The book was written in the 1980's, and seems a little bit old-fashioned for a decade that still feels quite recent to me. But the rest of my family tell me that the 1980's were actually quite a long time ago. In any case the book is a real treat. Albert takes us round some of his favourite rides in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North Lancashire, with one outing to the Pyrenees, and it ends in a French jail.
For someone living in the North-West of England I imagine the book could inspire some outings. From my knowledge of the area, he seems to be picking some attractive destinations, but I suspect that most of his routes involve quite a lot of climbing, and he's certainly not averse to a bit of scrambling off the road.
There is a bit of a story to most of the 22 rides in the book. Albert likes to construct reasons for a particular destination. Often these are do with the name of a place (an early example is a cave called Albert, like him), sometimes it's a historical building, or a favourite landscape.
Albert enjoys his picnics, and the pots of coffee that he brews from stream water on a portable stove. He's also a bit of a dreamer, and he paints imaginary pictures from history, such as monks collecting their new shoes in Thorpe.
But the real point of the book is not the destinations, the routes, the histories, or Albert's eating habits. Above all, Albert conjures a sense of discovery, and enjoyment in each chapter. We get to share the pleasure that he gets from his rides. This is my kind of cycling, so thanks to Jack Thurston, Tim Dawson and my wife, for a good Christmas present.
There's an article about Albert here