Straight out of the postman’s bags, Ian Boydon’s guide to Mountain Biking in the Lake District has arrived seeking the Bikemagic seal of approval.
The 192 page book is divided into five sections which cover all the bases – Introduction, Short Loops, Medium Loops, Long Loops and Full Day Loops. Routes range from the 12km Tour of Loughrigg Fell to the 64km Tour de Windemere.
To kick-off, the Introduction is a handy guide for those new to mountain biking or the Lake District, skimming over a number of key areas, including equipment, bike checks, rights of way and trail centres.
And that leads on to the rides themselves. Each loop is given at least four pages, with a photo of what to look forward to, the key stats – like grade, ascent, time on and off road, parking and, most importantly, the nearest pub – an overview, directions and an Ordanance Survey map.
Other noteable features in the book include a map of the whole area so you can easily find your nearest ride, as well as a comprehensive table, spread over two pages, comparing the key info from all 24 rides. There’s also a bookmark so you can quickly find your route.
Published by Cicerone, Mountain Biking in the Lake District is perfect for flicking through for pre-ride inspiration or keeping in the car. Of course, it’s unlikely to compare to a Garmin while out on the trails – but not everyone has, or wants, a Garmin. And at 17.5cm x 12cm, the book is also small enough to throw in the backpack without too much concern, although how convinient it is or how it’ll fare up in wet weather is to be seen.
Suppose we’ll have to plan a trip to the Lakes and find out for ourselves…