First weekend in march is always Erdington Bike Jumble. I usually go if the weather’s OK, and potter round, enjoying the company and chatter of other cyclists. Normally a pretty isolated activity, it’s nice to meet other riders socially for a change. A chance to meet old mates, compare machines and have a natter.
Afterwards, I cruised down through Erdington and Stockland Green and hopped on the canal. yesterday was a glorious day, so I headed up to the city centre through the canals of Aston for some lunch, then returned along the canal through Bordesley, Saltley, Gravelly Hill and up to Whittington. A great 60 miler, and the first really springlike day of the year so far.
As ever, for more of this stuff, check out my 365daysofbiking journal.
The Birmingham and Fazeley cnal at Tamhorn Park, near Hopwas.
I think this is the first instance of boy racing I’ve ever seen on a canal. Idiot in pleasure boat overtakes lady piloting narrowboat – I clocked him at 7mph.
St. Chads, the Catholic Cathedral, is an elegant church, marooned by the inner ring road.
The Snow Hill lock flight in the City Centre. I’m intrigued by the recent carving on the lock beam.
Spaghetti Junction has the builders in again. Overhead is a labaryth of enclosed scaffold catwalks and rattling machinery. Engineers appear from above and just about every corner of the site. Fascinating.
This tunnel is lit beautifully, with a wide, safe footpath. I’ve aways loved it.
St. Pauls, in the Jewellery Quarter, is my favourite church in central Birmingham. I love the approaches to it’s square.
This silly, impractical and rather charming footbridge spans the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal near Drayton Manor Park.
The architecture in Snow Hill is a wonderful mix of Victorian and modern.
At deritend, the contrasts in the architecture are wonderful. So many different textures, styles and colours.
The Red Lion, in Erdington. Many Birmingham pubs have fantastic architecture, and speak of a time when building a pub was a tour de force of commercial might. A beautiful, but decaying building.
The late afternoon sun at Curdworth: the canal towpaths are awful here, but the scenery makes up for it. Shame about the littler.
Middleton Lakes, near Kingsbury, is a recently reclaimed series of gravel pits, now being converted to a nature reserve. 3 years ago, this was a working gravel pit.
I’ve noted before that nothing speaks more eloquently of urban decay than a stopped clock. It was actually about 11am.
At Washwood Heath, a factory is built actually straddling the canal. I love the geometry of the sunlight through the stanchions.
Ever been stuck outside New Street Station on a train? This is what lies beneath Proof House Junction.
Another epic, and somewhat gothic pub, in Snow Hill.