Lonely Planet, $24.99:
This thorough guide covers cycling in all parts of Britain, in all terrain and under all weather conditions. It describes cycling in big cities (such as York - "kindest on the cyclists"); along historical trails, including the Roman remains of Hadrian's Wall; and along what the authors call "adrenaline pumpers," from England's northern Pennine range to the mountains of the Scottish Highlands.
Those who want a truly urban experience can try London (less adventurous souls might want to consider the Westminster & the City ride on Sundays, when two of the city's major roads are closed to cars). Always remember, readers are warned, to wear a helmet. The truly ambitious might want to tackle cycling from Land's End (in southwestern England) to John o'Groats (in northeastern Scotland), which at 1,051.5 miles is the longest cycling path in the United Kingdom. (The first person to travel the route, on foot no less, was an American, Elihu Burritt, who made the journey over several weeks in 1863.) Most of the end-to-enders, as they are called, cycle the route in two to three weeks.
- June Sawyers, Tribune Newspapers