Tag Archives: solihull

It’s not how far you have to go that is the problem…

… but knowing that you have to cycle back!

I thought I would bring things up-to-date here and tell you about how I am getting on with at least some of my plans for this year… it does mean that this blog becomes slightly out of sequence as I will go back and cover some of the things I have done in the last 6 months at some point…

About 12 months ago I took my first ever selfie to commemorate my first bike ride in a couple of years… this is how I looked after managing 4.5 miles in about 35-40 minutes – (I managed to walk/run the same distance 11 months later in just over 60 minutes and felt less tired which just shows how unfit I was).

This is I think my 4th ever selfie taken 12 months later and shortly after I arrived at work one Friday…2015-05-10 09.49.06

I had just cycled from home to work some 25 odd miles in 2 hours 45 minutes… not completely representative of my state as this is some 10 minutes later after I’d changed and sat down to have a coffee…i20160527_091718

I had been too distracted to take a photo immediately I arrived as I was having trouble working out how my new D lock worked…

And this is how I looked some 8 hours later after I had repeated the journey back… still look quite happy and not as tired out as the first picture…

20160527_192033_1

I was tired though but exhilarated…

I think I was lucky that Google maps sent me along quite a green and pleasant route, there were lots of country roads and quiet backroads through parts of towns (Warwick, Kenilworth)…my Mum thinks country roads are more dangerous as cars hurtle down them at speed but I think I would rather take my chances with them than some of the busier town roads… certainly the bit of the journey when I was actually in Solihull was dirty, dustier and noisier.. the air just tasted different and not in a nice way…

The journey back was the more stressful as it was rush hour out of Solihull and a Friday night at that so it started early… going to work it was almost as if I was the only person on the road for a lot of it as I started early (6am) in order to reach work at a reasonable time.

Very grateful to the Man, the Boy and my parents for helping out and covering the usual Friday morning drop off arrangements for the Boy which usually prevent me from being able to set out so early…

Advertisements

Some towns are friendlier than others

As a commuter I spend a lot of time in traffic, correction a lot of time sitting in traffic watching the road around me. Since venturing back on the bike I’ve found that I notice cyclist more in that I don’t just register that there is a bike and I need to take care but I notice what sort of bike it is, male or female rider, helmet or not and what sort of accessories are on the bike as well as make model and colour if I’m close enough.

Today I went to Reading and noticed lots of cyclists. Is  Reading  a very bike friendly town ?There are cyclists everywhere, people commuting with children and dogs on the backs, people with laptops and briefcases sticking out of baskets, some in work clothes some in Lycra…lots of them.. whereas on my current commute to Solihull I hardly see any.

I know there are cyclists in Solihull, we have bike racks at work so someone is obviously cycling. I also know there are cyclepaths in Solihull as the Council tell me there are and provides a nice big friendly booklet about them… but I can’t find any of them…no cyclepaths and only 1 cyclist spotted just as I got to the office and our organisation encourages people to get on their bikes…

In Reading the cyclepaths and cycle routes are very obvious and well signposted and there are lots of them…some of them even tell you how long by bike it will take you to get from where you are to somewhere else.

Loads of cyclepaths seems to = loads of cyclists

On the journey back through Henley, less than 10 miles down the road I only see 2 cyclists in Henley, as I cut through the town centre from one side to the other, plus two stationery bicycles. There are no obvious cycle routes in the town centre, I spot a couple but they are on the outskirts and peter out as you approach the town centre…

Do more cycle routes mean more cyclists ?  Or is it unfair to compare Henley to Reading since it is much much smaller…

However cycling to the Reading office has never been an option since its about 70 miles from home… and by the time I got to work it would be time to come home. Solihull is a possibility though as even unfit Slug that I am I could feasibly manage 25 miles and with a bit of practice possible do it within 2 hours…