TWO COAST TO COAST GUIDES
Cycling the Coast to Coast Route: Whitehaven to Tynemouth and
Cycling the Trans-Pennine Trail
Both by Nicolas Mitchell
Both published by The Crowood Press, 2016
Softback, 144 pgs
isbns 97817850000072 and 9781847978752 £9.99
The C2C routes, of which Whitehaven to Tynemouth is one, and the Trans-Pennine Trail, from Southport to Hornsea, are amongst the most popular cycle routes in England. No doubt many will be planning to head off along them this summer, so here are two timely guides by Nick Mitchell, that will prove useful to the experienced rider and provide the less experienced with a really sound basis from which to undertake what may be a first multi-day tour.
The two guides have many common features. Following an introduction there is “essential” information regarding fitness and nutrition, when to go, how to travel to the start and finish and basic maintenance. The latter is just that, but the fitness and nutrition section in “Cycling the Trans Pennine Trail” even includes some recipes. This pleasing quirk, Nick tells me, grew out of seeing leisure cyclists with jersey pockets stuffed with energy gels.
Both guides have extensive lists of bike shops, accommodation and campsites in the “Resources” section. There is, of course, a good deal of information about things to see en route, including the many civil engineering masterpieces that frequent the traffic-free sections of our cycle routes, and people associated with the sites and sights along the way. There is, fortunately for folk like me, a strong element on natural history - often accompanied by photographs - of which there is a great variety in the varied terrain encountered when crossing the country. There are also well-selected archive images.
With more than sufficiently detailed description to find the way - including grid references to help plot the route on a GPS, there is really no needful more directional aid. However, the maps are really just illustrative of the route, but are orientated in the direction of travel (so long as you head from west too east); a rather nice touch. However, belt and braces tourers, might wish to take suitable OS maps along in the bottom of the panniers. Sized to fit neatly into a jersey pocket, this is a book to carry along on the trip, be you new to this lark or be you a veteran of many miles.
Reviewed by Steve Dyster
REVIEW PUBLISHED MAY 2016