Guidebook to walking and mountainbiking in Scotland's Great Glen area, Monadhliath and Moray regions stretching from Fort William along the Great Glen and Lochs Lochy and Ness, book 6 in a series of 9 guides to the Scottish glens covering Fort William to Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit, South West Monadhliath, North East Monadhliath and Moray. The aim of this series is to provide the mountainbiker and walker with information on an intended route so they know something of what to expect. One of the problems is that Ordnance Survey maps give no indication as to whether an ?other road' is metalled, a path or a forest fire break, or anything in between. Many bridges shown on OS maps do not exist. Rivers are difficult to judge in size from the map, and a building may be anything from a pile of stones to a maintained bothy. All is revealed without removing the sense of adventure and exploration. Gradient profiles help to assess how strenuous a route is, and each hand-drawn page contains a wealth of information. The object is to save leisure time from being wasted and enable the armchair explorer to plan ahead or relive experiences.
I have walked the hills from the age of about 7, and cycled for as long as I can remember in my native Yorkshire and the Lake District, and abroad in the Alps and Pyrenees.
When the new sport of mountainbiking emerged in the eighties it seemed a natural progression - a combination of two of my favourite activities.
But where to go?
On hiring bikes on a holiday near Aviemore with my wife, son and daughter there was no information available other than the OS maps.
We soon got our own bikes and I set out to compile a guide to the tracks around the Cairngorms, more as a personal notebook at first.
Once completed, I approached Cicerone Press.
Walt Unsworth, the then owner of Cicerone, immediately gave me a contract for "the first three" books.
Untill then it was never my intention to write more.
The rest is, as they say, history!
The completion of the series of nine books took 10 years during which time I was fortunate enough to retire (ridiculously early!) from my main business in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry.
We soon moved to Beauly in the Highlands of Scotland where work on the last 6 or 7 books continued.
Sadly, my first wife died in 1999, just before the final book was printed.
I have since re-married and will soon be moving to Cumbria to be closer to family and friends and to re-visit my beloved Lakeland Hills.
My writing activities have continued in the sphere of walking guides up in the Scottish Highlands but who knows what the future in Cumbria holds?