THE END TO END CYCLE ROUTE
By Nick Mitchell
Published by Cicerone April 2016
Paperback gloss laminated
Nick Mitchell is a brave man. “Well, I didn’t go that way, I went ….” chime in unison generations of cyclists who have ridden from end to end of Great Britain and are ready to ambush anyone who decides that they have the best route; describing a route for this classic rite of cycling passage takes guts.
Nick points out that this route is one that works and one that is based on hard miles researching and leading groups of End-to-Enders. It is the product of experience. When Nick says that “there are no sensible alternatives” to the couple of sections of busy road - for example, the potentially tricky A82 between Loch Lomond and Fort William - he does not mean that there are no alternatives, just no sensible way forward from the end of previous section. Be clear, Nick is not saying this is the only way to go, nor does he fall into the trap, as one or two previous writers have, of suggesting that their’s is an official route. Suffice it to say, had I read this before LeJogling, there’d be sections I would have followed and sections I would not - because I wanted to go a different way.
Reviwed by Steve Dyster
Many things have changed since I last LeJogled. Amongst these is the development, largely as elements of the NCN, for easier passage through the bits of, largely, unavoidable urban sprawl. This guide utilises those, but generally attempts to take in the best of rural Britain without straying too far from logical progression.
Maps, guidance, links to GPX files, accommodation links and information about places on Nick’s favoured route are all present, in familiar Cicerone formats and to the usual high standard. All is sound, and there’s a happy inclusive feel to it all. “ …. Alternatively, you could use the ‘bare bones’ of the route, adapting it to a more leisurely or faster pace,” - you’ll still find the guide of interest. Likewise, when offering advice type of bicycle for the trip, “The most popular choice is a touring bicycle …. although many End-to-Enders complete the journey on thoroughbred racing cycles, rugged hybrids and even fully laden, chunky expedition tourers with 26’’ wheels.” As we know people have done it on high-wheelers, folders and three-speed roadsters.
The point is that this guide will be off interest to those for whom this is the first big ride and will encourage the who are unsure - though it does not fail to mention that there might be “bad times” every now and again. For the moe experienced rider and the E2E returnee, then it will offer a handy update.
It will fit easily into a jersey pocket, and, unlike the ubiquitous mobile device, will not run out of charge or be deprived of a signal just when most required.
The End to End Cycle Route, by Nick Mitchell, will be a useful reference in planning or a vital guide to the whole route, depending on your experience or approach. It will not be of interest to anyone who wants to follow main roads to make a beeline or break a record.
REVIEW PUBLISHED APRIL 2016