Sunday, 2 August 2015

Birmingham - This Will Be a Short One!!

What can you say about cycling in Birmingham, England? Not Alabama, all I know about that is what Lynrd Skynrd have told me and they were not exactly Kraftwerk like in their love of cycling. Well, not much really. There is a canal with a nice cycle route but it is shared and I suspect many riders and walkers have swam with the used contraceptives and pieces of corpse bobbing in the water due to a meeting of person whilst shimmying under one of the blind bridge corners. Other than that is is not good. Shared bus lanes but the bus drivers are evil, too many taxis, one of which hit me head on whilst on the wrong side of the road re-setting his sat nav. Too many cars, not many bikes, crap bike lanes that mysteriously end, usually helpfully indicated by a large kerb placed across the road. Copenhagen it ain't.
Birmingham is the U.K's second city after London, sadly Manchester has done a much better job at being cool, cultural and hip, thus Manchester is seen as a much more promising prospect for tourism and trips. It also has the British Cycling Centre and Velodrome, better bike lanes and better drivers. A recent quite from a friend who lives some 14 miles form Birmingham summed it up, 'the only good thing about that utopian nightmare is that I can get to Manchester from New Street (the main station in Birmingham) for twenty quid'.

I've ridden there a load of times, never enjoyed it, not once. there are nice rides outside, some god hills and pleasant countryside, but a a cycling city, I'll stick with Beirut.

I could not find any riding photographs from Birmingham, I did manage to find these snaps I took on a busy Tuesday morning in the main shopping district right in the City Centre a while ago whilst returning a knackered turbo to the Evans Store in the City Centre, in fairness that is a great shop and the staff are really good. Sadly the images sort of sum up Birmingham in terms of cycling..


Birmingham has some great cosmopolitan areas, you can get great curry and immerse yourself in pretty much any culture in the world, it does have some way to go in order to catch Manchester but they are trying. I don't want to be down on the city, this is a 'cycling' blog, and written from that point of view. Put me on two feet and I like Mosley, Digbeth, Sparkbrook and Solihull. Put me on two wheels and it's grim.

No comments:

Post a Comment