Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

hello everyone 

I had to go to the NEC for a couple of days last month 

using google maps i followed the route using mainly cycle paths from Erdington to NEC

its a nice ride there and I enjoyed it, until the path and google maps brings you out on to the B4438 and tells me to go over the little island to enter NEC grounds, but path was blocked by locked gates which I climbed over..

after searching the NEC web site there is nothing to tell Walkers or Bikers how to get to the site or where to park nothing, 

so email to NEC asking why?  

email back states 

"Park at the Railway Station and use the link bridge to access the NEC" 

have emailed the Virgin Trains asking if that is best idea for visiting the NEC will up date when I have response 

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There's a shelter for 10 bikes by Resorts World but that might be a long way from where you need to be. 

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/BHI.aspx  says 18 cycle stands plus a cycling compound with 27 spaces available at the front of the station. Some are wheel racks (benders) so avoid.

i still parked the bike very close to the main doors, and quickly walked away from it lol as a guard was head my way 

but why in his email say about cycling to Resorts World?  

Would parking at the airport and then using the monorail be any good? https://www.birminghamairport.co.uk/directions-and-transport/by-foo... 

Update. Virgin didn't want to answer the question but sent me two free first tickets on the west coast line. So thanks Virgin have resent the question using different email account
Bit crap, isn't it?

I do a three-day event each June (this year's is in 3 days time) which I cycle to from north Sutton. The route is largely fine - there's a terrifying 300m of dual carriageway coming home, but it's mostly country lane. However, those bloody gates are a PITA - I have to not only climb over them, but hoist my fully laden steed over too.

Parking-wise, I've been able to lodge my bike at a secret & secure location nearby. I'm not sure that it will be available to me this year, but I'm dreading parking up for 12 hours anywhere more exposed.
That's why I don't fancy the idea of leaving at the train station

That's not the uk board games expo you are doing this weekend is it? If so, I'll be there too!

Richard D said:

Bit crap, isn't it?

I do a three-day event each June (this year's is in 3 days time) which I cycle to from north Sutton. The route is largely fine - there's a terrifying 300m of dual carriageway coming home, but it's mostly country lane. However, those bloody gates are a PITA - I have to not only climb over them, but hoist my fully laden steed over too.

Parking-wise, I've been able to lodge my bike at a secret & secure location nearby. I'm not sure that it will be available to me this year, but I'm dreading parking up for 12 hours anywhere more exposed.
Might be ;)

I've been at every one since the first, always helping friends out demoing their games. (I'm also an Essen junkie, but so far haven't ever ridden there. But I am tempted - more so if I knew it would stay dry). This year I'm on the CGE stand showing off the new two-player Codenames. I fond I spend a lot less if I demo!

When it was based at the Calarendon Suite I would drive in on some days (especially the year I was demoing a huge game of Heroscape - that would never have fitted on the bike). But because I'm too tight to pay NEC parking charges, I've cycled every year since it moved out there.

It's a nice ride from Sutton, spoiled only by the NECs ambivalence towards the bike and cycling facilities. Shame, because it is otherwise the best way to get there.

Although the weather Friday evening (and Sunday, but I was in the car then as I had to deliver a big pile of games that would not have fitted in the panniers) was pretty horrid.

I continue to be disappointed at the poor provision of cycling facilities around the NEC.  If there is any secure bike parking, I didn't see it.  And a site that has lots and lots of space for things like cycle paths has none at all.

:) Shame I failed to check here before the weekend or I would have stopped and said hi. hope you had a good time, I didn't ride at all, just got the train to intl. train station, I too am surprised there are little or no cycle parking facilities, it's not the easiest place to get to by bike but you'd think they'd have staff cycling anyway.

Richard D said:

Might be ;)

I've been at every one since the first, always helping friends out demoing their games. (I'm also an Essen junkie, but so far haven't ever ridden there. But I am tempted - more so if I knew it would stay dry). This year I'm on the CGE stand showing off the new two-player Codenames. I fond I spend a lot less if I demo!

When it was based at the Calarendon Suite I would drive in on some days (especially the year I was demoing a huge game of Heroscape - that would never have fitted on the bike). But because I'm too tight to pay NEC parking charges, I've cycled every year since it moved out there.

It's a nice ride from Sutton, spoiled only by the NECs ambivalence towards the bike and cycling facilities. Shame, because it is otherwise the best way to get there.

It is *almost* an easy place to get to by bike.  There are a couple of roundabouts where you have to mix it with traffic travelling at dual carriageway speeds (or who have just left the motorway).  But equally there are lots of smaller lanes and roads that lead to the site if you know about them (Packington Lane, to MiddleBickinhill Lane, to Eastway, for example).  What it needs is the local authority and also the site owner to spend a bit of money, signposting what exists, offering alternatives where they exist but aren't ideal, and creating something new where it doesn't.  

Two things that bugged me  - which illustrate the lack of joined-up thinking.  Leaving the site going NNW, Blackfirs Lane is a good way to head towards Chelmsley Wood (aiming for Water Orton, for example).  It's closed at one end, so sees no traffic, and has been marked as a bike path.  But the way onto that bike path just at the oundabout on Bickenhill Parkway screams for a dropped kerb - yet none is provided, leaving the cyclist frantically trying to get the bike off the road before getting mown down by a lorry.

And to get there from the NEC site is a doddle - past he young driver's centre.  Except for the gate that is almost always closed to traffic, with no provision for pedestrians or cyclists.  So you have to lift your bike over the gate, and climb over it too.

But unless something is done to make it worthwhile once you arrive (stands under cover, close to security patrols and cameras) then why bother?  I'm lucky, I know somewhere super-secure to leave my bike on site.  But the day they refuse to let me use it is the day that I have to travel there by car.  But at £12 per car, per day, what's the incentive for the NEC to offer a bike-friendly solution??

Here is the bike hub at Birmingham International train station -

http://www.falco.co.uk/projects/bespoke-cycle-hub-for-birmingham-in...

It says it has an access system so i'm not sure if there's a charge.

It's located behind the taxi rank

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