Cycling in the Black Country
Cycling in the Black Country
The Black Country is an area with a strong industrial heritage and is definitely worth a visit by bike. The hidden gem of the region is its extensive canal network that spreads through the heart of the region, giving access to green space whilst giving a glimpse into the regions history. Towns such as Stourbridge, Walsall, Brierley Hill and Wolverhampton are just a few within easy reach of the canal network providing excellent places to stop for a rest while you explore. Much of this network has been resurfaced and is excellent for cycling for leisure or commuting. National cycle routes 5, 81 and 54 all make use in parts of the canal network and some on road quiet routes.
There are many cycling clubs across the area including several of Cycling UK’s Community Cycling Clubs which have been set up in partnership with Transport for West Midlands details of which can be found below.
Cycling groups and clubs in the Black Country
Cycling groups in Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton Wheelers CC: Road racing, cyclocross, mountain biking, time trials and monthly lectures
Aldersley Stadium on Mondays, Wednesday's and Friday's for all ages and abilities.
Wildside Community Cycle Club: Family led rides off road routes, South Staffordshire railway line and canal pathway.
Wolverhampton Bike Shed: A community based project offering bicycle repair and recycling.
Wolves on Wheels Cycle Campaign
Let Us Play Community Cycle Club
Cycling Groups in the Dudley area
Stourbug Cycling Club: Offering rides almost every day of the year at different times to suit riders needs. The rides cover a range of distances and speeds to suit ability.
Stourbridge CC: Off road Saturday Rides, Sunday Touring rides to gruelling days out with the faster, fitter groups.
Silver Jubilee Park CCC, Mason St, Bilston WV14 9SZ - Family Cycling, adult learn to ride and Get Back into Cycling and led rides.
Halesowen Athletics and Cycling Club: Halesowen A&CC is one of the leading cycling clubs in the West Midlands, a club with a proven track record of developing world class cyclists.
Get Cycling For 50 plus: Offering a range of short and longer rides to cater for different levels of ability. Everyone is welcome!
Cycling Groups in the Walsall Area
Walsall Arboretum Community Cycle Club: Adult only sessions, ideal for beginners and people that want to get back into cycling with Led Rides and bikes available for use on a first come first served basis.
Walsall Bike Project Maintenance Club: Beginners maintenance meetings for people that want to look after their own bicycles.
Palfrey Park Community Cycle Club: Women Only cycle skills sessions from Learn to ride, Get back into Cycling to Led rides.
Palfrey Mens Community Cycling Club – Tuesday sessions 1pm - adult learn to ride and Get Back into Cycling and led rides.
Aaina Community Cycle Club, Palfrey Park – Wednesday sessions 10.30am – (women only) learn to ride and Get Back into Cycling and led rides.
Willenhall Memorial Park Community Cycle Club – Tuesday morning sessions in the park 10am - learn to ride and Get Back into Cycling and led rides.
Walsall Bike Project Maintenance Club
Walsall Area Cycling
Cycling Groups in the Sandwell Area
Smethwick Beat The Streets community Cycling Club: Weekend and midweek sessions for adults and children – Learn to Ride , Get Back into cycling!
Lightwoods Community Cycle Club - Wednesday mornings 10am – 11.30am – Adults Get Back into Cycling and led rides.
Hadley Stadium CCC – Wednesday evening 5pm – 7pm – Family riding , Learn to Ride & Get back on 2 wheels
BWA Community Cycle Club – Tuesday afternoons 12.30 – 1.30 – Adults Learn to Ride & Get back on 2 wheels
Bearwood 2 Beziers 2019
Brockmoor Community Cycling Club
Bangladeshi Women's Association
What to take with you on your ride
The only thing you really need for cycling is a bike. And maybe a phone, and credit card: in Britain you’re only a call away from any service you might need.
But unless money is no object, it’s wise to take a few things with you on a day ride. A saddlebag, panniers or bikepacking bags are best for carrying stuff. A front basket is second best. A rucksack is third best. Your sweaty back will soon tell you why.
Cycling short distances in jeans and t-shirt is fine, but on a long or strenuous ride – over ten miles say, or in hills – those jeans will rub and the t-shirt will get damp and clingy. Shorts or, yes, lycra leggings and padded shorts will be much comfier, and merino or polyester cycling tops wick away the sweat, keeping you dry and comfy. (They don’t have to be lurid colours.)
If rain’s in the air, pack a rainproof top. If it might turn chilly, take a fleece or warm top. But the thing you’re most likely to forget is the sunblock.
It’s remarkable how often you enjoy being out on the bike so much that you suddenly realise it’s getting dark. So take lights (which are legally required at night). They’re price of a sandwich, take no space, are easy to put on thanks to tool-free plastic clips, and the batteries last for ever.
Take a puncture repair kit (with tyre levers) and pump. Make sure it fits your valves, which will be either ‘Presta’ or ‘Schraeder’ – realising they don’t match is a very common roadside discovery! Carrying a spare inner tube (make sure it matches your tyre size) makes puncture repair much easier: mend the old one back at home. If you do get in trouble, some kindly passing cyclist will probably stop to help.
Using a helmet is a personal choice – they’re not legally required.
Cycling makes you thirsty, so take lots of water. Long-distance riders talk about ‘the bonk’ – a sudden loss of energy rendering you almost stationary. It’s miraculously and instantly cured by eating something sweet. On short rides you’re unlikely to run out of energy, but just in case, take a snack like flapjack, banana, chocolate or jelly babies.
Taking a packed lunch or picnic will save you money, though that hot drink and cake in a cosy cafe could yet prove very tempting!
Your phone GPS could be invaluable for showing where you are when lost; you can download free detailed UK maps and GPS software before your trip.
Paper maps are still useful, though, so take one: no power source or wifi signal required, and they’re great for suggesting possibilities or changes of plan.
What have we missed? Recommend your favourite routes using the comments box below.
Cycling routes in the West Midlands
Getting around Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and canal routes galore