Thursday, January 01, 2009

50 Quirky Bike Rides

Some cycling is all about performance, hauling yourself up Leith Hill so that you're ready for your summer trip to Mont Ventoux or Whistler, or to take another minute off your PB. It's the battle between your will-power and abilities, seeing which will give in first.

Another side is more about the journey, the people and places you come across. The remote hill-top cafe in Cumbria, the beatiful viaduct in mid-Devon, the guy with the recumbent you meet at Newcastle Station. I have to admit this is where my heart lies and is very much the emphasis of Rob Ainsley's excellent book "50 Quirky Rides".

It lists 50 rides in the UK that take you to somewhere notable or unusual. If you've ever wanted to go on a ride that features a trip on a ferry, a visit to a cycle maze or over a scary unfenced viaduct, this is the book to satisfy your need. It even tells you how to ride up that optical-illusion road they used to feature on Blue Peter, where you appear to free-wheel up an incline.

The rides themselves are between 5-50km ("many can be done in a lunchtime"), but the introduction suggests you can expand them into a day-long trips (or longer)

The routes themselves are listed on the website, but I'd encourage you to buy the book, so that we can hopefully get
50 Quirky Bike Rides Volume 2.

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