LOST LANES WALES
Author: Jack Thurston
Publisher: Wild Things
Whilst this book has some pictures of athletic cyclists honking up hills, it also contains images of cyclists pushing their bicycles, ambling along with no attention to cadence or personal bests and even sitting around admiring the view. If you find the latter shocking, then ….…. you don’t know what you are missing.
“Lost Lanes Wales”, the sequel to Jack Thurston’s Home Counties search for peaceful touring close to London, entitled “Lost Lanes”, is an unmitigated joy in concept, content, style and presentation. Before addressing the practicalities, the “Before You Go” chapter, invites the reader to imagine that they are a raindrop in a cloud over Wales. This sets the tone for the rides by putting beauty at the forefront of the cycling. And the thirty-six routes, plus some suggested organised rides, take one through much of the best of Wales and the Marches – an area some would regard as cycle-touring paradise.
Cycle anywhere in Wales – with one or two notable exceptions – and you’ll get some hearty aerobic workouts as well as an eye-full of beauty. Lung-busting ascents are not ignored. The stiff climbs that abound in the Principality and the bordering counties of England are something which Mr. Thurston takes in his stride, as you’d expect a founding figure in Tweed Cycling to do, and he encourages his readers to emulate him and just enjoy the trip. Stop for a breather, get off and push, get to the top as you are best able – just enjoy it.
I find it hard to think of a cyclist who would not enjoy this book – whether they prefer scenery to cadence watching or not and there’ll be many who enjoy both. If you know someone who enjoys exploring the countryside by bicycle, buy it for them.
Reviewed by Stephen Dyster
REVIEW PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2016