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The ‘Northen Ring’ 2007-05-23 Wednesday

Posted by hoipoloi in Rides.
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Having already completed the ‘Southern Ring‘ it was time to ride the ‘Northern Ring’ yesterday. Splitting this circular canal route into two sections (north and south) makes sense as the full circuit (reportedly 25 miles) can be too much for someone as degenerate as myself. It also helps that home is located somewhere in the middle of the circle. For me this means the full circuit is split at the Goscote Hall Bridge (Slacky Lane) on the west side and Daw End Bridge (Daw End Lane) on the east side.
The distance between these two bridges using the southern ring is 16.35 miles as logged previously. Using the northern ring (logged yesterday) the distance is 9.57 miles making the total distance for the complete circuit 25.92 miles.

A few interesting photos from the ride:

The two faces of Winterley Bridge:
Winterley BridgeClick to go large

Canada geese goslings:
GoslingsClick to go large

Swan and cygnets:
Swan and cygnetsClick to go large

Coots and chick. The chick was under the towpath verge when I arrived, the two elder coots telling it constantly to stay where it is as I might be a threat. Eventually the chick made a run (paddle) for it and dashed to the opposite bank:
CootsClick to go large

Coopers Bridge, Clayhanger:
Coopers BridgeClick to go large

Yorks Bridge, Norton Road, Pelsall North Common. Also shows the Fingerpost pub and eatery, formally known as the Royal Oak. Presumably the name was changed following the murder of the landlord:
Yorks BridgeClick to go large

14.49 miles for the day


The ‘Southern Ring’ 2007-05-06 Sunday

Posted by hoipoloi in Rides.

I’m fortunate in being located more or less in the middle of what is believed to be a 25 mile ring of canals made up from the ‘Wyrley & Essington, the Tame Valley, and the Rushall Canals. I say believed to be 25 miles because the Walsall Canal Map (available from Walsall Council and all good libraries in the area) states this figure yet recent events suggest otherwise.

I set off on what was an exceptionally hot day towards the end of April fully intending to complete the full 25 miles of this circular course taking in Walsall, Darlaston, Ocker Hill, Sandwell, Rushall, Aldridge, Brownhills and Pelsall. The only problem was that after about 10 miles, and somewhere near the western end of the Tame Valley, I got a text message on my phone from the trouble asking if I’d remembered to open the greenhouse doors before leaving home. In my eagerness to set off I’d completely forgotten, and sensing a stay in the doghouse because of the greenhouse I decided I’d have to cut the ride short at the most suitable point. This happened to be around Daw End and meant a days mileage of over 18 miles, very nearly all of it on the canal route.

I’m guessing I’d have had far more than 7 miles to do to complete the full circuit, more likely around 12 or more. I will have to complete the remainder of the circuit, the ‘Northern Ring’ at a later date and check the distances. At least I managed to cover some virgin towpaths on this run and take a large number of pictures and bridge-to-bridge measurements.

Ducks Mommy duck and seven baby ducks. Spotted near Darlaston.

Dead Bike Tame Valley, dead bike.

Live heron Tame Valley, live heron.

The tomato plants were saved and I live to ride another day. 🙂

18.31 miles for the day

Virtual European Tour #03 2007-05-01 Tuesday

Posted by hoipoloi in Virtual Tour.
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Oh dear, oh dear. Considering the exceptionally good weather, April was a bad month for my cycling mileage. I have no excuses (other than being chained to the house for the purpose of receiving a number of deliveries), I could of course, have used the trusty static steed but I just didn’t feel like it so there.

Bar Graph Jan-Apr 2007 Click to go large

As can be seen from the bar graph above, April is 74.68 miles which is around 15 miles under (what is now) the average. OK, enough of the explanations, what, or rather where, can I get with April’s meagre offering?

Two towns of large proportions lie to the west (Le Havre and Caen) and while they are undoubtedly very nice towns, I prefer to steer well clear of them if possible. So using the miles wisely and forfeiting a coastal route north of Le Havre (going directly south to the industrial landscapes around Tancarville and across the River Seine), I manage to avoid both these towns and arrive in the relative peace of Lion-sur-Mer.

As well as crossing the famous Seine near it’s exit to the sea, I cross another equally famous expanse of water. The Caen canal at Benouville where the Pegasus Bridge was hard fought for on the night of the D-Day landings 1944-06-06.


Must do better next month.