Riding the Canals, ever do it?

Posted on
of 7
First Prev
/ 7
  • Is that actually genuinely a shame?

    I thought the same when I read that.

  • I've ridden a camel...

  • it doesn't really get all that bumpy to be truthful
    there are sections of concrete slabs - smooth just watch that front tyre going in between the slabs and tracking
    sections of mud - usually tamped down by millions of footengers and numerous bikes pretty smooth really
    sections of gravel - around wormwood scrubs area again lovely and flat

    the worst sections encountered are on the leevalley north of springfield parks and that really only is bad for a mile or so

    so in summary it's fine on a road bike with 700c x 23's MTB's are really required
    have done from limehouse basin to the thames in brentford many many times and it's a great ride

    Canals around birmingham are well challening on anything other than a MTB. Full of low bridges often simultaneously with intentionally ridged cobble paths, often these ridged cobbles are placed on the ramps, some of which are very steep/ So you have to give it some welly and hit them at speed, which rattles your bike to death.

    I was properly concerned about getting a broken axle, spokes or cracked dropouts when I went for a ride the other day. But I had no option but to ride fast because I was late.

    The canals as you get away from the city centre are poorly maintained with no real surfacing. So anytime other than mdsummer, they muddy and often covered in leaves too. So very SLIPPERY. There is often just the path on the one side, any you often have to get off to continue as the path runs out, reconnecting can be confusing, sometimes you need to ride in the wrong direction for a while.

  • i've done kiddiminster to birmingham centre on the canals via a long dark tunnel section on a roadbike
    didn't seem too bad, admittedly there were sections as described above where it gets a bit cobbly there's a section of locks ( about 5 or 6 in a row that is a challenging climb up a cobbled rutted incline ) but i whacked it down into 1st climbed like contador and off i went !

    canals aren't like the track mind you, speed is not the main criteria, more a leisurely look at nature in nice surrounding ( well apart from the birmingham bit ! )

  • My pleasant ride along the sunny towpath in Hackney t'other day was cut short by a policeman stopping me. I was about ready to get all outraged on him and explain that cycling is permitted, when he told me they were dragging the canal for someone's head so the path was shut. Thought that was a fair argument, really.

  • plastic bags, milk bottles, bikes, scooters & heads
    ah the lovely canals of london
    you never quite know what'll be round the next corner

  • i
    canals aren't like the track mind you, speed is not the main criteria, more a leisurely look at nature in nice surrounding ( well apart from the birmingham bit ! )

    The part of the canal near Birmingham university and Cadburys is actually pretty idyllic, very pleasant ride into city centre from there. But the Gas street basin bit is horrific, if you want to ride from digbeth to brindley place (near ICC/NIA, broad st etc) you have to go in a massive loop around city centre, loads of low tunnels and extremely rutted cobbles.

    If you want to go past this point to get to west bromwich/smethwick (where the Brooks factory and Archie Wilkinson cycles is) the paths become unpaved. So like I said earlier it gets boggy for most of the year. There is some impressive looking bridges along the way though.

  • more canals than venice
    i'd like to have a look at some more one day
    my sis lives up near bearwood so might combine a family visit with a mooch along a new section or two

  • Brum might have the quantity, but Venice surely has the quality.

    Sadly bicycles are banned in Venice though, and with all the bridges and steps it is no wonder.

  • Smethwick, Digbeth, West Bromwich, the Gas St Basin, such strange and exotic names. Fuck Venice, Reealtow? Sounds like a dodgy South American footballer.

  • I have ridden on the Grand Union Canal Towpath Rickmansworth section on a road tandem, just a bit hairy at times..

    Rickmansworth Aquadrome has a new caf as of last year - pricey but nicey, but all very swish and a new clean neat toilet block too, there is a pub very near there but watch the prices- a second mortgage may good to have in the back pocket

    I now find ringing my lickle bell not only before bridge supports where you can't see round them, but also before blind bends helps me not get zonked in the face by other riders coming round the opposite way, or frightening the life out of walkers

    There's Fran's caf just up from Uxbridge, cheap and cheerful, and if you're very lucky you'll see a Kingfisher there, I've seen one in three years :-(

  • Saw this on the Tower Hamlets Wheelers messages this morning:

    A friend was attacked and violently robbed last night at 11pm on Hertford Union canal at Gunmakers Lane by six men as he was cycling home. It seems there were a few other similar attacks the same evening.

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Riding the Canals, ever do it?

Posted by Avatar for Elguapo @Elguapo