Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Tim's Cycling Diary Part 1 - Bonked on Le Tour de Birmingham!

Dudley Road, City Road junction of the Outer Circle
My new year’s resolution was to get out on the bike more but the weather had other ideas. My uncle always says that there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes. I agree with him most of the time, he used to work in a coal mine years ago so he knows about these things. Rain I can live with, but wind is another thing. We hear so much about the delights of cycling in the Netherlands. Funny that. They have no hills to speak of but they do have the North Sea. Anyway, I digress - back to the wind. If you can remember the first week of January, it was windy, very windy and I wimped out. I did go to the gym but it’s not the same.

Now it’s got a little colder, but calmer and I am back on the bike. Looking for ideas for an on road route I stumbled across one on www.cycle-route.com. I blew the cobwebs off with a 25 mile ride known as Le Tour de Birmingham. Actually I made that title up, but it’s the A4040 Birmingham Outer Ring Road, so it’s very apt. It’s been there all along of course, staring me in the face. The no.11 bus travels round the ring road and was the bus I caught to Birmingham Polytechnic (as it used to be known back in the day) when I was doing my solicitors final exams. This time I was cycling round trying to catch it on two wheels!

Anyway, it was cold – very cold as I set off going anti-clockwise. Setting out at 7.55 AM I got back at 10.50. There wasn’t a lot of traffic about, but I was mindful cycling past the Hob Moor Road roundabout as I had represented a cyclist hit by an impatient driver there back in 2007 (the blue pointer on the map to the left). As for the ride, unfortunately I ran out of power in the last 3 miles. Sadly, I “bonked” – and not in a good way. (Look it up… carefully! It’s an official cycling term). It’s my first ride of that kind of length for a few years and I’m a long way off the sort of time that I ought to be capable of. Lesson learned, I’ll take something with me to give me a little more energy next time, oh and also a buff. Oh and I won’t go the wrong way up Kings Heath High street. So, I’ll knock a few minutes off next time just by not getting lost. Perhaps going clockwise is the key instead.

Anyway, the ride served its purpose as I cycled into work today and it seemed easy, thanks no doubt to the miles put in on Sunday. Approximately 5 miles from Hamstead via Handsworth Wood, Hockley flyover, Great Hampton Street and before you know it I’m in the office.

I’m feeling pleased with myself. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

Happy cycling,
Tim Beasley - Partner Levenes Solicitors

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