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Vélo Birmingham & Midlands reveals 2020 route and reopens entries

Two route options available for UK's second biggest closed-road sportive...

The organisers of Vélo Birmingham & Midlands have announced the route for this year’s event – and have also reopened entries to the closed road event, which was previously billed as sold out.

Up to 18,000 riders will take part in the event, second only to the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 in terms of numbers, and will tackle either a 45- or 100-mile route on Sunday 21 June.

The start of both rides will be in Birmingham’s Centenary Square, with the 100-mile route returning there, while the finish of the 46-mile version will be in Coventry city centre, close to the cathedral.

Both routes largely mirror those of last year’s edition, heading out into Warwickshire, but some tweaks have been made to minimise the impact of road closures on local residents.

As well as the reopening of general entries, charity fundraising places are also available, starting from £20, with a minimum fundraising target attached.

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Vélo Birmingham & Midlands is one of the biggest and well supported events in the Midlands’ annual sporting calendar and we can’t wait to welcome up to 18,000 cyclists of all abilities on Sunday June 21.

“With the 2022 Commonwealth Games now firmly on the horizon, Vélo Birmingham & Midlands is a fantastic reminder of the region’s ability to host world class sporting events with immense support from the general public.

“With both the 100 & 45 miles routes now on sale, I’d encourage anyone thinking of taking part to take the plunge and give it a go. The feeling of cycling on traffic-free, unpolluted roads through the West Midlands will be an experience to savour.”

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Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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wknight | 4 years ago
1 like

As someone who works on that event most roads are only closed for a period of time and usually open well before the posted opening time. If there is an emergency there are people like me on the route to escort them safely along the route. People can also prebook so on one event I remember taking a group of people to their local church for Sunday service. 

I wonder if they would complain about a road closure if it was for say a memorial run

ktache | 4 years ago

I'd heartily recomend Os Cycle Tours: Around Birmingham by Nick Cotton, well out of date and shockingly cheap, there is a newer edition, I used it until the foot and mouth outbreak shut down the countryside for me.

I'm using the one around Reading at the moment, 1p so it doesn't matter that it's falling apart.

What I loved about Brum was the way that the city just ended and then there was countyside.  Riding the canals was great too, greenery and a bit of wild in the heart of the city.  Riding under spaghetti junction was sureal, the canals join up there too.

peted76 | 4 years ago

Well once you're out of Brum, it all looks very nice apart from the bit before and through to the centre of Coventry, it literally takes you through more than one of the most crime ridden areas, then 'half a mile of lovley' past the old cathedral through the centre past some of old Cov (picture opp) then straight onto the ring road... and out of town past a pub made famous for being rough and the odd murder.. then it's back to being lovely for the rest of the route until you get back to Brum that is.


AlsoSomniloquism | 4 years ago

A colleague at work who lives on the route mentioned the local facebook group has already raised a petition to change the route / get the event cancelled. (Not sure which specifically). 

He mentioned that alot of people are stating on why they need the roads open on a particular Sunday 6 months in advance as that is the only day they can do their thing. TBF It is close to where that horse died last year but I'm sure the organisers will be taking that into account this time around.  

I'm sure the local papers will be picking all these "protests" up soon anyway. 

CrazyBear replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 4 years ago

I love the velo, and I've ridden in both of the previous events. However I don't think the organisers have done themselves any favours this year by organising it on Fathers day. There are normally plenty of complaints from businesses (restaurants, pubs etc) already due to them being cut off, and now they can't operate on one of the busy trading days of the year.

I really hope this doesn't cause a bigger backlash that will ultimately jeapodise the event in the future.

AlsoSomniloquism replied to CrazyBear | 4 years ago
1 like

Over half the fathers will be cycling anyway. 

Edit: For non cyclists, both the Belfry and Kingsbury Waterpark would be inaccessible for normal users (and the latter on a summer weekend is normally packed out),  so I suspect some blow back there. 

mikewood replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 4 years ago

You'll be able to get to the Belfry from the M42 I think and in any case the roads will be open late am as it's just after the start

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