Here’s where the story ends?

People who follow my 365daysofbiking Tumblr journal will be aware by now that there was something special about yesterday’s entry. I’ve actually completed 365 days of biking.


Is it time to let the sun set on this project?

Every day, come rain or shine, I’ve got on my bike and rode it somewhere.

You can find an easy to browse archive here.

These journeys were mainly commutes, of course, but there have been pleasure rides, hard slogs in the Peak District, on Cannock Chase and down country lanes. Some rides have been very long, some short circuits in the rain and wind. But everyday, I just got on a bike, in pretty normal clothes and rode. Why? Because I like riding a bike. A middle aged bloke, with middle aged spread, just going where I want or need, under my own steam, with a camera.

Of course, this project hasn’t just run for a year. It’s run for 21 months, but I failed over new year 2011-12, when I got food poisoning and couldn’t ride for two days. Committed to keep my word, I restarted the clock and rode all year.

I was quite glad, really. The first year had been dry, and easy to cycle in. The last nine months, I think I’ve proved that I’m no fair weather cyclist. This was quite important to me. I wanted to show that this whole thing was possible, and that it was possible if you weren’t Bradley Wiggins, just a normal man on the normal roads with all that entails.


The snail. It’s a bit metaphorical. Or something. He overtook me on Shire Oak Hill.

Oddly, people seem to be interested, which I find puzzling. I found a hit counter for Tumblr – a blog platform I’ve come to actively hate the mechanics of – and installed it a couple of moths ago. The journal seems to get about 1,000 hits a week or so. I thought it was possibly doing a couple of hundred. People comment and ask questions. It’s a nice thing to do and write. I have enjoyed it.

Sometimes, finding a good image on a black day is bloody hard. The photography is crap, and shows the work of a geek who works their camera by fiddling with it continually until the right result pops out. There are peculiar obsessions and operational tics that many readers find irritating. My spelling, use of language and prose seem even worse there than they do here (usually because it’s written when tired).


I certainly didn’t impress this wee fellow. For that, at least, I apologise.

Friends and readers have taken issue with a number of things, not least my obsession with the water level at Chasewater, and the repeated photos of Rugeley Power Station. It’s been remarked that I take a lot of photographs of railway stations. Thats true, very often, they’re my destination. Destination is one part, the other, the journey.

I’ve tried to convey my passion for stuff. I do that here, but on the 365days journal, it’s more immediate, shorter and often, more gutteral. I’ve tried to take folk along for the ride. To see what I see. Flowers, views and architecture. Busy streets, weeds growing from buildings, the beauty of the seasons changing. I’ve collected and spread seeds, fixed punctures and discussed bad road use. I’ve lamented potholes, lost architecture, flytipping and the headwind. I’ve cycled in tears, and laughter. It’s has been, is now, and will always be a hard, solitary road.

One of the things that’s been useful is that people can see from what I’ve created that I’m not flat, emotionless or rational. There are nonsensical passions, indiscriminate rants and a distinct love of the outdoors. It has been me, and just about everything I feel, love and do that I can share.


Lost pumpkins were not regular features, but this one was memorable.

I’ve never been a bike zealot. I don’t think everyone should get on a bike. I do believe, however, that some folk might find riding one beneficial, or enjoyable. If this disjointed pile of irrelevance has done anything at all, I hope it’s encouraged at least one person to saddle up and go look at something they didn’t know was there before. I’ve found things through compiling it I didn’t know were there. Many times, I’ve come home and looked stuff up, or canvassed opinions.

The whole exercise has made me look at stuff in a different way. I’m really appreciative of that. The anguish I suffered when I was ill over wimping out really hurt me. This is something I’ve been thoroughly committed to.

The stats for the year are thus: 2 pairs of tyres, 5 pairs of brake pads and 9,348 miles. That’s about 25 and a half miles a day. A scary total of 13,653 photos have been taken. On the journal so far, there have been 1,458 posts.

So now, with the year complete, what do I do? I’m asking you folks, the readers. I’m feeling the thing is getting a bit weary; some stuff seem to be cropping up more than once (often down to poor memory), and I just wonder if I’ve worn the concept out. The problem is, I can never read my stuff the way others do. It’s impossible to perceive your own work.

Should I continue the story, or end it on a high here? I’m happy to continue, but I could also accept it’s time to stop. I have no idea what I should do.

Most of all, I’d like to thank everyone for riding tandem, and showing such remarkable interest in something so trivial. Thanks.

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28 Responses to Here’s where the story ends?

  1. Trevor Australia says:

    Hi Bob, Just ride when you want to, just ride when you have to, but please keep posting your great photos, Most of all thanks for your dedication to finish something that you started, I think us lesser people would given up a long time ago.

  2. First of all, congratulations Bob. What you have done is pretty great. Your passion has been inspiring, and that’s why so many have followed. What you do next is up to you. If you continue, I will follow. What you put out in words, photos and video is interesting and enjoyable. Whatever you decide, thanks for the year 20 months gone. Chris

  3. kevinjones21 says:

    I have really enjoyed being along for the “ride”. The photos have been great. You have endured the worst of the weather, illness and some odd driving practices. It is now time to ride merely for pleasure and not because you have to. I will still look forward to your next adventure and photo series so nothing will change on that front.

  4. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    My sincere congratulations on this achievement…..and a special thanks for the beautiful photos….8500 “hits” speaks for itself……please continue
    kind regards

  5. Neil Harris says:

    A sterling effort, well done.
    Please continue, if you feel it to time consuming to do every day that is understandable.
    But you reach parts that none of us see, so I would love to continue reading and viewing the stunning pictures when you feel you have something to say.
    This year is going to be very interesting locally and to me this blog is an essential way of keeping track.

  6. As I said on Tumblr, life cannot be the same without 365! However, why not just record your rides when you want to? Aiden faces the same question in a few weeks time as to whether to continue with his 365, again I will miss that because it gives a different perspective on my life as well as his. Your 365 gives me joy in where I live and your quirky insights.
    Congratulations…some feat.

  7. Peter says:

    Bob, First of all congratulations on the achievement itself, however think back to the days when you were miles from home / office and thought to yourself “Why?” Its cold / wet / Miserable etc etc. Why not do it because you want to instead of some days doing it because you have to? Id rather see 200 or 150 or 100 days of good quality inspiring awesome posts than 365 days which might have a few offerings where we think “Bob’s only done that cos he had to” I wouldnt be so rude as to offer these thoughts on behalf of anyone else other myself, but I’d like to THINK that others may agree?
    Whatever you decide to do, let us know here.
    All the best

  8. Martin says:

    Hi Bob, thx for all the work, you have put in to this Blog, you have replaced the local newspapers that have long gone. The photo’s past and present, News from around the area,Bike rides always interesting so, i hope you will carry on,

  9. Admin says:

    I’d be happy if you continued, I always read your stuff and look at the photos. Cheers.

  10. BOB. says:

    Congratulations on your achievment I have enjoyed every word you have written, very helpfull with local history, brilliant photography, and very interesting all round please carry on but at your leisure you could make the 10,000 followers, again thanks a lot and all the very best to you and yours,
    Regards Bob In Cannock.

  11. The decision has to be yours, you put in all of the hard work, none of us want it to become a chore for you rather than a passion. However, I must say that some of my favourite images and videos have come from 365daysofbiking over the last 21 months, and if you choose to stop recording what you see on your regular bike rides it would leave a huge void in my internet experience. As a confirmed couch potato and non bike rider, you take us to places that I’ve never heard of, let alone been to, and on those sunnier days transported to our beautiful countryside via video, I’m sometimes left thinking, one day…maybe I’ll get me a bike. Good luck to you whatever you decide, you’ve done a fantastic thing over the last 21 months. Thank you for sharing with us.

  12. Dave Edwards says:

    Congratulations on your achievment from a new reader. Ive got lots more to look back on but look forward to more of the same st your own pace.

  13. stymaster says:

    I would love it if you continued, but don’t feel the pressure for every day. I like the photos (especially architecture) and the sight of some places I know, some I don’t, and some I see differently for not being behind the wheel (which is the worst place to see somewhere from, as a rule). It’s part of my regular site list.

  14. Pedro says:

    Perhaps take a rest from the pressure of daily entries and incorporate a weekly, monthly or even a random post on the main blog. But remember the number of addicts that you have created!

    All the best Pedro

  15. martin says:

    It would be rather cool if you carried on, but it’s not really fair of me to say that because reading your stuff is no where near as much effort as writing it probably is.
    But it’s been great that you, Brownhills Bob, just happen to be here. To put his life and talent on the line for humanity and country, (apologies to Die Hard fans…)

  16. Exile says:

    Just do it when you want to. The rest of us, I’m sure, will appreciate whatever you do and post. Thanks for for taking all of us along on your journeys.

  17. fred butler says:

    Thank you , I am now 2 months into my retirement and after reading your blog for the last 12 months or so it has been an inspiration to me so I decided that I would try to get on my bike for a ride to start off my day, I have thouroughly enjoyed it so far, with the exceptions of when I hit the deck, I have a similar interest to you in watching with amazement how the ;’pool’ has filled up over the past month and I very much hope you will now carry on your riding but treat it as a pleasure now not as a ‘chore’.as I greatly enjoy reading your exploits and visiting some of the spots you highlight.Just ‘ keep on keepin on’ Thanks ,

  18. Neil says:

    Hi Bob, first off congratulations! Secondly, mirroring the majority of previous comments, I’d like you to continue your two wheeled journey around the west midlands but at your own pace. This blog is a perfect companion to your main blog but with a greater focus on cycling. Keep up the good work, entertain us but most importantly…enjoy yourself!

  19. Stuart says:

    I’d just like to take this opportunity to say how much I’ve enjoyed catching up with your daily rides, and seeing different views of the places where I live and grew up. Always a regular fixture on my tumblr feed, it will leave a hole when its gone. Thanks for even bothering Bob, when its so easy not to

  20. oakparkrunner says:

    Congratulations on completing this dedicated project, which must have taken grit and determination to achieve. As to carrying on, well its up to you but in the film world, the sequel is never as good as the first one, or so they say. Happy new year and good luck in whatever is your decision regarding the biking. Kind regards Godfrey (oakparkrunner)

  21. Foxy says:

    Don’t worry about Repetition – thats what cyclings all about. BOOOM TIISSSHHH !
    Nah, and enjoyable blog, and if you enjoy doing it and have the time, carry on.

  22. Paul says:

    I do like the 365 blog and would miss it, if it was not there. I would suggest just doing a blog of your cycling when you feel you have the time, and not make it a forced 365 day thing.

  23. Pingback: Cycling trivialities | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  24. kesa says:

    Just checked out the tumblr wow that is really cool and rather interesting….documenting your life as well the evolution of Brownhills is very cool well down you…

  25. I love reading your biking adventures, and it would be really good if something continued that is enjoyed by so many! Maybe 52 weeks of Biker Bob!

  26. garjo says:

    Hello mate. As an ex-pat living in the south – can only say please keep going with your blog at least – keeps me in touch with my roots and dare I say reality, Whatever you decide big thanks.

  27. Mr Doops says:

    Massive congratulations Bob. I for one love the 365 blog, it’s my first port of call on this ‘ere innernet. More Lichfield please!

  28. Mike Hawes says:

    Hi Bob , I love your Blog, It has been an inspiration to me and when I first stated my tumblr blog it was but a pale imitation of yours. I couldn’t do the research or type out the captions with personal thoughts on a daily basis as you have done. Now my blog is photography which I enjoy a great deal but I will always look at your blog and know thats where my inspiration comes from. I for one love seeing it , often it’ll be a few days between visits then it’s a lovely half hour of looking through the posts. Personally I love looking at pics of Chasewater it’s been a fascinating time there, however when I post pics of Chasewater they go down like a lead glider, I just can’t get teenagers from the USA and South America interested! Tumblr eh?

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