Sunday 4 May 2014

New paths to BTP

Quite a bizarre week to say the least. I started my new job and started to commute to work by bicycle! Oh, and my folks had returned from their lengthy visit overseas - nice to have them back.
Enjoyed my commutes to work and completed 3 there-and-back trips this week. Changed the route a little bit from my practice commute and avoid the lung buster hill completely now. By missing out the menace steep hill, I cycle cleaner better conditioned roads on a slight ascent adding maybe just 0.5k to my trip. My commutes mostly followed a similar pattern whereby I cycled from home, around Arrow Valley Lake and then picked up the Rea Valley Cycle Route which took me straight into town and hence to my work base. On my return, I would miss out the lake and take the more urban route following buss/cycle only lanes from Churchill to Washford.

For the time being had decided on using Kay-O as my commute bike of choice. Although both single-speeds, Kay-O had better gearing compared to Queenie my MTB which 'topped out' too easily. I changed the pedals to SPD's which was a good choice and only the brakes, tyres and wheels prevent Kay-O being a perfect commute bike. Although Queenie has better wheels, tyres and brakes for the commute, her weight and gear ratio let her down big time. Great thing is, I have ordered what I think will be the ultimate commute bike - a Genesis Day One Disc - a single-speed cycle-cross bike.
My commute into work is quite varied. Almost at the start I cycle past Arrow Valley Lake which looks so pretty and tranquil. It is nice to cycle the cycle-ways and avoid motorised traffic. Once I reach the tow-path, despite being mucky on occasions, it offers a nice view and is good to see so much diverse wildlife. Once onto the Rea Valley cycleway I am amazed how much greenery is hidden in Birmingham and enjoy following this path and see the tower blocks get ever nearer but in a non-oppressive manner. Cycling through Cannon Hill Park is lovely, the gardens are very pretty and the wonderful colours of the planted flowers look majestic. Praise to God indeed! The last section, racing through town is nice as cyclists start to appear from everywhere. The cycle home is awesome too, especially as it leads home! The return route is more descending which is a bonus!

My new job is different... Bonus points are that I am able to cycle to and from work, I am near 2 bike shops and one of my team members cycles also! 

Cycled a total of 174k this week (all commute). Yearly distance to date is 2,918k. Let's hope my commute is the way forward.

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