sped home as fast as I could. I just wanted to be back, safe and sound in the dry and warm.
I noticed in Green Lane near Jockey Meadows the mist was rising off the marsh, and everywhere was sodden again. This is one of the very few places in life I find intimidating in it’s desolation. I felt it this evening. I have no idea why it makes me feel like this. 
I took a photo, then pressed on homewards.

March 25th - The commute to work had been wet and quite, quite horrid, but the wind was more or less favourable. The roads were greasy, the traffic was mad. It wasn’t a hugely enjoyable journey.

Later in the morning, I felt rather ill, and was resigning myself to getting a lift home if I didn’t feel better. Thankfully, sweet tea, a lie down and some food sorted me out, but on leaving work during a break in the rain, I just floored it and sped home as fast as I could. I just wanted to be back, safe and sound in the dry and warm.

I noticed in Green Lane near Jockey Meadows the mist was rising off the marsh, and everywhere was sodden again. This is one of the very few places in life I find intimidating in it’s desolation. I felt it this evening. I have no idea why it makes me feel like this. 

I took a photo, then pressed on homewards.

March 22nd - It was sunshine and showers on the way home, and often at the same time. This gave rise to a great rainbow - but sadly, it was too fleeting to capture at it’s best. Still, it was rather beautiful, all the same…

March 18th - I stopped to look at the Pussy Willows on the canal bank near Walsall Wood, which are currently just going over. The towpath was littered with their debris, and I found them fascinating. Sadly, my attempts to photograph them were thwarted by a blackening sky which, although dramatic, made macro photography impossible. 

As I arrived home it began to rain. Looking at the weather forecast, it doesn’t seem great for the weekend, either.

Come back spring, we barely got to know you…

March 6th - Out for the evening and returning late, the streets were very, very quiet. I sped from Walsall with the wind at my back on silent, wet roads; I even sailed through the lights at Rushall Square on green without having to slow down.

Sadly, the night was more redolent of November than March, but the ride was nice.

Still can’t get past my unease over the eeriness of Green Lane at night…

March 6th - The spring evaporated today. On the way home, it rained, and the the wind was horrid. It wasn’t a good day to be out on a bike and I found myself longing for the mild weather to return. 
Sadly, the dry towpaths I’d been enjoying for a couple of weeks took a set back into muddy slurry again.
Ah well, there’s always tomorrow…

March 6th - The spring evaporated today. On the way home, it rained, and the the wind was horrid. It wasn’t a good day to be out on a bike and I found myself longing for the mild weather to return. 

Sadly, the dry towpaths I’d been enjoying for a couple of weeks took a set back into muddy slurry again.

Ah well, there’s always tomorrow…

March 5th - It wasn’t until I hopped on the canal at the Black Cock Bridge and headed for Brownhills that I realised how still it was. The canal was like a millpond, and conditions were really quite silent. It hasn’t been like this since well before Christmas. 

There’s definitely a change in the air. It really has been a detestable couple of months weather-wise; I really felt at one point that it was never going to stop raining. 

Let’s hope the weather continues on it’s improving path for a while…

February 25th - Caught in a short, sharp shower. The air suddenly went clear, and glass-hard. The traffic seemed to go a bit nuts, too. 

Despite it’s attempts to kill me, I love the Chester Road. Night or day, summer or winter, sunshine or rain, it’s both often my route out of here, and my way back home.

February 20th - The week before, the canal overflow at Clayhanger had been a raging rapid of water flowing from the canal into local drainage. I posted at the time that I’d never seen anything quite like it, and I was seriously concerned over the possibility of subsequent flooding on the River Tame, when most of the canal overflows in Walsall drain to.

A far from dry week later, the flow is reduced - still high by normal standards - but gone is the angry torrent, and my fears of flooding proven unfounded. Whilst we’ve been far more fortunate than other parts of the country, it does go to show that despite massive development over the years, the local drains and water system is incredibly capacious and resilient.

February 14th - Valentines Day, but not much love from the weather, which was back to wet and windy. I ‘d been to Darlaston early again, and left in the mid-afternoon lull before the winds really got up. Unlike the ride in, the ride out was again wind assisted and fun. 

The traffic was a bit frantic in the wet and I chose to hit the canal again in Walsall Wood. An interestingly wind-cleaved tree near the Black Cock, and cutting across the new Pond and Clayhanger Common the landscape was again sodden and dripping. But there was a kind of peace to it too, which I appreciated. 

Crossing the bridge back into Brownhills, the moorings at Silver Street are busier than I’ve ever seen them before (except during a canal festival) - I’m curious as to why. The waterside has been unchanged for a good few years, now, and it seemed to take the boaters ages to discover us. Is it just a pure shortage of places to moor, or the fact that there’s no charge?

Really curious about it.

February 11th - The weather is getting worse, not better, but did hold an unexpected surprise for me today. I set out in the morning to the station, and the rain was heavy with a harsh wind. Even with waterproofs, I got soaked, and sat on the train dripping, miserable and cold. Fortunately, the subsequent train I caught to Telford was very warm, and dried me out a treat. This was by far the worst commute I’ve had for ages.

At Cosford, the torrential rain had become heavy snow, and was setting fast. When I alighted, there was about 10mm. Although wet and cold, it was a delight to see and cycle in, and I enjoyed the scenery and spectacle. 

A couple of hours later, the sun was out and all the snow melted away. Glad I caught it, though.

February 6th - I’d been in Telford, in a building with no windows. When I came to leave, I realised it was raining fairly heavily. Nothing to do, but don the waterproofs and go for it. The journey was pretty miserable, really; delays at Telford and Birmingham made for a long, damp trudge home, but at least the wind was behind me. 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a continuously warm, wet winter like this. Last year was bad enough, but at least we had variety with the snow. This is just getting boring now…

February 5th - One step forward, two back. I was again out early, and returned mid afternoon, and unthinkingly clashed with the school run yet again. I hopped on the canal as I did the previous afternoon - but the the day’s downpour had transformed the drying out towpaths of the day before into slimy, slurry-smothered watercourses once more.
Whoever’s doing the rain dance, you can stop now. Honest, it’s OK…

February 5th - One step forward, two back. I was again out early, and returned mid afternoon, and unthinkingly clashed with the school run yet again. I hopped on the canal as I did the previous afternoon - but the the day’s downpour had transformed the drying out towpaths of the day before into slimy, slurry-smothered watercourses once more.

Whoever’s doing the rain dance, you can stop now. Honest, it’s OK…

January 30th - The return was equally wet and grey - but did have the added excitement of wet, sleety snow. The sluices are still shut at Chasewater, and everything is still sodden and muddy. The photography was awful. I was glad to get home.

It was nice to see Morris in the snow though, even if it was very short lived…