Hooray - cycle routes that suitable for all the family! Having 'lost' my copy of this book to both friends and family members on several occasions, I have finally had to hide it! Before you even embark on one of the great routes, simply reading through this book is a real treat with lovely photos and interesting text. The routes are clear and easy to follow and provide helpful information as to the level of cycling 'challenge' - particularly useful when looking for routes to go on with children.
I just had to write something after finding this book. Not only are the routes honestly described but photos are wonderful. As a fairweather cyclist it is great to have routes that "normal" people can have a go at. The text provides clear and informative instructions with hints of where to stop off on the way. What a great way to explore Sussex I will be certainly working my way through the book!
This is an essential coffee table addition to any household with a bike (or 2 or 3 or 4!) in it - it is guaranteed to be well thumbed, stained, pored over and dog eared after a very short space of time. The routes vary from easy family rides (flat, off road and interesting for the kids) to the more exerting and adventurous. The ones we have tried (1 7yr old and 1 3yr old on a "drag"-along) have been great fun and left us wanting to do more the following weekend! I have even cycled a local trail on my own and loved being off-road, in the woods yet safe knowing where I was. The maps for each route are easy to read and the photography is beautiful.
Being an injured runner I thought I'd try and keep some fitness by taking up a mountain bike. I bought the book and quickly became completely hooked. I managed to complete all twenty rides in the summer/autumn of 2010 and can say I thoroughly enjoyed each one. Most can be done like a spin class or alternatively a leisurely ride for the family - its up to you. Highly recommended.
We've not tried any of the cycle rides yet (we are fair weather cyclists!) but there are lots which look suitable and appealing spread all over Suusex with plenty suitable for our family (kids aged 8 & 4). The book breaks them down into sections starting with family friendly ones which are very short, gradually increasing in length and challenge. Plenty of detail given.
Definitely a family-friendly mix. If this description makes you pause, then leaving this book alone is probably wise. The two longest routes are 14.5 and 17 miles. Some are exclusively off-road, while others are mostly on country lanes. Their common factor: being roughly within a 15-miles radius of Cuckfield.
Layout lacks the polish and functional clarity of more prolific publishers like the AA and Reader's Digest. It's not helped by silly typefaces for many of the headings; seemingly the publisher's attempt to impress their own identity. But all you need to know is certainly there. Readily comprehensible too, despite the slightly DTP feel.
The most important information is a definite plus. Route directions are well presented; the maps are not only extremely clear, but attractive in their own right.
The photos are all in keeping. Some are quite lovely.
The author adopts a distinctly chatty style. There are even ocassional hints of a repressed indulgent grandiloquence! Such informality could easily become tedious in a larger book, yet feel welcoming in a smaller volume. You might perhaps think it inappropriate.
So, for the target audience, a very nice little publication. Possibly appealing less outside this audience.