This is a complete guide to the Lancashire Cycleway of 260 miles (450km) that connects the northern and southern loops in the beautiful Ribble valley. The route directions are fully illustrated with maps, profiles and Jon Spark s professional photographs. There are weekend alternatives and ideas on doing routes in stages, and information on public transport and other aspects of interest. The Cycleway comprises two distinct loops, each around 130 miles (225km) in length, which meet at Whalley in the Ribble valley. Seasoned cycle-tourists can comfortably tackle either loop in a weekend, or do the whole thing inside a week. However, access by rail at numerous points means that less experienced cyclists can do it in shorter sections. This book gives guidance on how to manage this, as well as a full description of the route, notes on where to find meals and accommodation, and masses of information about places of interest along the way. There is also some helpful advice for those new to cycling or cycle-touring.
Sparks has been passionate about photography and the outdoors since childhood. A six-week trek in the Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan, in 1990 was a turning-point; the learning curve was steep, but the pictures were rewarding. Some of them are in this book. His first exhibition soon followed, and four years later he became a full-time photographer. Jon specialises in landscape and outdoor subjects, and his picture library includes images from New Zealand, Canada, Morocco, Australia, Pakistan and fifteen European nations. He publishes Lake District cards and posters, is the author of Car-free Cumbria, a guide to the Lancashire Cycleway and on scrambling and climbing in the Lakes. He was sole photographer for the Official Lake District National Park Guide and The Magic of the Scottish Islands, both written by Terry Marsh. Jon is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and a member of the Outdoor Writers' Guild. He lives in Lancaster, and when it's clear can see part of the Lake District skyline from his work-room window, which makes it hard to concentrate on writing.