riding into bandit country

i couldn’t sit in the house watching the rain so headed out fully waterproofed with a vague idea to follow the canal all the way into Birmingham, i knew i couldn’t go by my local canal because of the small matter of the 2726ft long Wast hill tunnel, which clearly doesn’t have a towpath! so i went by road to Kings Norton and joined the canalat the other side of the tunnel, it had been raining all night and was raining still so the towpath was particularly muddy with huge puddles but i pressed on. Reaching Bournville right outside the Cadburys factory 3 guys were trimming the hedge and sadly noy making much effort to remove the trimmings from the path, so inevitably nearing Selly Oak i got a front puncture. i made it as far as a rail bridge and swapped the tube in relative dryness although i got covered in filth from the tyre, thankfully it wasn’t cold so not too uncmfortable. i thought about abandoning the canal for the relative guarrantee of thornless roads but instead just ploughed on regardless past Birmingham University and the new hospital into the heart of Birminghams Gass Street Basin. the Basin has changed a lot since i was last there, very tall, posh appartments and restaurants and cafes and new cobbled surfaces (a bit dodgy on a bike in the wet). i retraced my journey until the University and decided to bypass the hedge debris and head for home via the Hagley road, Quinton and Woodgate, i got to the latter on very wet roads using cycle paths as much as possible but then after refuelling (thank you Texaco and Wall’s sausage rolls!) i went right instead of left , for which i blame my hyperglycemic state and did what must have been an extra 5 miles that ended back at the same petrol station. just 200 yards past it in the correct direction i recognised where i was and the remainder of the trip was straightforward. the ride was epic because of the conditions rather than the route but i’m glad i stuck with it and i can now tick off the Birmingham canal route in my riding goals
ride 16
36 miles
total 303

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