What’s there to say? If you cycle and need a good guide-book for some excellent routes around Yorkshire, look no further than ‘Le Tour’ de Yorkshire: Out ‘n Back. Mike’s book can be downloaded on kindle for less than the price of two pints of best bitter.
.........................'There is one sport that stands out and gives you that opportunity to follow in the tracks of the gods and the ‘villains’ and that is cycling. As the Tour de France rumbled through the Yorkshire countryside in its 101st edition, one man had already been out and combed the route, witnessing the evolution of stage one and two.
‘Le Tour’ de Yorkshire: Out ‘n Back by Mike Irving is a must for any cyclist that likes to get out and explore new routes and surroundings. Mike spent hours out on the roads of Yorkshire, conducting reconnaissance of his routes and then re-checking the credentials to make sure that they were accurate. After all, a wrong turn could easily clock up an extra 15-20 km on what may have been an already difficult day in the saddle.
Filled with images, details of places to eat and stay, local bike shops, medical services along with few top tips, the book gives the rider pretty much everything required to go out and enjoy the 14 selected routes, each one based around stages one and two of le tour. Detailed route cards are given for each of the 14 rides which can be printed off. My parents live not far from the Bank View Cafe, Sheffield. Although I have driven by it on numerous occasions, I am almost embarrassed to say that I have never stopped their to refuel the energy tanks after a long day of cycling. The ‘Dambuster’ breakfast sounds like just the ticket.
It was fascinating to read that Mike had witnessed the markings on the road indicating where the intermediate sprint and King-of-the-mountain points would be won. For those that have never organised an event, something on the scale of the Tour de France takes some monumental man management, patience and very good planning. The way in which Yorkshire started to embrace le tour is also described in the book. Coming from South Yorkshire but no longer living there, this felt very personal to me'.