On this sunny Sunday morning, I decided to cycle along my current favourite route, heading south out of Birmingham towards Worcester. The first few miles are along the Birmingham & Worcester Canal towpath, recently refurbished through the Birmingham Cycle Revolution. I then switch to the NCN5, which initially follows quiet paths along the Rea River Valley, before moving onto residential streets in a suburban area. Moving further away from the city, the route takes less-used and narrow back roads out towards the countryside and continues in this manner into Worcestershire.
For a leisurely weekend ride, such routes are undoubtedly the best: quiet, scenic and above all traffic-free. They have their downsides though: cycling through a park requires a certain degree of skill to avoid dogs and children running across your path for a start and you will likely not be taking the shortest route to your destination. Sunday: fine; Monday, heading to work: not so fine. For the purposes of commuting, cyclists prefer a shorter, more direct, even if busier and more dangerous route.Continue reading