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Recommended Ride - South Birmingham

Route Date - Sunday, March 10, 2019

By Ian Soady

Version 1.

This route is a nice 37 miles or so (the same distance as the TT!), taking an hour or a little longer if taking your time. It has what I consider a nice mix of open road, narrow lanes, interesting bends etc. It’s equally good in the reverse direction. It starts and finishes at the same point – a mini roundabout on the edge of Solihull. Obviously other start / end points can be chosen.

There are lots of detail variations that can be adopted – eg just after No 7 where the sharp left hander is, turning right (essentially straight on – needs care) takes you through a pleasant (but often muddy) road that dives between trees.

1. Starts at 52.40714,-1.8518 - the said mini roundabout.

2. Take High Street 1.5 miles west to Maypole Roundabout (by Sainsbury’s)

3. At roundabout, take A453 south for 8 miles. This dual carriageway lets the bike stretch its legs after the urban sprawl. If you don’t want to use the dual carriageway see alternative route below.

4. At roundabout, take first exit for 9.5 miles East. A nice A road with sweeping bends. Speed limit 50 mph but only one (front-facing and currently inoperative) speed camera. If you need any BSA spares C&D Autos is about 4 miles along here.

5. Turn LEFT onto unclassified road signed "Hatton / Hatton Country World" for about 2 miles. This becomes a single lane rural road with passing places. Careful approaching Hatton Country World as lots of cars leaving and entering.

6. Turn LEFT on B4439 for about 7 miles. Another sweeping road with some deceptive and interesting bends.

7. At Hockley Heath, turn LEFT onto A3400 then immediately RIGHT onto B4101 for about 6 miles. CAUTION: very sharp left turn shortly after leaving Hockley Heath. A good open road.

8. At Wood End turn RIGHT on Poolhead Lane (signed "Golf Course, Earlswood Trading Estate") for about 2.5 miles. Pleasant ride with some interesting bends.

9. Turn LEFT on Fulford Hall Road (signed "Tidbury Green") for about 0.7 mile.

10. Straight on over Norton Lane for about 2.5 miles. CAUTION: very sharp bends after Whitlock End Station.

11. Turn LEFT on Green Lane just before Shirley station and continue 0.5 miles to starting point.

Version 2.

For those who dislike faster roads and want to avoid dual carriageways. Suitable for a post-vintage machine... The first 5 instructions comprise the end of the route above in the reverse direction.

1. Starts at same place 52.40714,-1.8518

2. Take Aqueduct Road South 0.5 miles

3. Turn RIGHT on Haslucks Green Road for about 2.5 miles.

4. Straight on over Norton Lane following Fulford Hall Road for about 0.7 miles.

5. Turn RIGHT on Rumbush Lane for about 2.5 miles.

6. Turn RIGHT on Broad Lane for about 1.5 miles.

7. At roundabout, take FIRST exit on Beoley Lane for about 1.5 miles.

8. Turn LEFT on Icknield Street for 400 yards.

9. Turn LEFT on Ravensbank Drive for about 1.5 miles

10. Take FIRST exit from roundabout signed "Warwick".

11. Keep right; the road sweeps to the right then joins Version 1 just before step 4. 


If you'd like to add your own recommended route contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

CrazyFrog said :-
I can confirm that this is indeed a wonderfully ride. In particular the B4439 from Hatton Locks to Hockley Heath has always been one of my favourite biking roads. When I first started riding it it was 60 all the way apart from the two villages, now it's 50 for about half the distance with 30 in the villages and 40 for the other half. Still, it's a wonderfully twisty road, going through two lovely villages and with 2 national trust properties along the way which have brown sign posts and are a good reason to stop and explore and have a cup of coffee and a cake. Recommended!
10/3/2019 10:33:43 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
... yours sincerely, the Brum posse.

When I think of Brum I think of the big city, spaghetti junction, the M6 and M5, The NEC, you get the idea. The idea of exploring there hasn't registered. I suppose this highlights my ignorance of what lies beyond, of how I've traveled the length and breadth of the UK and yet I know nothing.

I have still much to learn.

10/3/2019 10:40:55 PM UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
I'm sure there are similar rides in the rural areas surounding most big cities Ren. It just takes local knowledge to recommend them as they'd be almost impossible to find by accident. I know a lovely 'lanes' route from my house to the NEC for example, but I doubt any sat nav would ever send you that way...
10/3/2019 10:47:47 PM UTC
Upt'North said :-
Thanks Ian, you even through in a Roman Road, I think.
Upt'North.
11/3/2019 12:15:58 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Aaaaahhh, local knowledge. How many times have I been to a place only to be told later "Oh, you should have ridden road X, visited place Y and why on earth did you not go to Z!?" I reckon that was the problem with Devon, we just did not find the sort of things that we like, that are probably there, but we just don't know where. Although due to my excellent navigation skills I think we found a few country lanes the last time we were at the NEC. I wasn't lost so much as, erm, taking a new and unknown to me route.
11/3/2019 7:46:40 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Yes indeed Mr North. I've sent Ren another which follows Roman roads further south to the Cotswolds.

Thanks all for kind comments.....
11/3/2019 2:04:10 PM UTC

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