Published by Lyn on 23 February 2013
There's nothing like a good guidebook to make you want to hit the road, and Cycling Northern France does just that.
The guide is the work of experienced cycling journalists Richard Peace and Andrew Stevenson. Andrew has written for Cycle and Ride magazines, among others, while Richard writes for BikeRadar.com when he's not attending bike shows, writing guidebooks or clocking up the miles on two wheels in the name of research. (He sometimes writes for us, too.) One of Richard's previous cycling books is Cycling Southern France, so this latest guide to the north of France completes the set.
The book takes in cycling routes right across the north of France, from Brittany in the west, and east to Normandy, Picardy and Nord-Pas-de-Calais. It journeys south to Île-de-France and Paris, en route to Champagne-Ardennes, Burgundy, Franche-Comté, Lorraine and Alsace.
The book can be used for its series of 8 touring routes, including Paris to Champagne Country, Brittany Coast to Coast, and Boulogne to Lille, or used for its extensive coverage of greenways (voies verte) and véloroutes; 93 are listed – and mapped – in all, starting with the Nantes-Brest Canal in Brittany and ending with the Haguenau-Betschdorf loop in Alsace.
Michelin maps, distance/elevation charts, and tourist information are used throughout the spiral-bound book to complement the detailed ride notes.
Remarkably, the designers have been able to fit all 8 touring routes on a reversible, waterproof, tear-proof foldout map that accompanies the book (the map and guide come packaged together in a PVC wallet).
In an age of GPS, tablets and downloadable maps, guidebooks like Cycling in Northern France prove there's still a place in your pannier or your basket for a good, old-fashioned guidebook, written by people who have been there, done that, and spent hours poring over the maps to prove it.
Cycling Northern France: Cycle routes north of the Loire is published by Excellent Books.