Author Topic: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?  (Read 431 times)

Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« on: May 02, 2021, 09:58:11 am »
Is there a bike route that connects the Brummagen end of the BCN to Water Orton?
I have a daughter and grandson living in Castle Bromwich and it would be nice to sneak up on them.
Looking at the 1:25000 there is a canal going North connecting to the River Thame going West. Does that river have a cycle path alongside?
Otherwise, would BCN and then Brum & Fazeley canal provide a route to Water Orton from where I can double back into Castle Brom?

Thanks for any help.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2021, 10:26:25 am »

I don't recall a path along the Thame around there. There's no path marked on Open Cycle Map, and the (very impressive) Google satellite view seems to confirm this.

The Birmingham & Fazeley is certainly do-able as far as Pipe Hayes and for a way beyond. IIRC there's a stretch up towards Kingsbury Water Park where the towpath becomes negligible and if it's wet it becomes quite technical mud riding. It looks like you could weave your way through Castle Vale on cycle paths of some sort or another if you came off at Pipe Hayes-ish: https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=15&lat=52.51607&lon=-1.79185&layers=B0000

Would connecting from the Grand Union to the River Cole path at the Ackers and then approaching from the South meet your needs?

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2021, 11:19:34 am »

The Birmingham & Fazeley is certainly do-able as far as Pipe Hayes and for a way beyond. IIRC there's a stretch up towards Kingsbury Water Park where the towpath becomes negligible and if it's wet it becomes quite technical mud riding. It looks like you could weave your way through Castle Vale on cycle paths of some sort or another if you came off at Pipe Hayes-ish: https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=15&lat=52.51607&lon=-1.79185&layers=B0000

Would connecting from the Grand Union to the River Cole path at the Ackers and then approaching from the South meet your needs?

Thanks Nikki, that is a big help.
The Grand Union would be good and I have found the R. Cole but where is The Ackers, please?
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 11:42:05 am »
The Grand Union would be good and I have found the R. Cole but where is The Ackers, please?

Just east of Small Heath station.  If you get to the incinerator, you've gone too far.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2021, 12:22:36 pm »
Very helpful, Kim.
Thank you.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2021, 01:30:07 pm »
The Ackers is an outdoor activity centre - you should see a big climbing tower on the other side of the canal as you approach the bend where you have to start paying attention..

Here: https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=17&lat=52.45906&lon=-1.85044&layers=B0000


Will you be on 20" wheels? What flavour cycle will you be using? Where would you be starting from? Will you be carrying or towing big luggage?

Some of the canal towpath is cobbled - typically the up-and-over bridges - so it might be worth thinking through if it'll work for your cycle. The Cole path South of the Ackers is infamous for annoying barriers. I'm afraid I've only done the bit North of the Ackers twice, and that was a while ago.

I do remember there's a bit near Stechford station where you have to go on road a bit to get past the railway tracks.
https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=16&lat=52.48555&lon=-1.82&layers=B0000
That'd be worth sussing out ahead of time.


Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2021, 03:15:34 pm »
The Ackers is an outdoor activity centre - you should see a big climbing tower on the other side of the canal as you approach the bend where you have to start paying attention..

Here: https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=17&lat=52.45906&lon=-1.85044&layers=B0000


Will you be on 20" wheels? What flavour cycle will you be using? Where would you be starting from? Will you be carrying or towing big luggage?

Some of the canal towpath is cobbled - typically the up-and-over bridges - so it might be worth thinking through if it'll work for your cycle. The Cole path South of the Ackers is infamous for annoying barriers. I'm afraid I've only done the bit North of the Ackers twice, and that was a while ago.

I do remember there's a bit near Stechford station where you have to go on road a bit to get past the railway tracks.
https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=16&lat=52.48555&lon=-1.82&layers=B0000
That'd be worth sussing out ahead of time.

On a motorised Moulton with overnight stuff in a light load.
There is a Skiing place makes on the 1:25,000. I expect that is the Leisure centre?
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2021, 05:12:59 pm »
There is a Skiing place makes on the 1:25,000. I expect that is the Leisure centre?

That's the one.

Close to the site of the Ackers Sisyphus Slalom Challengeā„¢ (there was a video, on a now defunct forum) - a largely pointless piece of cycle infrastructure optimised for bikes with low gears and a very short wheelbase.

Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2021, 08:00:02 pm »
On a motorised Moulton with overnight stuff in a light load.

The worst of the worn brick cobbly steep and narrow industrial revolution canal infrastructure is the section of the Birmingham & Fazeley between where it joins the Birmingham Canal Main Line, through the Jewellery Quarter, through to about where it turns into the Digbeth Branch Canal, although there are a few bridges after that that can be a challenge and the Ashted Tunnel under Jennens Road is narrow (not much space with two panniers on an upright). There's a gate contraption between the railway lines from Snow Hill Station and Loveday Street which, if it's locked, will need you to walk your bike through on its back wheel, but sometimes it's left open. Generally I think what I'm saying is to make sure everything's securely attached - I've had water bottles bounce out on the bricks a few times!


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2021, 08:15:25 pm »
On a motorised Moulton with overnight stuff in a light load.

The worst of the worn brick cobbly steep and narrow industrial revolution canal infrastructure is the section of the Birmingham & Fazeley between where it joins the Birmingham Canal Main Line, through the Jewellery Quarter, through to about where it turns into the Digbeth Branch Canal, although there are a few bridges after that that can be a challenge and the Ashted Tunnel under Jennens Road is narrow (not much space with two panniers on an upright). There's a gate contraption between the railway lines from Snow Hill Station and Loveday Street which, if it's locked, will need you to walk your bike through on its back wheel, but sometimes it's left open. Generally I think what I'm saying is to make sure everything's securely attached - I've had water bottles bounce out on the bricks a few times!

Second all this.  Having ridden it on varying degrees of Mildly Inappropriate Bike, I consider that entire section to be Type 2 Fun and best avoided if you've got Serious Luggage or tyres that are disinclined to grip on wet brick, which is a shame because it's a lovely perspective on Birmingham in you're not in a rush to get anywhere.  On a summer evening it can get quite busy with pedestrians, probably more so in these covid times.

Broken glass, recreational pharmacists and the Aston ASBO Geese are seasonal hazards throughout the urban part of the Birmingham & Fazeley, though it's the frequent wharf bridges that really wear you down.

On the other hand, central Birmingham is basically impenetrable to cyclists by road.  And there are some fairly horrid roads.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2021, 09:27:03 pm »
Are the gates openable with a radar key or are they fixed? :)
the slower you go the more you see

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2021, 12:23:41 am »
Are the gates openable with a radar key or are they fixed? :)

Historically I've had about a 50% success rate opening the various canal radar gates with a key, due to the general state of the lock mechanisms.  I used to apply WD40 on the tunnel ride reccie.

But in recent years they've been locked open with a chain, due to enlightened thinking by the council or CRT or someone.

Not that there are many on the route in question.  I can only think of the one on the BCN Mainline as you reach the city centre, and a couple on the Birmingham & Fazeley out past Aston.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2021, 03:05:02 am »
Thanks all.
I have a radar key and if necessary I can separate the bike and lift the lumps over. Then I will take a run up and Fosbury Flop over the closed gate trying to land where the bike bits aren't.
There's a few of those cobbled humpy bridges on the BCN and suspension on the bike helps keep bags on.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2021, 11:20:28 am »
Then I will take a run up and Fosbury Flop over the closed gate trying to land where the bike bits aren't.

These being the traditional skills used by stealthy ninja types when sneaking up on family members  :thumbsup:  ;D
Have good ride and enjoy your time with daughter and grandson!

Re: Waterside or other off road from Wolvo to Castle Brom?
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2021, 01:47:51 pm »
Then I will take a run up and Fosbury Flop over the closed gate trying to land where the bike bits aren't.

These being the traditional skills used by stealthy ninja types when sneaking up on family members  :thumbsup:  ;D
Have good ride and enjoy your time with daughter and grandson!
Ssh, International ninjary must not hear of our secrets being shared!
Thanks for the help.
Never knowingly under caffeinated