Day 19

10 down, 82 to go!

The things one learns on a bike

Lesson One: Not everybody is fanatical about football. Strange as that may seem, it is clear that is a fact of life. The charming man in the Tourist Information had dreadful problems trying to locate Villa Park and St Andrews on a map of Birmingham. Strange as they are both Premeirship grounds where huge crowds descend every week. His directions were awful and I later found I had done double the distance I could have. I should have asked somebody with a Villa shirt on!

Lesson Two: Birmingham City’s St Andrews ground is at the top of a hill. I had never noticed that before! All previous visits to Birmingham have been in the comfort of a car or coach and so it came as a bit of a surprise to find how steep the approaches to the ground was! Never mind, it was good to get to the 10th league of the tour. Sadly, there was nobody there to welcome me but the photos below show that I made it to the summit and that (a) it rains in Birmingham and (b) I should not try to take photos without dismounting!

More good news for football fans. It looks as if a deal was done to save Crystal Palace today. Excellent. So let’s hope the action is ON the pitch next season. Always had a soft spot for Palace ….. even if their ground is at the top of a mountain!

Here you have photos of a locked up Palace training centre in Beckenham from last week, the two grounds in Birmingham and a rather snazzy Villa shop in the City Centre.

10 down, 82 to go!

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