To Burntwood – uphill on the way, downhill the way back

I needed to go to Cannock this morning so cycled up Abnalls Lane again. It’s getting slippery and slimy under wheel at the moment and some people early this morning were driving like carsholes. As one car sped past, I heard a long skid and waited for a crunch that didn’t come, turning to see two motors stationary nose to nose. To try and discourage people from rat running down here it is hoped to get the gates fixed to make them lockable again. So that cyclists can pass without having to open them, Staffordshire County Council need to clear the overgrown paths around the gateposts at either end, shown in the photos below.  Report number 4001494 I believe, if any good citizens of Staffordshire fancy chasing it up as well.

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Team Rickshaw in town

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With a bit of free time and a website tracking their progress, I was able to nip out and catch the @teamrickshaw as they cycled through Lichfield at lunchtime raising money for Children in Need. Matthew was doing this leg and there was a good few people out on the route cheering him on. I scooted ahead and got another picture on Upper St John Street. Besides the fundraising, what seems important is the potentially life changing experiences people get from doing things like this. Well done to them all.

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Back up Abnalls

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I’ve had a couple of messages from the person who is working tirelessly to make sure that improvements are made to the National Cycle Network Route 54 and  that they are sustained, specifically the gated section on Abnalls Lane mentioned previously.

Our correspondent tells me that the police are still keen to do further enforcement and would like to see improvements to a number of contributing factors, including making sure the signage is visible and not hidden behind hedges, that the areas around the gates that are still overgrown are cleared and the gate from the Lichfield side, in a poor state, needs repair. I imagine these are issues for Staffordshire County Council to address.

Also it has been suggested that cyclists who use the lane take the time and trouble to close the gates, though this can be problematic if cars are attempting to use the lane. Apparently someone in a velomobile has been taking videos down there recently. Would be interesting to hear from anyone who knows the person or whether the videos are posted online.

If anybody fancies joining a group of cyclists for a trip up the lane one day to make general observations please get in touch.


Jumble Season

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Got taken to the bike jumble in Kidderminster yesterday and drove past the fixie philosopher on the way in and managed a chat while waiting in the queue.

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I might be able to tell a stem from a seat post but when presented with so many it can be a bit overwhelming. It was like people were speaking a foreign language at times. But with some guidance I managed to get a wheel and a crankset for my new fixie project. Martin who organised the jumble at Martin Heath Hall is talking about doing it again in January next year. The Erdington one is on in March as well. Something for the winter season.

Dark nights, bright lights

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It’s getting to that time of the year where the commute is getting darker and the need to be seen much greater. Trying out these motion sensitive dust cap lights to try and get some more side on visibility. Might end up looking like an ambulance a quarter of a mile away instead, but at about £1.50 each delivered, it’s worth a try.