Testbench: Bikers’ Britain (£12.99, AA Publishing)

editorial image
Share this article
Have your say

I’m guessing this is a book for bikers And I’m guessing I can call you Sherlock.

But you don’t like bikes That’s not true. I’m just a bit... scared of them.

So why are you reading a book for bikers? Because it’s a bloody good read, that’s why. It’s crammed with more than 70 routes and tours across the UK.

Are the routes any good? Are they ever. Author and journalist Simon Weir (deputy editor of RiDE magazine) spent much of last winter lapping the UK on a BMW R1200GS, seeking out his favourite roads. His bucket list includes a six-day tour of Scotland, plus dozens of day rides across the UK. Motorways and congested roads don’t get a look in.

High-speed thrills ahoy! Calm yourself. This is about seeing your own back yard, not blitzing round a race track. Simon suggests things to see along the way, recommends places to stay, and even lets you know when to refuel, which is handy when you’re about to head into the Highlands. Each route is annotated with crystal clear AA maps and scores of colour photographs. And, because the book is spiral-bound, you can fold it flat in the map pocket of a tank bag so you don’t get lost.

Is that Ewan McGregor in it? He likes his bikes, and I like him. He looked lush in Moulin Rouge No, but his biking buddy, Charley Boorman, has penned the foreword.

So are you going to buy a motorbike now? No. They’re still too terrifying. But I reckon this book will sit nicely in the glovebox of that open-top car I covet.