♠ BOOK IT! BOOK REVIEW by LetsGetAway.ca: Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World is a spectacular journey through some of the best bike routes in the world, with beautiful imagery coupled with great tips, useful and very readable information, and awe-inspiring ideas that’ll take you places that you only imagined you could go on two wheels. (Canadian readers can win the book – see below – until December 31, 2016. Or, buy the book from Amazon: Canada or USA.)
First published in September 2016, the book is dominant travel publisher Lonely Planet’s first foray into the world of bike travel and cycling journeys, and I expect this to continue expanding. I, myself, love biking but I’m not as serious about it as the people this book may appeal to – for instance, I don’t see myself taking my bike for an international adventure anytime soon, although I definitely like to ride as often as possible close to home. But this book may just change things for me.
Starting with the “Contents” pages, bike routes (50 routes through 30 countries, everywhere from Argentina to Canada to Thailand to Wales) are denoted with a color-coded bike indicating Easy, Harder, or Epic for each route. I’d certainly be starting with an easier route — how about the Bavarian Beer Ride in Germany? (Beer lovers can also go with the Colorado Beer Bike tour). For a harder option we can try, say, pedal the Spanish picos, or go “Epic” and, say, bike through Tasmania’s Wild West or stay a little closer to home and ride Vancouver and Whistler. Each bike trip includes a general map, photos, a “Toolkit” section featuring info on distance, how to get there, where to stay, when to ride, and what to take with you, as well as some unique tips. Then, we’re given “More Like This” after each trip, giving us more related trip ideas worldwide. If anything, it’ll inspire further research into the ways to make these trips possible.
Of course, as a general book covering 50 bike journeys, this book covers just a miniscule proportion of what’s out there, so the book, although intriguing, is not complete, and further research certainly should be part of your search. There’s a few similar books in the category but surprisingly few, so this one is a go-to. As well, as a Canadian it’d be nice to see a few routes that aren’t in the far north (Whitehorse) or far west (Vancouver/Whistler) of the country (where’s Cabot Trail?), but again, an epic tome like this can only contain so much, and certainly the worldwide spread is a positive.
Beautifully presented, Epic Bike Rides of the World would make an appreciated gift for the bike rider in your life, and is a vibrant read and a classic addition to the vast Lonely Planet travel library. As an amateur cyclist with no bike dreams or cycling goals at all, this book has opened my eyes to the possibilities of traveling with bike in tow, and professional peddelers will ride away happily with this book in hand.
**CONTEST (For Canadian Readers Only): ENTER TO WIN THIS BOOK, compliments of Raincoast Books! Contest open until Dec 31, 2016.