Back on the trail…

Yesterday was my first pedal in 2 weeks.

My downtime was/is being caused by pressure here at home and at work. It really is reaching “the end of your tether” territory. After the pedal was just awful. I’m not sure how long we can go on like this. Something needs to happen one way or the other. But we’re not in control of the situation. I’m a laid back person, but I haven’t felt stress like this since Wifey’s poor Dad was in a hospice and had terminal cancer 6 years ago and her family had quite naturally gone belly up.

Luckily Dan doesn’t understand and Fay is in Normandy with the Air Cadets. Yesterday was a good one to miss.

On to the pedal. I got my Marin out and decided to test myself over some pretty hilly terrain and try to lose myself in the pain. If hills you want, not necessarily that high, but steep and regular, then get in touch with me and I’ll take you over the Waseley’s, Clent and the Lickey Hills. Some are unrideable.

A regular photo stop above at the top of the Waseley’s. The M5 Junction 4 and the South West in the distance.

After traversing the Waseley’s my regular bridleway to the top of the Lickey’s was next, this led to my usual downhill blast off the top down into Barnt Green and towards the Cut at Hopwood.

The canal to Tardebigge via Alvechurch was made a bit more enjoyable due to the fact I had a full suspension bike under me rather than my rigid commuter which has been my steed of choice on this route lately.

Once at Shortwood tunnel you have to go over the hill rather than through it like the tunnel as there is no towpath.

This is the sight that greets you at the top of the hill.

This is Worcestershire looking it’s best, what a view. But check this out, the following photos were taken in this field and on all of the fence posts and the tree my bike is leaning against.

As you can see, someone has taken the trouble to come into this field, which really isn’t that easy to get to, with a hammer and nails and a bag of plastic bottle tops and nail them to trees, gates and fence posts. A tracking game perhaps? I ain’t got a clue really, it’s just weird. Any ideas?

I retraced my steps back to Hopwood then took the bridleway back around Lower Bittell Reservoir and the terribly posh Barnt Green Yacht Club, back over the Lickey’s and the Waseley’s and home for 20 miles of mainly off road pedalling.

I feel ok this morning, just the usual post off road aches and pains that I accept as proof that I’m alive.

We did the Dodford Inn as usual, but there was a wedding on and the usual peace and tranquility was not available. That didn’t matter though. Dan had some kids to play with.

Here’s its certificate of quality.

Route here:


7 responses to “Back on the trail…

  1. That is one of my favourite rides. Down from the top of the Lickeys to Barnt Green and then on to the canals. I tend to head to Blackwell from Barnt Green and then over to Alvechurch via Wheelers Lane. Its a really nice downhill road stretch before you get to the station, the canal and the wonderful Weighbridge pub. Hope all this lets up for you soon. Excercise is the best release.

  2. Thanks Jim. We are lucky living around here aren’t we? Plenty of cycling for all shades of our sport.

  3. I’d love to see that area some day, but it looks a bit like my hometown of Seattle, Washington (and surroundings). Very different from my current home in the desert.

    Hang in there, Clive.

  4. When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking

    Arthur Conan Doyle – but he also believe in fairies so take his advice with a pinch of salt. Chin up Sir!


  5. Hi Clive,
    I’m thinking of blogging about my attempts to cycle, I was hoping that it would be an incentive for me, some sort of encouragement or stick to beat myself with and make me get up and get on the bike. Looking at your blog which I read every day, I get the impression that in the main blogging has been an encouragement for you, would that be a fair comment?


  6. Mickey, I wouldn’t even have started this fat to fit by bike if I hadn’t seen a couple of similar blogs. To say it’s an incentive is something of an understatement. If you’ve been to sad enough to read the beginning of this blog and a few of my Bike Radar blogs then you’ll know blogging was what inspired me. Read Gaz and Frank or Fatcyclerider and weightybiker in my Blogroll on the right of the page.

    I can’t recommend it enough and I even suggested to my Doc that he prescribes it to other obese patients.

    BC – Guido, thanks Gents.

  7. Thanks Clive,
    Much appreciate your response, yeah I’ve read all of your blog and I suspect you have a lot of lurkers like me doing so. It’s good stuff and thanks for it.


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