A new London cycling guidebook hit the bookshelves in the past couple of weeks. It’s called Where to Ride London and it is written by Nick Woodford. This chap here:
Having written a similar guidebook myself (30 London Cycle Routes) I was looking forward to seeing what Nick came up with and hopefully recommending his book to you guys.
The 50 rides are organised by location. Central London, South West, South East, North, West and East. This makes it easy to pick a route near you and get started. There was a great short ride near me called the Hampstead Heath Loop which I promptly tried out.
When looking at one of the rides you can quickly judge whether it sounds appealing. There is a great “At a glance” page to see what kind of bike you’ll need, how to link it in to other rides and whether you’ll encounter much traffic. You can also read about the ride and the sights you will see along the way. This is particularly interesting to discover new things about London you never knew (I didn’t realise there are that many open air swimming pools near me!)
Once I’d read about the ride I grabbed my bike and set off to explore. Each ride in the Where to Ride London book has both turn by turn directions and a map showing the road names you’ll need. To follow the directions you simply place the book in-front of you on your bike.
Unfortunately, this is my gripe with most cycling guidebooks. What if you don’t have somewhere to place the book? You need to place it in your bag or back jacket pocket and keep referring back to it.
One great additional design feature of the book, that clearly shows the years of experience the publisher (BA Press) has in cycling guidebooks, is that the front flap contains the map legend and can be flipped over for quick reference. There is also a huge map of London that marks out the position of all the rides. This is useful again for finding a ride near you but also for linking different rides together to make longer routes.
Where to Ride London contains a good variety of rides. Including mountain bike rides, canal rides and interesting rides that reveal new parts of London. It will appeal mainly to casual cyclists. It’s great to see a guide like this has been produced by an everyday cyclist who loves cycling in London and I definitely think it is a worthy addition on any London Cyclist’s bookshelf.
What I liked
- Beautifully illustrated and put together
- Great, easy to follow maps and directions
- Big number of rides for casual cyclists
- Good selection of child friendly rides
- Great for expanding your London knowledge
What I didn’t like
- Routes are a little short
- No included GPS coordinates to make navigation easier
Where to grab a copy of Where to Ride London
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.