My friend from Canada wanted to tour Ireland based on a picture he saw on a co-worker's desk. His co-worker had toured Ireland and had nothing but good things to say. He asked me and of course, I said YES! Even though I biked recreationally, I had no idea what I was in for. I bought this book and we used it for all 3 trips (1998, 1999, 2000). In all 3 years, we cycling the last two weeks of September. I feel like writing my own cycling book as we've learned a lot in the three tours to date. Anyway, back to the review. Reason for end of September, The kids are back in school, the tourist trade is widing down, the B&B's are still open & there's less cars on the road! I would do this for any country.
I find a lot of the bike book reviews complain about map detail in the books, not finding their way according to the book or not according. You should buy a bike book as a reference only and a good Michelin-like map. Keep an open mind with the book, use a good map & yeah, if you get lost, it's another adventure awaiting you.
I liked the author's write up on the history of Ireland, always good to know a little about the country you're touring. We looked at the book's routes and then transposed them to the Michelin map for actual riding. I had a handlebar bag with an enclosed topside map bag so you can read your route without stopping. The Ireland by Bike book was always at hand. In 3 years, it's a little weathered but will always stay in my collection of books.
The authors mileage was accurate, the tips along the way, the scenery spots that are off the beaten path. An example would be to stop at the signpost 2 miles out of a town, find the lane, walk up the lane 1/2 mile and your see this round fort. We saw things we would never have if it weren't for this book. Excellent examples of things like this thruout. Music pubs, B&Bs, just an excellent book.
I thought all the .... By Bike books would have a common standard but is not the case. Beware before you buy, they are not all like Ireland By Bike as far as detail.
If you want to ride 30 - 50 miles a day, stop to see the sights and enjoy the country, the people, the Guiness, this is the book for Ireland.
Does not cover Northern Ireland. The author never rode into.
Now we're looking for another country to tour now that we've done all of ireland.