WAY OF THE ROSES
by Rachel Crolla
Gloss laminated soft cover
176pp including photos and 1:100000 mapping
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1 cm
Reviewed by Steve Dyster
The Way of the Roses is a Sea to Sea route, which, unlike some of the others, is, as Rachel Crolla points out, almost entirely suitable for road bikes. Mind you with so much to see over its 170 mile course, speed is unlikely to be on the riders mind - unless, like Rachel’s partner, you ride it as an all-in-one-go challenge.
For those familiar with Cicerone guides, this follows their standard format. For newcomers, the usual format comprises of an introduction, followed by lots of useful information. This includes logistics, suggested itineraries, suitable bikes, maps, apps, signs, accommodation, equipment, etc.
Then comes the route; detailed description and snippets of interesting info to sharpen the focus and get the touring juices flowing. In this volume, as with other Cicerone guides to relatively short routes, some day rides. In this case there are six; exploring round the route in five cases, with the sixth being an extension from Bridlington to Scarborough.
As ever, the detail of useful contacts, and various lists, brings up the rear - in the appendices.
With its termini at Morecambe and Bridlington, the Way of the Roses sets out along the river Lune, skirts the Forest of Bowland, traverses the Yorkshire Dales, crosses the Vale of York via the historic city itself, before crossing the Yorkshire Wolds to the sea-side. Those unfamiliar with Yorkshire may find the Wolds a particularly charming surprise. For the rest, the scenery is amongst the best in England, spectacular at times, bucolically rural at others. It is signed as part of the National Cycle Network.
As with most guides, experienced cyclists will find some advice to debate. However, a lot of cycling is a matter of opinion and preference and, in any case, this is a guide, not a rule book. Rachel is a keen roadie - actually she is very much an outdoor all-rounder - and the text reflects this. Some of the phrasing and information seems to have a distinct roadie flavour, but there’s plenty in the guide for those who go slower or want be out for longer. Three and five day itineraries are suggested, though two days would suit some, and it has, as we know, been done in a single blast. The choice is yours: spend week - the guide will still help you.
All in all this is another very good guide that does all it should, with the added benefit of those six additional rides along the way. It will fit easily in a cycling jersey pocket. I even managed to squeeze it under the cover of my favourite bar-bag. My preference is to have the maps for finding the way and using the guide for planning, and for consulting where things are not quite as straightforward as they should be. But, once again, that is a personal thing. Many will opt to download .gpx files from the webpage. You’ll also find updates there, too.
Overall, another relevant and very helpful guide in the Cicerone canon.