I’m not sure how often I’ll summon the physical energy to do this, but I just cycled a 16 mile canal towpath route from Wednesfield, via Wolverhampton, to Birmingham. That’s my whole commute, around 1 hr 50 minutes, and only about 5 minutes of it not on the towpath.
There’s a lovely variety of scenery, cycling surfaces and smells on the way. It obviously takes you right through the Black Country, past lots of backs of industrial units old and new, over rough track, smooth paving, bouncy cobbles, gravel… Thankfully the whole route was unobstructed, and not overgrown enough to cause any problems or soaking in the canal. I only had to stop once or twice to check progress on Google Maps + GPS, especially where I new I had to make decisions and take one fork or the other, notably near Wolverhampton and at Smethwick where the canal forks. And Coseleye Tunnel is fun, although I pushed my bike through there. It’s very eery, especially when you encounter a narrow boat coming down it with the noise of the motor booming and rumbling off the sides of the tunnel, all 300 metres of it. Quite a feat of engineering…
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