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The claim of this book to be "an illustrated guide to the route of le Tour Yorkshire" could be misleading: you might not get what you expect, but what you do get is certainly different and is done well. It may be inspired by le Tour, but it is really a celebration of 'the natural world that surrounds us and the historic world that we have created over the centuries'.
Don't expect to be able to actually follow the route from the maps on offer, although the description of the route does improve matters. However, few people would want to follow the exact route; after all, what is necessary for a large peloton and its accompanying entourage probably won't be optimal for a normal cyclist. Fortunately the author sometimes suggests alternatives to the main roads used by the race, and also recommends worthwhile detours.
The book provides a lot of interesting facts and stories about local landmarks and history, and there is additional specific information to benefit the cyclist: you can tell that the author loves cycling on these roads, and she wants to make sure that you do as well.
You can sense the pride during her description of Otley: "This is where I live. Otley is a great town if you are a cyclist. It is also brilliant if, amongst other things, you run, climb, and like real ale" – as Heather does.
For me, what makes this book stand out are the numerous paintings that illustrate various landscapes, buildings, and wildlife. Not only is Heather Dawe a handy cyclist and writer, she is an accomplished painter in a self-taught style that she discovered was called pointillism – or as she calls it, dotty. The results are delightful, with not a photograph to be seen.
Even in hardback, at 61 small pages this book is never going to win an award for value for money, but the beautiful presentation more than makes up for that. I suggest that you don't think of this just as a route guide, but view it instead as a unique and tasteful memento of surely the greatest ever weekend in Yorkshire's cycling history.
Such was the success of the book in the lead-up to le Tour that a reprint was required, which shows that the 87 people who supported the project on Kickstarter had good judgement.
Unique presentation of the best that Yorkshire has to offer, themed around the Tour de France route
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Make and model: V-Publishing A Bicycle Ride in Yorkshire - An Illustrated Guide to the Route of Le Tour Yorkshire
Size tested: A5, Hardback
Age: 55 Height: Weight:
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,