This ride wasn't planned but became exploratory in nature. I initially heading off through Bartley Green where I took to a track through to Woodgate Valley Country Park. This track was a combination of dirt and grass with a little downhill and uphill. The trike handled it well. After another short road ride, I again took to a gravel cycle track through to Harborne Lane and the University of Birmingham. A quick run through the university and along Bristol Road to Priory Road and Edgbaston Road. Following National Route 5 through to Digbeth where I found the beginning of the Grand Union Canal. I followed the canal taking a short detour on the Birmingham and Warwick Canal to Yardley Road. The early part of the Grand Union Canal tow path was paved and easy riding but by the time that I got to Yardley Road, the path was almost single track with mowed edges. With one front wheel on the grass and the other on the track, the rear wheel settled on the track and I was able to keep the drive on. The worst riding was over a couple of heavily cobbled bridges. These were so rough that it was difficult to maintain grip. Even with the rear suspension, the down hill bounced me around considerably. I navigated back through Spark Hill and Moseley to Canon Hill Park and followed national Route 5 back to Wychall Lane where I exited onto the road to head through Northfield for home.
A total distance of 38.4km in 2 hours 35 minutes 45 seconds of riding. An average speed of 14.8km/hr and a top speed on on of the downhills of 58.2km/hr. What was pleasing was that without trying and with negotiating quite a stretch of rough canal path, I had achieved a reasonable average speed.
Only once did I get off to get the bike up one of the slopes. I had gone onto the slope in too high a gear and the wheel spun when I tried to put the power down. Other stops along the way were to talk to people who were fascinated by the trike. It certainly gets people's attention.
Really rough terrain is only difficult to ride because of being bounced around. On smooth roads, the trike glides along with ease. Hill climbs aren't a problem if you are in the right gear. Admittedly, I seem to have the leg strength to use higher gears but I believe it is more comfortable riding if I use a lower gear and spin my way up the climbs. I suspect that I climb slower than on a conventional bike but I am not feeling as tired after my ride.