Turkey Burner

Just a quick simple ride out yesterday to burn off Xmas Day. I can’t remember the last time I went for a spin on Boxing Day. Dan was back with his mom, Sally’s mom had left to go see Sally’s sister and Sally was playing with her new headphones so I took the opportunity to get out an up the Clent Hills in the sunshine for 90 mins.

As I left and rode down through Catshill it was quite fresh. I’d opted for lighter gloves but it wasn’t quite cold enough to be a problem. The legs felt good as I rode up to Fairfield via Swan Lane. A regular lung opening, leg test for me then straight into Pepper Wood for the first bit of offroad down a ‘moist’ path to the car park which was full but I literally saw no one about.

Pepper Wood

The roads were quite damp but the odd smell of an open fire or log burner kept me in the xmas spirit. Into Belbroughton and the first of the walkers were stomping their way into the village from Clent to get a well earned beer from the pubs probably. I knew this was the case because as I began the climb of Clent, Adams Hill which I was on was rammed with cars, and the 3 pubs, 2 at the top, one at the bottom were packed.

Onto the climb and it was pretty gloopy and muddy to begin with. I passed a couple of groups and then as the climb opened up I could see throngs of walkers at the top enjoying the crystal clear views. It was a really nice, sunny day.

I dropped off from the Four Crosses and headed over to climb Walton Hill. Not quite as busy up top here but the car park was rammed. I passed the trig point and descended down the ‘Waltonberg’ which is basically a flanders-esque 20% climb (a driveway) on a mix of broken bricks, some cobbles, blocks and concrete. It is not a cobbled climb in the slightest as some dubious promoters would have you believe and probably harder to descend than climb.

Back into the muddy lanes and I was held up by a couple of groups walking across the road with the dogs. They apologised. I didn’t mind, it’s great to see families out and made me wonder why families don’t do it more often. Sunday opening killed that off but that’s another rant for another day.

Onto Winwood Heath Lane and another 25% climb. If you ever want to see a carpet of bluebells, this is the secret spot to enjoy them although the last time I came up here it was blighted by some bad fly-tipping which had been thrown over the fence. It looks like the landowners have taken some action. The fence now has high, overhanging barbed wire to make it harder to throw stuff over + plenty of signs reminding would be tippers they are on camera which I have no doubt there are. Hopefully it stops as it’s a nice quiet spot.

great to see when they’re out

As I topped out I was going to do the Waseley Hills but opted not to because of time and the mud. I know the bridleway off the top is gloopy in the wet and probably busy too. I did go through the car park though and scoot down the gravel path that runs parallel to the road though. As I rode through the residential areas of Rubery the nice smell of log burners and open fires was replaced by pockets of Cannabis. I passed one couple and it was obviously them that had it. I can’t believe they can’t smell themselves and what their friends and family think. I rode past them and went through a cloud of it.

Last climb of the day was up onto the Lickeys for a view into Birmingham City via the Donkey Path. It was too soft to attempt the steps so I had to walk them then a quick descent down Beacon Hill before the offroad climb to the top for the view.

Birmingham City

The Lickeys were a lot quieter than Clent. I scooted through the trees then rode down the main road into a bracing headwind for a very cold finish.

After a really cold ride there is nothing better than after a shower as hot as you can stand you get dressed and then devour beans on toast. Yesterday wasn’t just run of the mill beans on toast though. This was two 1.5 inch slabs of homemade bread lightly toasted and then spread with an artery clogging amount of lightly salted butter. Beans poured over the top and finished with an equal amount of brown sauce. OMG.


Then it was straight out with friends for a couple of hours for some drinks then back home in the warm and into my new Xmas present. In our house we call them Bloody’s. A cross between a blanket and a hoodie. Dan has one. Sally has one so only right I should join the club too. Thank you Sally. I’m wearing it as we speak.

still a big kid


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