At about 1315hrs I set out and met up with John at the Waseley Hills Country Park just by the South Car Park.
My Ridgeback at the start point.
John came up the road we're looking down in the photo above. After a quick "hello" we were off. I was very concious of not holding him up!
I very roughly knew where NCR5 went but it did appear to go in and out of some pretty obscure places. So with my local knowledge and JB's Garmin I was fairly confident we'd be ok.
I think I've mentioned before, most of my pedals are fairly solitary pursuits when before I was always used to pedalling in groups. So I do enjoy the chance to chat if I am pedalling with with other folk. And happily JB seemed pretty happy to chat with me.
Through Rubery, Frankley and then down the slope which is Tessall Lane over the main A38 Bristol Road to Longbridge and back on to a dedicated cycleway which is the Rea Valley.
I nearly creamed in going through a gate onto a road due to leaf mulch on the deck. But I held it up! I couldn't crash on successive journeys out could I?
First part of ride below!
It was then a short piece of canal from Kings Norton to Cotteridge then back on the Rea Valley NCR5 cycle way which took us in a roundabout way to Cannon Hill Park by Edgbaston Cricket Ground, home of the Bears!
JB took this photo of me desparately trying to keep up while on the cut in Kings Norton.
This piece of the ride was spent trying to catch an old guy on an MTB after we'd missed the entrance to NCR5 by an industrial estate. He was motoring though. We caught him in Cannon Hill park and JB had a bit of a chat with him while we pootling along.
Then through Balsall Heath, it isn't the greatest area, drugs and other negative social issues being rife in the locale so I was quite keen to get a wiggle on through there!
Then into the City Centre, the route absolutely gobsmacked me! Through Hurst Street, up towards New Street and across Broad Street. A very busy route. Why didn't they put NCR5 back on the cut at Edgbaston and just carry on up the Towpath through Birmingham? Seems a bit barmy to me sticking cyclists through that madhouse. But what do I know?
The last bit on the canal is the final part of my old commute pre road bike. Although the NCR5 is on the otherside of the canal to that I usually ride on and the path is a bit more agreeable.
We finally got to Ladywood Middleway bridge where I said my goodbyes to JB and wished him luck for the rest of his adventure.
I decided to pedal home straight up the cut and back along NCR5 to home. The weather changed as I got into Northfield and started hammering down. I was pretty wet I got home. But I loved every minute of it.
Amazingly I had done 28 miles, my longest pedal since I started this thing. I used my Cyclemeter App for my Iphone for the first time and a very useful bit of kit it is.
Started: 3 Apr 2010 13:57:38
Ride Time: 2:23:52
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 28.35 miles
Average: 11.82 miles/hr
Fastest Speed: 27.08 miles/hr
Climb: 2425 feet
Route here: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/d1c4/1bb6/4b96/d37e/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20100403-1357.kml
My bike was absolutely filfthy, check it out!
Thanks to JB, I hope I didn't hold you up too much mate, Some serious bike cleaning today!