While at our favorite bookshop in London, Stanford's on Long Acre, we were delighted when the book we dreamed of finding jumped right out at us on their "Cycling" shelf! If we made a list of everything we wanted to find in a book to help us plan cycling holidays in Britain, "Great British Bike Rides" would contain it all-- and then some. It is an unbelievable wealth of information. The author clearly brought tremendous experience to writing this guidebook, and knew what other cyclists would look for. Here are some of the highlights for us:
* A book focused on long and challenging single-day rides, vs. point-to-point tours (we aren't interested in loaded touring, and this gives us the flexibility to base ourselves in a region but alter plans if the day proves horrible vs. being really stuck on a longer multi-day tour)
* Covers the whole of Britain, taking in the absolute best of each region-- on paved roads, not cycle tracks
* Wonderful written descriptions of each route, with highlights and color photos
* Detailed elevation profiles to really understand the climbs, and recommended gearing
* Notes about the kind of roads, including surfaces, to be encountered
* Proper maps and turn-by-turn directions, with suggestions on when it is best to do each ride
* Prevailing winds, with recommended direction to ride (are you kidding me? who else would have thought of that!!)
In addition, the book is beautifully put together in full color, serving as a travelogue as well as a practical guide.
Can't imagine a better book on the subject, and it will be the basis of planned and imagined cycling trips for years to come!!