Mountain Biking: Essential Trails ISBN 0-9548131-8-9
Price £15.15 (Amazon at time of review) Route CD £7.50
example route (pdf)
have glanced through other books in this series published by Vertebrate
Graphics in bike shops, whilst impressed with the content I have always
relied on others to guide me round The Peaks and Yorkshire Dales as my
digital mapping doesn't extend to those areas. When I first heard about
the Lake District Essential Trails I was looking forward to getting a
copy to see if it contained any new routes or variations on classics
which would give my local rides a fresh edge.
my book and CD dropped through the door I eagerly thumbed through the
book to see what it had to offer. Before getting to the routes an
introduction informs you that the routes have all been ridden by the
authors, this is apparent later with the details given in the
descriptions. So many routes are available in publications and on the
Internet which gloss over details which can prove crucial to
navigation. A quick basic guide to Mountain Biking follows covering
basic kit and rules to follow. Then we get to the routes.
The first section is Classics. Ten routes are detailed and mapped in
full colour. Photographs help to give the book a nice feel and give an
insight into what to expect. I have ridden most of the trails and can
vouch for the quality chosen. The layout seems to work well enough and
the routes should prove easy to follow although I would recommend
always taking a good map with you. The small format of the book is
designed to be carried with you but I don't think I would use this
option, instead I would recommend the CD version which allows you to
print a PDF copy to take with you.
Epics follow, again the routes are all a good selection. Two local ones
which I have never ridden appealed and I have completed one of them
already. Not quite an Epic in my opinion but I guess everyone has
different perceptions of route grading. It certainly gave me a few new
Bridleways to consider when riding from my door. In fact the book
encourages you to link rides with other routes, often suggesting ways
to increase the mileage.
Enduros section lists routes more up my street. Ranging from 21 to 44
KM the seven routes cover some of the best the Lakes has to offer.
There's plenty of choice for all weather riding and they are sure to
deliver the goods. For those seeking even more then the Killers give
three rides from 40 to 60 KM. Some variations to my normal routes, I
will hopefully try the suggested routes soon.
Would we recommend it?
I can recommend this book to both locals seeking inspiration and those
who seek to travel to the Lake District for riding. Taking the book
along with you is not ideal however. Buying both gives you the option
to sit in a comfy chair to choose your route and then print out a copy
on the computer to take with you. The biggest failing I can see is the
failure to put a GPS tracklog of the route onto the CD, something which
may be addressed in the future.
The book retails at £15.95, the CD at £7.50. Buying both as
a bundle costs £21.00 inc postage direct from the publisher. A
sample route can also be downloaded from their website.
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