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Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels (Sierra Club Outdoor Adventure Guide) Paperback – May 12, 2009


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Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels (Sierra Club Outdoor Adventure Guide) + The Essential Touring Cyclist: A Complete Guide for the Bicycle Traveler, Second Edition + The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling: Build the Strength, Skills, and Confidence to Ride as Far as You Want
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"Natural Born Heroes" by Christopher McDougall
Just as "Born to Run" inspired readers to get into the natural world, this book will inspire them to leave the gym and take their fitness routine to nature. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Sierra Club Outdoor Adventure Guide
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint; Second Edition edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578051428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578051427
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"What you need to know to make touring on wheels a happy experience."

Customer Reviews

This isn't a bad book, it just isn't a very good book.
Slow Runner
John Lencicki's wonderful drawings are sprinkled throughout the text, adding both clarity and charm to this book.
Kent Peterson
If your going to read only one book on bicycle touring this is a good one in my opinion.
James Briscoe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Kent Peterson on May 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Raymond Bridge's book, Bike Touring: The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels, is the second, completely revised edition of a book Mr. Bridge originally wrote 30 years ago. In the thirty years since the first edition, some things have changed. We now have Internet forums to discuss our tours, we can track our routes using GPS and the Adventure Cycling Association has mapped out thousands of more miles of routes, but the lure of the open road is still the same.

In this age of Internet wonder, Raymond Bridge has created a book that does the thing that books still do best: he's created a compact, clear guide that condenses a wealth of practical how-to information into a portable, organized form. He explains the various types of bike touring a person might do from commercial tours to roof-to-roof and independent bike camping trips. He discusses a variety of bikes, explaining both fit and function, telling not just what options exist, but why a person might choose one bike or component over another. He explains basic roadside repairs, camping skills and things like the logistics of transporting your bike before and after your tour.

I'm really not the intended audience for a book like this, as I've been traveling by bicycle since before the first edition of this book was new, and yet I still found this book to be wonderfully organized and complete. With a critical eye, I'd find myself asking "yeah, but does he mention alcohol stoves?" Yep, he does, not only mentioning commercial stoves, but pointing his readers to a couple of instruction pages on the Internet for those who like to make their own stuff. This is typical of the book, it is marvelously complete in itself, but it also sends you off on your own journey.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. L Schwarz on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am relatively new to bicycle touring but I have jumped into it with both feet conducting extensive research on the subject including types of bikes, equipement, etc. This is by far the best book for both the beginner and those who want to keep abreast of the changes that have occurred since most of the other books on touring were written. Everything you need to know to select your bike, outfit it and yourself and begin your journey is there. Highly recommended.
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When backpacking through Israel I ended up in an area frequented by very outdoorsy people, and although I hadn't so much as touched a bike saddle for probably 15 years I couldn't help but rent a mountain bike with the intention of taking it down some of the local trails to see some waterfalls. The old adage that one can't forget how to ride a bike is clearly a very over-simplified declaration, because while I think there's probably some truth to it, one DOES tend to forget things like saddle height and the looseness of the over-the-shoulder bag slung from one's back after fifteen years, and I was very soon inspecting a lovely shrubbery a few yards from my place of rental.

The bizarre feeling of having something moving beneath me brought me far back into my childhood, and despite being much more hesitant about taking that mountain bike down cliff-side trails to a waterfall that day, my fall had been like an apple to Newton, and I had made a discovery--I wanted to ride a bike more!

I say all of this to insist that there are not very many people less prepared to travel long distances on bicycles than me. In fact, I am also scared of driving cars because I don't like traffic. But I knew from that day of riding my bike around town (and giving up on anything more) that I wanted to stop the kind of travel that I've been doing for so long, with one public train or bus after another from major city to major city to something freer.

This book DOES assume some cycling knowledge that I was unfamiliar with (like switching gears, mounting and dismounting a bike, cadences, and pretty much any assumption at all, really), but it was relatively easy to Google my way to familiarity.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Slow Runner on July 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't a bad book, it just isn't a very good book.

I agree w/the 2 star review -- the ideas are common sense: plan ahead and don't plan too many miles. Ok, but how? The book states that training at 150% of the mileage you want to do on tour is a good idea, but also that on a cross country trip it is possible to build up to higher daily mileage. So which is it? On a 2 week trip is there any gain? Surely the feature of having all day to ride helps w/the mileage? This seems like the essence of the insight this book should provide.

The book also fails to provide the details necessary for the information it contains to be useful. For example, pg. 438 states that all the GPS coordinates for the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) are freely available. This is a useful little nugget. For my trip, I did purchase a few ACA maps, but is this compatible w/the GPS map on the iphone? It seems like there is usually a way to make things compatible w/an iphone, but it would be nice to have an explanation in the book. Does the author recommend carrying a separate GPS unit? Wouldn't GPS on a phone save precious weight. It is possible the date of writing prevents much detail on smart phone GPS, but the problem is there isn't ANY detail.

Another problem is the verbose writing. Each sentence communicates very little. For example, pg. 27 "Styles of Training" states "The most critical aspect of training for bicycle touring is to find a routine that gives you the incentive and the consistency to ride regularly and to accumulate significant mileage. Thus, if you commute every day, even for ten or twenty miles, it will help a lot with your riding fitness, and you can add weekend and evening rides as you can fit them into your schedule.
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