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Cycling Climbs of Yorkshire, the second of Simon Warren's regional guides to Britain's best road climbs, strikes on what many would consider to be the motherlode. Yorkshire is packed with great riding and in this book you'll find 75 good reasons to bring your bike to play.
The format will be familiar to anyone who already in possession of the two volumes of '100 Greatest Cycling Climbs', the books which set off the whole phenomenon. Who would have thought that some little books about roads going up hills, complete with photographs of tarmac in various states of gradient, would spark such a degree of enthusiasm? Yet bagging the climbs has become the Munro list of road riding and there's even a dedicated Strava Club where you can log your best times and gradually tick off the 200.
Congratulations to Simon Warren for spotting this gap in the market; it should keep him busy for a few more years yet as there are six more regional guides to follow. He seems to be writing the guides far faster than I can do the climbs and I very much doubt I will ever get to ride all that's on offer in this one.
It starts low-key with a handful of fairly obscure rides in the Wolds and around Humberside, scoring unthreatening ones, twos and fours out of ten, but this is all to lull you, before, 'Boom!' he's hurling you up Boltby Bank on the North Yorks Moors and from here on it's pretty much an unrelieved festival of lactic burn.
All the old favourites are here, many revised and rewritten: Rosedale Chimney, Caper Hill, Blakey Bank and Fleet Moss to name a few. The climbs used in the Tour de France are well represented in the likes of Buttertubs and Jenkins Hill. This is not to say that if you already have the two '100 Greatest' guides there's nothing new for you here. There's a whole chunk of beastly looking ramps around Calderdale, all covered in cobbles for added interest.
I love Warren's turn of phrase when describing the task of climbing these brutes. Caper Hill is a 'straight line of pain', Rosedale Chimney, 'ridiculously hard', and Trooper Lane, Halifax, is 'insanity under your wheels'. The photographs only occasionally do full justice to the quality of the riding on offer. There are only so many photographs of asphalt I want to see, and a few pictures of actual cyclists on actual bikes would brighten it up. On the other hand, the slightly 'home-made' nature of these books is part of their appeal.
Simon Warren's dedication to the art of climbing hills on a bicycle is taking him deeper than ever into the pain cave. Whether you choose to go with him is a decision only you can make, but if you delve into this book your chances of emerging intact are greatly diminished.
Another super book of hill climbs from Simon Warren. The only question is why he didn't do Yorkshire first…
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cycling Climbs of Yorkshire by Simon Warren
Size tested: 176 pages
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This is the second in a series of eight regional guide books from the author of the "100 Greatest Cycling Climbs" series.
Says the publisher: "The vast county of Yorkshire is bursting with a bounty of stunning climbs that are the envy of the nation. Whether you're tempted by the crazily steep inclines of the North York Moors, the grand passes of the Yorkshire Dales or the rugged Calderdale cobbles, there's something for everyone."
This incredibly diverse topography, home to such famous ascents as Rosedale Chimney, Buttertubs Pass and Holme Moss, make it a hill climber's paradise. Venue to arguably the finest Grand Depart the Tour de France has ever seen in 2014, Yorkshire is now recognised as the home of cycling in Britain. The question is now, where to begin?
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Format: Paperback / softback, 176 Pages
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
The book is an entertaining insight into the challenges of the hill climbs it describes. It will either enthuse or repel you, depending on your attitude to gravity! The maps make it easy to locate each climb on your road map and join them all up for epic days out in the hills.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Well written, inspiring and irresistible.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some professional photography would lift it, but no doubt the price would double.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
There's plenty more pain and pleasure in this volume; fans of the earlier books won't be disappointed and there's plenty of new material to make it well worth the price. Even if you live a long way from Yorkshire you can revel in the challenges on offer.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking