Bike routes and cycling guides round-up

Top rides in the UK and US

A stunning road-based cycle route crossing the western United States along the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada from the Canadian border to Mexico has been devised by the Adventure Cycling Association.

From Sumas, Washington in the north to Tecate, California in the south, the 2,389-mile Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route brings the Adventure Cycling Route Network total to over 40,000 miles.

The new route roughly parallels the existing Pacific coast ride, creating one huge loop and a range of shorter options. A set of five maps showing the route is available. For information on this and all their other routes criss-crossing the United States, see www.adventurecycling.org, which also has details of a new fundraising effort.

Chilterns

The Chilterns Cycleway, a new 170-mile on-road cycle route using parts of existing routes, is to be launched next month. Celebrations will include a cycle relay, with the whole route being ridden in a couple of hours by groups covering different sections but starting at the same time.

Mostly on quiet lanes and within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the route passes Luton, Wendover, Princes Risborough, Henley, Chesham and Berkhamsted. It will be signposted, and a guide book and leaflets are being developed. Launch date is Friday 18 June.

Peak District

£2.25 million from the Department of Transport via Cycling England is being used to fund the Pedal Peak District project. A website – www.pedalpeakdistrict.co.uk – has been developed that contains “information, support and incentives” to cycle, but the bulk of the money is being spent on a new cycle route from Bakewell to Buxton. This is no mean feat as it involves the re-opening of four former railway tunnels closed since the 1960s.

Lancashire

The official opening of the Way of the Roses cross-country route between Morecambe and Bridlington has been put back to September, although at least parts of it may be available before then – a Morecambe to Settle guided ride is planned for 10 July.

Pennines

Another cross-country route, the Trans Pennine Trail between Southport and Hornsea, is celebrating its 21st birthday. Look out for the festival on Sunday 20 June at Barnsley football ground, where there'll be a variety of events and demonstrations.

Yorkshire

In North Yorkshire, it is hoped that a 230-mile charity ride around the county from 19-21 May will act as the inauguration of a fantastic tourist trail.– for more information or to take part, contact the CTC’s Martyn Bolt on 07717 678549 or email him at martyn.bolt@ctc.org.uk.

Sustrans Connect2

Two years ago, the Sustrans Connect2 project won £50 million for 79 schemes which would improve cycling and walking networks by providing links such as new paths and crossings of roads, rivers and railways. Some of these are now starting to come to fruition.

This year has seen the installation of the Pont Y Werin (People’s Bridge) over the River Ely to link Cardiff and Penarth (open to the public on 8 June) and in Northern Ireland, the opening of a substantial chunk of the

Newtownabbey Way
, which links the town with Belfast Lough. See www.sustransconnect2.org.uk for more details.

New publications

There are two new guides from Vertebrate Graphics with Ordnance Survey mapping and superb photography. Cotswolds Mountain Biking (ISBN 9781906148140,  £14.95) contains 20 rides from 14-77km which take in perfect villages and rolling countryside in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

PeakDistrictMountain Biking – Dark Peak Trails(ISBN 9781906148188, £15.95, second edition) contains 26 rides varying in length from 11.5-105km. All the classics are present and correct, and there's a good section on A-to-B rides using a train return.

Cool Camping Scotland (ISBN 9781906889043, £14.95) has no cycling-specific information but is an ideal book for touring cyclists who are after beautifully located sites (50 in all).

Tiny Campsites (ISBN 9781906889067, £10.95) is a list of 75 campsites in England, Wales and Scotland, all of which were visited by the author by bike or public transport. For each one, there's loads of practical info. with a nice picture and a delightfully-written description of the site and the area.

The London Cycling Guide (ISBN 9781847735461, £10.99) is a great selection of 30 well and lesser-known routes lasting from one-and-a-half to four hours. It contains directions, a map, pictures and local info. The guide is very useable but also nicely presented and illustrated, with good supporting information.

All of these titles are available from www.cordee.co.uk.

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