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Gavin Baxter (New Mills)

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Mountain Biking Trail Centres The Guide
Mountain Biking Trail Centres The Guide
by Tom Fenton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.63

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unsurprisingly excellent guidebook., 30 Jan. 2009
Given the existing product catalogue of Vertebrate Publishing, with titles such as Dark Peak Mountain Biking, White Peak Mountain Biking and also several titles for MLTUK to assist their ML, SPA and MIA schemes, it comes as no surprise that this latest guide is excellent.

The ideal use of the guide is to pour over it during the week, or on a Friday evening, to plan a cheeky trip for an afternoon, or even when you find yourself in an unfamiliar part of the country, wondering if there is any worthwhile riding nearby.

The guidebook comes in a slightly larger format than the previous ones, reflecting that this guide need never leave the house (or the car). The extra space is well-utilised with lots of excellent photographs that try to portray the character of each trail centre, rather than filling it with maps that are largely unnecessary for riding at these way-marked centres. Each area contains a summary of the facilities available, the suitability for beginners, intermediates and advanced riders, where the nearest bike shop is and useful websites for more information. The regional nature of trail centre development has conspired to make this book necessary for those who like to travel around a bit to get their riding 'fix', as there is no single website that contains all this information.

It is the breadth of the work contained here that makes it really worthwhile. For those new to the sport, the more developed centres such as Afan, Coed y Brenin, Glentress and Dalby are well-covered. It is the more esoteric gems, such as Esher, Arran and Pitfichie that widen the books appeal to riders who are seeking new challenges within the UK.

Dark Peak Mountain Biking: True Grit Trails
Dark Peak Mountain Biking: True Grit Trails
by Paul Evans
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Sticks all the best trails in one place., 25 Jan. 2009
Whilst the routes around Hope and Ladybower are well-known to most mountain-bikers, where this book excels is to show off the amazing breadth of quality trails across the central area of the Peak District.

This book provides lots of clear maps, with all the information you need to plan your ride, from cafes, pubs, bike shops, car parks as well as some great photos that show off the Peak.

The range of routes is also impressive, ranging from the shorter rides that might be more appropriate for a quick night ride out of Manchester or Sheffield, or when time is tight on a weekend. The longer rides are well described and show some of the classic loops that will keep you challenging yourself, just make sure you pick a nice day for the 'Lord of the Loops'!

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