Friday, 24 May 2013

Chris Spoke about Bikes In Birmingham

Chris on his 1993 Dawes Super Galaxy

Tell me about your bike and where you got it.
I had my bike for 3 years. I purchased my bike from eBay from some on in Shropshire.  I bought it because I wanted to cycle across France for charity. So I wanted to have a touring bike.  This is a Dawes Super Galaxy from around 1993. Renault 531 ST frame, which has a slightly longer wheel base than the standard Renault 531.   I have kept the bike since my charity ride 3 years ago and now this is my only bike.

Where has your bike taken you today?
Just to Stirchely Market

Why do you cycle?
I cycle because I am lucky enough to be reasonably  fit and lucky enough to have the use of my arms and legs.  I can’t see why anyone would want to sit in a car in a traffic jam, or why anyone would want to sit in a car at all, when you can go on a bike.  Plus it does not really rain that much in Birmingham.

What is your favourite place in Birmingham and the West Midlands to Cycle?
I really cycle to get from one place to another.  However I did go on a leisure ride to a place called Belbroughton, which is out West past Frankly. I also quite like cycling to Alvechurch, which is quite a nice place to cycle.  I really like cycle on the road and enjoy dodging in and out of traffic, but I can see why some people would find this scary.

What do you think that Birmingham could do to improve the cycling infrastructure to make it more user-friendly to all cyclists of all abilities? 
The main thing is, if you are going to spend loads on money on cycle paths there is no point in making cycle paths that just come to a sudden stop.  You have leisure cycle paths like the Rea Valley, which is really nice. But I always use the Pershore Road because it's slightly quicker.  But if I'm feeling in  a nice mood and I want to take my time I will go down the Rea Valley route, which is great  because it’s a nice, none stop and continuous route.   But a lot of cycle lanes are broken up so much that it makes it more difficult to follow and cycle along them. You have to stop at every junction.  If you are on the road, you can just go past side roads without having to stop.

Birmingham has to prioritise a bicycle above the car, which is a way of thinking that not a lot of people have.


  1. Chris sure does get about in the cycling community, nice to see the dawes still in service.
    Nicola, the biker baker.

    1. He certainly does. However, I have not seen him around locally since he did this for me. I often see him pedaling speedily along the Pershore Road. Maybe he's away visiting sunnier climates on his bike :)