Author Topic: Route to Wolverhampton  (Read 1147 times)

Route to Wolverhampton
« on: May 30, 2019, 08:43:53 pm »
I am riding up to Wolverhampton to visit nobby on Sunday. Google maps routing is sending me  via Lemington spa then along the canals to Wolverhampton with a distance of 120 miles. I am a little worried about the canal towpath from a place called Catherine de barns . I believe that the towpaths in central Birmingham are fairly good and I now have a radar Key so gates shouldn't be a problem  . Any routing advice is welcome  :)

the slower you go the more you see

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 08:54:56 pm »
The towpath surface Wolverhampton to Birmingham has been improved of late and it is now allegedly* a hard surface all the way (I have yet to ride it to check this out though). I can't recall there being any Radar gates in that stretch, but it has been over a year since I last went along there so I can't be certain.

*Reported at the January meeting of Wolverhampton Council's Cycle Forum.

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 09:02:09 pm »
That's good to hear  :thumbsup: . I think this is going to be quite a  cycling adverture  :)
the slower you go the more you see

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 09:57:02 pm »
I am riding up to Wolverhampton to visit nobby on Sunday. Google maps routing is sending me  via Lemington spa then along the canals to Wolverhampton with a distance of 120 miles. I am a little worried about the canal towpath from a place called Catherine de barns.

Yeah, don't get on the towpath there.  The Birmingham Cycle Revolution towpath improvement[1] works stopped at the city boundary, which appears to be somewhere between Olton and Acocks Green.  I don't know if Solihull[2] have done anything with their bit, but I wouldn't bet on it (they seem more interested in installing extra-black tarmac on the roads so JLR can play with self-driving cars).  I've not been on that stretch of the Grand Onion Canal since 2015, when it was a mudbath.

You should be okay from there to Wolverhampton, though.

Most of the towpath radar gates in the Birmingham area have now been removed or permanently locked open, but there are a few exceptions, so a key is prudent.


[1] "Let's widen the path, tarmac it, then sprinkle loose gravel on the top because gravelly surfaces mean we don't have to sweep or grit it."  Some of the improved paths are looking a bit worse for wear as a result, but should be eminently trikeable compared to the old rutted single-track.
[2] Which is Not Birmingham.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 10:01:22 pm »
IIRC this was around the Catherine-de-Barnes area:



You'll start getting a lot of hump-backed bridges as you get into Birmingham (the sort of ones we had to push you up on the Tunnel Ride), and I'd guess the section of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal through the Jewellery Quarter is likely to be unpassable for a trike in several places (lots of cobbles, steep ups and sharp, narrow corners).

Smoother once you get onto the Main Line out of Birmingham (minimal locks), but there'll be a few bridges, and the Coseley Tunnel (or up over the top). I'm not sure how far they've got with the resurfacing, but if there's sections where you're on the old towpath it might essentially be singletrack.


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 10:11:03 pm »
I have memories of soft ground with a lot of overgrown narrow bits.  Not exactly sure where...

I'd guess the section of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal through the Jewellery Quarter is likely to be unpassable for a trike in several places (lots of cobbles, steep ups and sharp, narrow corners).

Oh, bloody good point.  I forgot that's how you get to the Grand Onion...

I've been through that stretch with barakta exactly once, so I'm reasonably confident that a trike will fit, but may not be be able to manage all the stupid bits under its own power.  I had type-2 fun doing it on the Streetmachine last week.

I'd probably come off the towpath at Digbeth, and attempt to find my way to the Gas Street Basin at surface level.  Unfortunately this isn't entry-level stuff, as they've put a stupendous amount of effort into rendering central Birmingham impenetrable to cyclists.   :(

Sadly I'm not around this weekend to assist with local knowledge, I'm going to be riding round in circles in the soggy north-west.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 10:14:43 pm »
15 year old knowledge.  The canal around Catherine de Barns was extremely muddy.  Obviously that may have improved since then.

@Kim.  Does the Birmingham Cyclist discussion group still exist?  My saved link no longer works.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 08:36:11 am »
Enjoy the soggy nw kim   ;) ,thanks for the  info everyone  :) .
the trice now has a big battery and a big orange decathlon dry bag with camping kit to improve rear wheel traction although I suspect that the motor and me will get a reasonable workout over the humps  :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 09:05:14 am »
Has the Coseley Tunnel reopened yet? I think it must have but there is little information available to confirm this with just a quick look.

You can go up and over if you need to.

And yes, there are lots of humpback bridges to go over near to Birmingham which can be a right pain in cleats!

Also, watch out for fishermen with long poles. Some of them aren't happy to move them out of the way for cyclists!

Finally, watch out for scrotes on the path in Wolverhampton: I have had issues a couple of times with them throwing stuff.

Apart from that...enjoy!  ;D
Cats to the left of me, cats to the right of me, cats sitting on my keyboard making far more sense than I do.

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 10:34:48 am »
Full power......... ramming speed   ;D
the slower you go the more you see

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 11:40:51 am »
Full power......... ramming speed   ;D

This is also a proven technique for dealing with the Aston ASBO Geese.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 11:42:50 am »
@Kim.  Does the Birmingham Cyclist discussion group still exist?  My saved link no longer works.

Sadly not.  I think the hosting fees got silly and the owner decided it wasn't worth the effort given that everything was happening on Facebook anyway.

Shame, because it was brilliant for this kind of local knowledge, and unlike Facebook, was vaguely searchable.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 10:33:06 pm »
I run that Catherine de Barnes section very regularly. Still looks very similar to the picture above, often very very muddy. Some bits are also really narrow. 

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2019, 07:44:38 am »
Has there been a lot of rain in the area recently ? .the towpaths round here are bone dry   :) .
the slower you go the more you see

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2019, 02:08:24 pm »
I have ridden the Catherine-de-Barnes stretch recently on my commute to work. That was before the recent rain, so a little out of date. It was OK on an upwrong, with a couple of muddy patches by Damson Road. It gets quite narrow in parts, so a trike might struggle. Between Lode Lane (near JLR) and C-de-B there are two barriers to stop motorbikes. These would be an issue with a trike if you struggle to lift it. Once you get past JLR you'll be fine. Solihull renovated the towpath 20 years ago, but appear to have done nothing since. Once you get to Acock's Green, Birmingham City Council have spent money on the towpath and it seems good, although I haven't ridden into Brum for ages. IIRC, a couple of the humpback bridges have brick bumps which would be uncomfortable on a trike.

If you want a route to bypass the canal until Lode Lane from C-de-B, I'd ride up Hampton Lane towards Solihull, turn right onto Damson Parkway for a short stretch, turn left onto Yew Tree Lane (which becomes Cornyx Lane, then becomes Moat Lane), then turn right onto Lode Lane. There is a cyclepath of sorts that will take you to just before JLR. The GU is then accessible by a path - with steps! - but you will avoid the narrower bits of the towpath and the worst of any mud.

Architecturally, the original(?) Solihull bridges are intact, but often have newer bits of road added on to them. At Dovehouse Lane they left the old bridge intact and built a new bridge. You'll also notice dates imprinted into the concrete edgings. These are 1933/4 when this stretch of the canal was widened during the depression. Should you need shops, Richmond Road bridge has (awkward) access and there is a row of shops and a cafe. Not much in the way of food shopping though, but there's a newsagent. Not sure about Sunday hours.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2019, 07:21:42 pm »
Many thanks camraman , that's very useful. I will buy food and drink and carry it with me  .I am going to have a early night and set off in the early hours   :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2019, 04:39:57 am »
I am having a hot chocolate at high wycombe next stop probably bicester   :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2019, 09:04:03 am »
Don't forget that when you get to Warwick you need to turn South West  ;D
Never knowingly under caffeinated

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2019, 02:44:08 pm »
74k, beta-blocked. :(  Nice day, almost a nice ride otherwise (see Vroom).
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2019, 09:43:44 pm »
So, did cycleman make it, or is he trying to fish his trike out of a canal, or in a stand-off with some geese or something?

(The NW was soggy, as anticipated.  So soggy they closed the Knowlsey velodrome, so we got a double dose of dePreston instead.  I've been less muddy after riding to Wolverhampton on the canal.  In winter.  Before they surfaced it.  I've just finished cleaning the grit out of all my crevices, and I think I might need to replace my bike with a cleaner one.)
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2019, 07:42:36 pm »
So, did cycleman make it, or is he trying to fish his trike out of a canal, or in a stand-off with some geese or something?

(The NW was soggy, as anticipated.  So soggy they closed the Knowlsey velodrome, so we got a double dose of dePreston instead.  I've been less muddy after riding to Wolverhampton on the canal.  In winter.  Before they surfaced it.  I've just finished cleaning the grit out of all my crevices, and I think I might need to replace my bike with a cleaner one.)
He did make it.
120 mile in 20 hours minus two enormous meal stops. Possibly involving geese. Arrived here late evening, fell off the trike, had a wobbly went to bed and woke this morning suffering from forgetfulness.

He is here but his phone is still in a cafe South Shropshire. :facepalm:
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2019, 07:48:55 pm »
I now have my phone back  :). I have been walking slowly around Shrewsbury slowing down nobby to a sensible speed. W We also drove to the top of the long mynd before  the rain h had set in meeting sheep and a Irish Kenyan  .my back has been quite painful this afternoon having got back to nobby s I  have taken a naproxen and some paracetamol and I am a little more comfortable  .  More adventures soon... :)





the slower you go the more you see

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2019, 11:52:06 am »
Avoid the Grand Union after Lode Lane. It is a veritable quagmire. DAHIKT.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2019, 07:37:12 pm »
I have had a very enjoyable few days,thanks nobby . Car trips out castles and hill viewpoints, Shrewsbury and entering damp holes  ( dudley tunnel narrow boat trip   ;) )
I set off on my return ride yesterday intending to just as far as the green Man at long Itchington but the forcast for today was rather damp so I decided to keep going as long as I was feeling okay. The end result was that I got back to slough at 4.34 am
I have spent most of today asleep but I am nice and dry   :)
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Route to Wolverhampton
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2019, 09:21:03 pm »
I have had a very enjoyable few days,thanks nobby . Car trips out castles and hill viewpoints, Shrewsbury and entering damp holes  ( dudley tunnel narrow boat trip   ;) )
I set off on my return ride yesterday intending to just as far as the green Man at long Itchington but the forcast for today was rather damp so I decided to keep going as long as I was feeling okay. The end result was that I got back to slough at 4.34 am
I have spent most of today asleep but I am nice and dry   :)
Wow  :thumbsup: impressive trip.
 I'm assuming the only tunnel was on the boat trip part - not via Netherton alone  :demon: