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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2011
These days it sometimes seems that all cyclists want to be Lance Armstrong. Dressed head to toe in lurid lycra the conversations are all about how fast you can ride and how expensive your bike is. 'Escape Routes' leads a welcome trend to reclaim cycling for the rest of us, those who perhaps want to put on as many calories as they burn through some nice pub lunches during their ride. The book sets out 60 bike rides scattered around the UK, all of which are easily within the ability of a moderately fit non-cyclist (a maximum of 20 odd miles). The writer focuses on the route rather than the ride - things to see, places to eat and (should you need it) where to stay. Each route is accompanied by some artfully taken photos of the main highlights and an illustrated map. All of this decoration does add some heft to the book, so it might weigh down your bicycle bag, but if lightweight speedy cycling is your main goal you're probably looking at the wrong book! If you're looking at dragging your old bike out of the shed this summer and taking your girlfriend/ boyfriend/ family for a relaxing bike ride 'Escape Routes' is a fantastic guide - enjoy the ride!
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on 8 May 2011
I bought this book for my boyfriend as he has recently got back into cycling, however as soon as I picked it up I was drawn in by the look and feel of this gorgeous book.
The stunning photographs, hand drawn maps and descriptive text is informative and the book is clearly a labour of love that looks good on any coffee table.
It is the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life, but also for non-cyling types who enjoy exploring the english countryside via the odd pub and B&B.
I feel inspired to get back on a bike in order spend a few wonderful weekends with my boyfriend exploring new corners of England, dropping in on a few local pubs and tea rooms on our way.
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on 23 May 2011
A cycling guide that features nice pubs, nice places to eat and other places to stop - that's my kind of cycling guide! The cycle routes suggested in the book mostly seem to be fairly easy day trips or less, lots of photos gives you a really good feel for the rides, and there's lots of practical information too. The maps give a good idea of the route, but I must admit I took along an OS map on the ride I did, and I used that for navigation. Overall, a really lovely cycling guide that has inspired me and my bike to be a bit more adventurous!
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on 4 July 2011
If you're relatively new to cycling and want to get out and about this summer then this book is a good starting point. Nicely designed and presented and with a good variety of rides (although there are a few gaps in the geographical spread).

On the downside the routes are all pretty short (8-16 miles or so). The journalistic style makes a nice change from the 'left here, right there' approach of most cycling guides but the write-ups do inevitably becoming a bit repetitive with endless references to views, cream teas and lovely lunches.
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on 12 July 2011
Nice if you want a little jaunt out in the country, but as a serious guide, I feel it's a too compromised by its reliance on Sunday Supplement lifestlye appeal. There seems a certain formula at work with the book - shallow depth of field photos with lens flare and generic subject matter, little hand drawn maps, copious mention of gastro pubs. I see it's published by the Cool Camping people, which explains a lot. As a practical guide, though, it's way too big and impractical. Try reading it and riding at the same time.
I suspect it designed more for coffee tables than the country lanes.

Sorry, but too much style over substance, and totally impractical as a cycling guide.
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on 12 May 2011
I wouldn't really call myself a `cyclist', I do have a bike but it has become a forlorn creature, propped against the wall in my kitchen, unloved and occasionally suffering the indignity of being a temporary coat rack. However this book I love and I am inspired to dust it off and get out of town; as long as the weather stays good this summer!

The rides are written up like mini travel articles which bring each place to life, so you kind of feel like you know the characters that you'll bump into - can't wait to meet `Merlin' the dog in Wareham! My only gripe would be that it would be good to have OS grid refs for each ride, so you can plot it all on a map before you go...I just need to get out on my bike now
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on 7 June 2011
Fabulous present for a cycling enthusiast! There are 60 circular routes described by region and degree of difficulty. All are easily achievable in a day with accommodation. sights and refreshment options all listed. Great for planning visits around the country.
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on 12 May 2011
Even if you're not a cyclist this book is packed with fantastic and accessible weekends away... It's ideal if you're looking for something special to do with your boyfriend/girlfriend/mates and I love the hand-drawn maps. Best of all there are plenty of Olde English Pubs to visit!
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on 9 May 2011
Brilliant, a biking book for normal people who enjoy the outdoors, good views, good pubs and pretty places - love it! There's even tips on where to rent a bike nearby so anyone can get involved, perfect!
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on 24 June 2011
Bought this as a present but on looking through it wanted one for myself - beautifully written and photographed, made one want to jump on the bike and go exploring.
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