No Trains Means Gains

I had to visit two sites today. Sutton Coldfield and Shirley. Normally I would have driven but the car was in the garage and the trains were on strike so bike + a pannier of kit it was. Good news then it was nice and sunny.

The ride to Sutton Coldfield reminded me how horrible cycling across the city of Birmingham is. Torrid and stressful. Mixing it on busy roads with drivers that have no spatial awareness or care for your safety. When you do get on the lauded, A38 cycleway (which is a bit shit by the way) you have to run the gauntlet of debris and glass. Appalling really. Not withstanding the 20-30 red lights I had to stop at. We’ve recently closed the Sutton store and moved it to Shirley. Just the dilapidations to do and then I will never have to ride there again. Can’t come soon enough.

Commonwealth Games prep in full swing

Ride No#2 was to our new store in Shirley. I toyed with a bit of canal but decided to ride back into the City and out towards Kings Norton and flick across directly to Shirley from there. Another horrible journey of cars speeding past, bullying you because they can’t be patient enough to wait a few more seconds to do it safely. No cycling infrastructure in sight the whole way. The safest part was the last 200m through Shirley Park.

The ride home started in the park again and as I joined a residential road the other side, a Land Rover Discovery came thundering past. The driver was holding a drainpipe with one hand, driving with the other with it sticking out the open back door as he took off over the speed bumps. Unbelievable. From there it was reasonably pleasant and quiet until I was passing a long line of parked cars on the left. As I approached the last couple a car was coming the other way and I knew he wasn’t going to stop so I pulled out a bit more to primary and faced him down head on and he stopped but obviously complained. I shouted why he was driving at me, called him a f*cking dickhead and carried on with my ride. Standard abuse. 6/10 for effort. Didn’t get quite angry enough for anymore points.

The rest of the ride was quite pleasant on quiet country roads but the legs and the heat were taking their toll. Home I’d done 3hrs and nearly 50 miles. I probably saved a chunk in fuel and I was technically working, so paid to ride and get fitter which is a nice feeling. UK drivers can fuck off though


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