There is nothing like a new route to reinvigorate your riding. I have been becoming a little bored of the same old routes of late, especially with trying to do longer rides on the weekends has meant I have been linking up a lot of my shorter routes together.
I was taking a look at the Kings Heath to Kinver route I do and noticed a lot of bridal way around Hagley that I hadn’t ridden before. A quick look at the London Midland site confirmed that the train to Hagley wasn’t too extortionate and there was some conveniently timed ones for a straight after work blast. To make it even more convenient it turns out its the same line that goes form Yardly Wood so Roy wouldn’t even need to get off the train to meet me.I plotted out a roughly 30mile trek and off we went.
It all started so well, with it being an excellent evening for riding. The rain had stopped for the day and the sun was out. It was shaping up to be a pretty mild night and it was nice to be rolling round in short sleeves again. Something that hadn’t cleared though was the obvious signs of the torrential rain we have had over the last week. Where it was bad the mud was really bad. Ankle deep, boggy, stinking, sticky and often unridable. Typical where it was unridable is also where it stretches across the width of the trail and so there is simply no where to walk but through it. To be fair though if it was really bad it was actually fairly firm so it was one thing or the other which at least meant it wasn’t a total mud slog.
Unfortunately Roy got the bonk and it really hit him hard. I don’t think he’d eaten properly during the day and the extra hills on this route coupled with the mud made it pretty slow progress. So much so we ended up getting back pretty late even after getting the train back from Barnt Green which hadn’t been on the agenda. On the whole it turned into quite a frustrating ride for me although I was able to scout out some new sections of trail which I will be able to use in future.