6th November 2019
With mile after mile of canal towpaths, the new A34 and A38 blue routes and some of the UK’s prettiest parks, cycling in and around the West Midlands is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle or enjoy a leisurely day out. We’ve picked a few options with the help of Ashley Brough, Manager of Ribble Cycles’ Mailbox store, who recommends the perfect bike for each occasion.
It’s hard to believe the largest urban park in Europe is on Birmingham’s doorstep, or six miles north of the city centre, to be precise.
Sutton Park covers 2,400 acres and features plenty of cycling trails surrounded by a mixture of heathland, woodlands, wetlands, marshes and lakes.
The British Cyclo-cross Nationals were once held here, while the Sustrans-managed National Cycle Route No.534 now connects Sutton Coldfield to Castle Vale.
Ribble CX Sram Apex 1x
The design of the Alloy CX Bike is optimised so that whether you’re navigating around technical roots or carving through thick mud the handling of this cross bike will allow you to ride flat out with confidence.
Rea Valley Cycle Route Birmingham
This 5.7-mile heritage trail stretches from the city centre to Kings Norton, taking in some of the city’s finest parks.
Popular with both commuters and leisure riders it follows the towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham canal and parts of the River Rea.
Along the way it passes through Cannon Hill park, home to the MAC arts centre and cafe, a boating lake, crazy golf course and play areas.
Riders can take a detour to Bournville – home of Cadbury World – before carrying on to Kings Norton Junction and heading over to Kings Norton Park.
Just follow the blue signs marking out the National Cycle Network route 5.
Hybrid AL e Standard Edition
The perfect blend of style, comfort and efficiency the Hybrid AL e combines features and technology with classic British styling.
If you want breathtaking views and some challenging terrain the Clent Hills, just north of Bromsgrove, are ideal.
Be prepared for some tough climbs – the heath and woodlands of this countryside haven rise to 1,000ft.
But make it to the top and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Malvern Hills and, on a clear day you can see as far as the Black Mountains of Wales and the Cotswolds.
In spring the hills, which are cared for by the National Trust, are carpeted with bluebells.
You can grab a leaflet and plan your route from the cafe at Nimmings Wood car park while enjoying one of its renowned bacon butties.
Ribble CGR AL e – Red SRAM Rival 1x 650B
A choice of 700c or 650b wheelsets with a monster tyre clearance of 2”. Mudguards and rack mounts complete the versatility ensuring that this bike is as at home on the road as it is on the most adventurous of trails. The motor assist will help with some of the monster hills Clent has to offer.
Birmingham to Tamworth by Canal Towpath
This trail through city and countryside starts next to the Mailbox and passes Arena Birmingham before heading north east along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.
The route then turns north towards Minworth and Curdworth Locks, taking in the lovely Kingsbury Water Park.
Stop off in Tamworth for a tour of the historic castle or a treat at one of the town’s many cafés or restaurants. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can join the Coventry Canal and visit Fradley to the west or Polesworth to the east.
Ribble CGR 725 Shimano 105
The CGR 725 will handle the toughest roads, towpaths, terrain and weather conditions and can take you anywhere from the highest mountain passes, distant trails or your most imaginative daily commute. A timeless bike for a timeless route.
Woodgate Valley Country Park
With an urban farm, adventure playground and visitor centre Woodgate Valley Country Park is ideal for families.
The Bourn Brook runs through the heart of this nature reserve, which lies between Quinton and Bartley Green.
Enjoy a three-mile traffic-free ride through its 450 acres of meadows, woodland and small ponds, before grabbing a bite to eat at the cafe.
Animal-lovers can head over to the farm to see rare breed sheep, guinea pigs and pot-bellied pigs.
Ribble Hybrid Trail AL
The flat handlebars provide better comfort and added confidence which makes them a very popular choice for beginner riders. Similarly to a mountain bike a hybrid bike can be fitted with a vast choice of tyres from slicks for tarmac use to knobbly tyres for off-road surfaces. With gearing low enough for off-road terrain, yet not detrimental to rides on paved surfaces the hybrid bike is a very capable all-rounder.
Ribble has bikes for each and every discerning cyclist – from future champions, to daily commuters, the leisure rider, to the bikepacker adventurer.
Pop in to the Mailbox store and talk to passionate and knowledgeable staff to ascertain advice and support on all your riding requirements and to ensure that you find the right bike for you. Benefit from Ribble’s bespoke bike-fitting service and enjoy in-store events and activities alongside seeing the latest award-winning bikes – the world’s lightest e-bike range.