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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

Mountain Bike Trail Centres - The Guide

Review by John Horscroft
Monday 17th November 2008

Mountain Bike Trail Centres - The Guide

 by Tom Fenton (Vertebrate Publishing, 2008)

RRP £17.95

An example of the superb layout and photography in this new MTB guidebook

I don’t know whether to be jealous of Tom Fenton or sympathetic.  Any man who racks up 1500km of riding in one month and in a very short time rides every trail centre in the country surely deserves to be the object of one of those emotions.  The resulting guide is a comprehensive compendium of Britain’s trail centres and an absolute must for every committed trail rider in the country – stick it next to the road map in your car.  It will get you to the centre, incorporates details of every trail, including level of difficulty, style and length, includes the facilities that are available and the time you can expect to spend on the trail.

This is a splendid addition to the Vertebrate Publishing catalogue.  Time and time again, Fenton uses the very phrases I would have used to describe the trails.  Of Kirroughtree’s red trail, “You really, really should ride this trail.”  Of Brechfa’s green trail, “If you’re going to build a green mountain bike trail for beginners, this is the way to do it.”  Of Penmachno, “Riding Penmachno is like compiling a medley of all your favourite songs.”  He’s scrupulously even-handed, yet if you read between the lines, you can spot the trails that left him unimpressed.  The information is bang up to date and will find you perplexed as you discover trails you didn’t know existed.  The photography is uniformly excellent and inspiring.  Christmas is coming, so instead of disappointing your loved-ones with boring socks, put a smile on their face on the 25th: buy this guide.

Another example of the page layout

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