Customer Reviews: The Essential Touring Cyclist: A Complete Guide for the Bicycle Traveler, Second Edition
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on July 4, 2005
I was new to bicycle touring (but not road biking), and I picked up the first edition of this book in a used book shop. The book is well written in an informal, friendly style. The text is supported by several simple but clear illustrations, and there are many scenic (black and white in 1st edit) photos which inspire wanderlust. Most importantly, this book conveys a wealth of information specific to touring, including equipment, how to set up your bike, camping, and trip planning. You get the sense that the author is really an expert, as he peppers each chapter with useful tips that I was not aware of previously. He also includes some surprisingly good (considering their brevity) practical chapters on riding skills, training, injuries, and repairs. In summary, the book is clear, concise, conveys the fun of touring, and contains a lot of useful info. Of the 3 books on this subject I've read, it was by far the best, the most relevent, and I'd highly recommend it.
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on June 21, 2004
Richard Lovett does a good job of describing, in a general way, the three basic modes of bicycle touring: vehicle-supported, "credit-card" (i.e., inn-to-inn), and loaded (camping). It's rare to find *any* books on touring, so on that basis, the book is great. And if you've never toured before, this is a good, informative book. However, if, like myself, you're looking for in-depth hints and kinks on loaded touring, you won't find them here. Ergo, four stars for this one.
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on October 9, 2001
I bought the first edition a number of years ago, and it was a well loved and thumbed through book ... I even lent it to all and sundry ... I decided to update it for this one, as there were a number of minor errors in the first one ... the second edition is even better!!!
The style of the book is written by someone well experienced in cycle touring and his style is very easy to read and the advice is sound ... the information contained in the book will benefit both the novice cycle tourist as well as the seasoned veteran.
I like this book and refer to it often for inspiration and ideas ...
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on August 10, 2009
Based on the title of the book I thought as someone wanting to tackle big self supported bicycle adventures I would come away with some unique insights from this book. Unfortunately this was not the case despite some reviewers claiming a "seasoned veteran" could benefit from the book. I hardly consider my self a seasoned veteran of touring, but as someone who has done a few light weekend tours and plenty of miles of experience of road riding and endurance training, very little was new to me in this book. Especially after a little internet reading on the topic of bicycle touring. When it came to the topic of camping specifics, a large part of touring if you are not doing credit card touring, the book glosses over details, assuming anyone reading probably has experience or other books on camping.

So if you are someone who has lots of outdoors experience, are interested in bicycle touring, but haven't a clue about riding bikes for long distances or the cycling specific gear involved, this book may be a great starting point. If you are an experienced endurance cyclist who has done plenty of centuries or some multi-day event rides like AIDS LifeCycle, and are looking to take it to the next level with planning epic self supported adventures, this book won't tell you much you don't already know or couldn't find out with a little internet research.
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on April 4, 2014
It is for the people that are new to cycling that think they might want to do touring. I won't say that I didn't get anything out of it, I certainly did, and I enjoyed much of the commentary; however, since I am a fairly avid road cyclist, much of the book was too basic for my needs. The parts that are specific to touring were, for the most part, new information for me. It is certainly a great read for someone who is either new to cycling, or, if you want to do what I did five years ago, picking it up again after a long hiatus.
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on March 31, 2014
Three Observations followed with Conclusion:
1. Of all the books I have ever 'studied' on how to bicycle tour, the 1st Edition (comment on 2nd Edition follows) provided me with the greatest amount of practical knowledge.
2. Beyond books: I have repeatedly looked back on 'studying' the 1st Edition in comparison with 'the outcomes' of my first few solo self-supported bicycle expeditions and determined that the "Essential Touring Cyclist" provided me with the largest percentage of what I needed to know in comparision with any other single source (e.g., blogs/forums, speaking directly with other bicycle tourists, vids, bicycle maintenance classes, etc.).
3. I am now reading this, the 2nd Edition, on a from time to time basis to remind me of how much I am capable of forgetting :- )! And ..... of course, I am offering this Review, because I have found the 2nd Edition to be even more information rich than the 1st Edition.
CONCLUSION: This text provided me with enough FOUNDATIONAL knowledge so that I could take off on a solo self-supported tour fairly safely, i.e, cause it enabled me to pretty much know what I didn't know. Btw, the book IS about all the different methods by which to bicycle tour, not just my personal focus of solo self-supported.
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on August 27, 2014
So far, this has been the best touring book I've read. The author gets into the nitty gritty, like how to pad your bike in a shipping box, and balance and adjust gear if it causes a shimmy. He also covers the big picture, like ways to be mellow and relax about progress if things slow you down.
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on September 18, 2010
I found this book to be extremely helpful and engaging. Thourough without unnecessary padding. Written in an easy and digestible manner with useful tools for my new forays into bike touring.
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on July 12, 2013
Its got some good advice. It is a tad out of date, but much of what it contains is relatively straight forward and practical. We're about to do our first tour but I feel this book has given me a good start.
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on April 29, 2010
This is a good book to get an overview of touring by bicycle. This book is published by the same publisher who published Trudy Bell's The Essential Bicycle Communter, which is unfortnately out of print and should be a canidate for updating.

The Essential Touring Cyclist has been fortunately been updated and kept in print. I found the information useful. Maybe this is not the right book for an experienced touring cyclist, as some other reviewers have mentioned. While this book gives an excellent overview and tips to prepare for a cycling adventure, it could have been a bit more detailed like Bell's book--why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars.
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