BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

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

Posts tagged ‘resurfaced’

#365daysofbiking Toeing the line

May 30th – For the first time in quite a while, despite the rampant hay fever I decided to ride home along the canal through Birchills in Walsall to Goscote.

Climbing the lock flight here is always a pain – not so much the climb but negotiating the many sets of anti-vehicle barriers, so it’s not one I do often; but today, I had a pleasant surprise.

The towpaths on the stretch I rode are all being resurfaced. This is good news: The runs through Leamore and Harden particularly have been deteriorating in recent years and this will make them much more viable in winter on dark evenings, which is when they’d be most useful to avoid the traffic in central Walsall.

At the moment, the route as far as about Leamore is surfaced properly with asphalt down, the rest is in various stages of excavation or restoration, and on anything less than a mountain bike will be very hard going, so if planning to ride this stretch, I’d wait a week or two.

Now, if only the authorities could be persuaded to re-lay Ryders Hayes to Blakenall and Aldridge to Rushall Junction we’d have a totally ridable local network, possibly for the first time ever…

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June 10th – On the previous Friday, I got the taste for Birmingham and it’s canals again, so I headed up to Wolverhampton on the cut and back down the old line through Tipton into the city centre. 

As ever, the sheer vibrancy of this environment – that many would condemn as ugly – was stunning. From the wildlife to the flowers, the discarded dreams in the scrapyard, the geese and herons and all in-between were a joy. I love the seamless continuity of the upper side of the Engine Arm Aqueduct, although you’d be hard pressed to realise the glamorous structure below.

Much of the main line I rode had been resurfaced – and although it needs sweeping badly due to loose gravel – the riding is very good indeed.

Had to smile at the gull that looked like it was concealing a weapon.

A fantastic urban ride. The weather really is spoiling me at the moment.

May 19th – A gentle afternoon amble into Birmingham along the canal was a lovely trip – but I did get drowned on the way home. I went from work, along the Tame Valley canal and down the Walsall Canal to Aston. It’s nice to see the route to Birmingham now smoothly surfaced all the way from Rushall Junction at Ray Hall, a real improvement that will see me coming this way more in future.

On my way I saw cats, geese, and my nose noted that the flag irises were out, which although gorgeous – in this case growing around an unexpectedly beautiful pond in the shadow of a huge recycling plant in Saltley – always set off my hay fever.

A lovely canal ride on a grey, showery day that still showed the best of urban Birmingham.