Mountain Biking Europe mtb guidebook
According to the press release, MTB is the fastest growing sport in the UK. On the back of this trail centres and holiday companies are springing up to cater for the increasing numbers. If you're planning a trip and are either one of the newcomers to the sport or an experienced rider looking for variety, sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Fortunately someone has put together just the solution you need before planning your next riding trip.
by Phil on 17th September 2008.
Looking to get out and experience somewhere else to ride but not sure where to head? This is where Rowan Sorrell, along with Chris Moran and Ben Mondy, comes in. Rowan is a well know pro racer, magazine contributor and trail builder and therefore a qualified elite road-tripper already. To put this book together the guys have embarked on an epic road trip, touring around Europe to hit as many riding spots in as many countries as possible with the goal of compiling a guide that brings you a taste of each spot.
The resulting book wraps up a large volume of information into one handy reference. The book is broken out into chapters, with each one covering a European country.
Check out the contents page to get a feel for how many different areas are covered - from Scotland and Wales to Czech Republic and Scandinavia, there's plenty of scope to get more creative with your holidays than a week in the Portes du Soleil!
Once I wrestled the book of my Mrs., then my Dad, I got a chance to dip in and see what I thought. The fact that these two read it first shows how accessible the format is.
First up (where else?!) is the Intro. This sets the scene really well with some background on the sport with Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland and Sam Dale taking time out from the UCI circuit to deliver some wise words and tips, such as packing your bike up so it arrives nice and safe with you.
As you get stuck in, each location then gets its own section and riding is broken out into discipline with XC, Freeride and Downhill touched on, with pros and cons for each location.
A spot close to my heart - Wharncliffe Woods
The sections don't just introduce the riding but the 'practicalities' column offers advice on where to sleep, eat, drink, stock up on parts and includes 'local' tips. Don't expect to find detailed waymarked routes but do expect to get a top level feel for the place to help you decide if it should be on the hit list.
The layout is clear and the photography is mostly great although the sheer volume of photos needed for a publication like this means a few of them are 'fillers' - but who studies photos harder than a photo geek like me? However, many big name bike photographers crop up in the credits with guys such as Victor Lucas and Steve Jones delivering the goods to make you want to go and ride!
Overall, it's a very interesting and accessible guide that'll certainly open your eyes to some of the potential out there. Due to the limited space and resource, you'll need to research the detail before you head off but this guide has done much of the groundwork for you.
Mountain Biking Europe has an RRP of £19.99 and can be bought at most good bookshops.
Buy on-line from Amazon.
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