The evolution of a mountain biking guidebook
- Friday 21st May 2010
The first book we ever published was Dark Peak Mountain Biking – True Grit Trails, way back in August 2004. We were, and still are, keen mountain bikers, and there seemed to be a gap in the market for an up-to-date guide to the brilliant riding in the Dark Peak. We pulled together over 25 rides and links, accompanied them with good-looking maps, route profiles, local knowledge and inspiring photography, sent the whole lot to the printer and crossed our fingers for three months … The book was an instant success (phew!), quickly establishing itself as the must-have guide to mountain biking in the Peak.
Fast forward 5 1/2 years and Dark Peak Mountain Biking has been given the full second edition treatment.
The name has changed: it’s now called Peak District Mountain Biking – Dark Peak Trails, and there’s a new photo on the cover – Cotic founder Cy Turner on one of his lovely bikes on the Ladybower trails.
Open the book up though and the updates come thick and fast: as with all our new MTB guides, PDMB now features Ordnance Survey mapping – with all the routes plotted on 1:50000 scale maps. There’s completely new photography throughout, most of which is shot by me, so go easy! The routes have been checked, and updated and corrected to reflect changes to trails and access and, in many cases, improved. There are quite a few new routes, and new optional routes on existing rides. A couple of routes from the first edition that were technically in the White Peak have gone, replaced by new Dark Peak rides – these White Peak rides will reappear when White Peak Mountain Biking gets the full second edition treatment in a couple of years time.
One of the new routes is the Beast circuit out of Hope – a pretty logical loop starting from the capital of Dark Peak mountain biking and taking in the classic riding on Hope Brink and the renowned, rocky descent of The Beast. We’ve also completely revamped the Blacka Moor circuit to make the most of the brilliant riding on Blacka, Totley and Houndkirk Moors. There’s more, and lots and lots of little tweaks to rides and local area information. It’s been great fun working on the book again, primarily because it’s our local patch. I don’t know if Peak District Mountain Biking could be much better now. Maybe. Possibly. As it stands, we think it’s the best mountain biking guidebook we’ve ever produced. But that’s really for you, the rider, to decide.
Check out these spreads from the new book: