David Dimeloe rides the Birmingham Velo
On 12 May I rode the Birmingham Velo, along with 17,000 other cyclists, including my son in law, Bob. If you have never heard of the Velo it is a 100 mile cycle ride – not a race – over closed roads, starting and finishing in central Birmingham.
The ride started and finished in Digbeth, and went from central Birmingham to Coleshill, then Coventry and Meriden, before returning in a loop to Birmingham via Knowle, Rednal and Quinton.
After several months of training, through the cold and rainy weather we have had, the big day dawned bright and sunny – thank goodness. My daughter and family live in London, so they stayed with us the night before the event, and Bob and I crept out of bed at 5.00 am. We had double porridge, and toast for breakfast to set us up for the long ride ahead. At 5.45 am we set off to Birmingham, with our bikes in the back of his car.
We travelled to our pre-booked car park, passing a few brave cyclists who were riding from Sutton Coldfield before they rode another 100 miles. We put our bikes back together, and cycled round to the start.
What a sight! The whole of Digbeth was covered in bikes – 17.000 of them. We waited patiently in our pen, and at 7.15 am we were sent on our way. We had to ride the wrong way for a while, and had cycled almost 1 mile before we crossed the start line. So off we went – it was quite amazing riding down the A45 out of Birmingham with no cars, but surrounded by hundreds of fellow cyclists.
The whole ride was interesting, and not too demanding. There were very well organised stops, where we filled our water bottles and took on board energy bars and gels.
After riding for almost exactly 7 hours we arrived at the finish to find Pat, my daughter Jo and grandsons Findlay and Sullivan waiting for us. Then off to collect our medals before going to the nearest Weatherspoons for a well deserved beer and in Bob’s case, burger and chips!