Birmingham Cyclist

Cycling in and around Birmingham England

Cycling in Birmingham is an unpleasant and often frightening experience. I hope not to let this deter me from cycling in the UK. But perhaps Birmingham leaders should look to our German friends for great ideas on how to really encourage a genuine cycling culture.

Now where have I heard that before? ;-)

Cycling Between Cultures: The Commuter Cycling Experience in Hambur...

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RE: "One of the most surprising parts of this was discovering the existence of the– “bike rush hour”!"

 

There was a bicycle rush hour when I lived in Crewe in the late 1980's.  In the early evening dozens of people would come out of factory gates on bikes.  I suspose this would have ended when the factories closed down.

I still remember my first visit to Germany, exiting Heidelberg railway station to be confronted by a sea of bicycles, more than I had ever seen in one place. Marvellous.

There was a bicycle rush hour when I lived in Birmingham in the late 1960's.  In the early evening hundreds of people would come out of factory gates on bikes.  I suspose this would have ended when the factories closed down.

I know Hamburg and I know someone who lives there (she's a cycle courier).   By German standards Hamburg is cr*p for cycling.   BTW, Hamburg is weirdly like Birmingham in many ways.   Shop window displays are often even in English, and only English.   Anyhow, here's some pix.

Lots of bikes, not enough stands, and no cycle paths anywhere near the station.   However there are more stands than you'll find in Brum.

There is a cycle hire scheme.

Further out there are cycle paths, but they are narrow and tend to peter out.   The wait at this crossing is several minutes.   At least there's no requirement to dismount.

Hamburg boasts an U-Bahn, an S-Bahn, and a Hochbahn (underground, surface light rail, and elevated rail), and bike carriage is free in off-peak hours.

The Vattenfall Cyclassics happens in Hamburg.

There is one hill which is climbed several times during the race, because its the only hill for miles.

 

Presented with a terrian that has no hills to speak of, it doesn't really surprise me that children who grow into adults continue to ride bikes round.

In Birmingham however, children who ride bikes cannot wait for the day they can get an engine to help them up the slopes.

Another interesting peice is the Cyclosportive that takes place in Hamburg. 20,000 cyclists riding round the course of the Vattenfall Cyclassics.

The closest Brum has to this is the Mad March Hare at Becketts, organised by Cult. I think the entry isn't 20,000, not even 10% of that. The MMH is described as 'rolling' with one hill.

This 'one' hill ISN'T,,, Ingon Lane, Langley Road, Vicarage Hill, May's Hill, the hill on the B4089,

I suspect its either Croft Lane or the lane up from Lower Quinton to Hidcote.

 

Compared with Hamburg, its a MOUNTAIN stage.

This is really the reason why children in Birmingham give up cycling ASAP.

The MMH has a list of hills that any club cyclist, sorry Alan, steers well clear of. Only the dedicated few, and certainly not teenagers who only ride to school.

Don't you just love the Mad March Hare website.

Esp the photos.

From Becketts, the route goes to the Cote d'Azure before returning leisurely to Wythall.

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