Book Reviews · cycling

Bike Touring Dreams: Washington Edition!

One of the very cool things about having a blog is that sometimes people send you things, like their books. I reviewed The Velocipede Races here for example. That was fiction and today I’m writing about a non fiction cycling book. The Cycling Sojourner  is a guide to the best multi-day tours in Washington and it’s made me start looking up air fares to the west coast. Written by Ellee Thalheimer, it’s available from
About Ellee: “The author, Ellee Thalheimer, would choose a dusty pannier, bike, and crumpled up map any day over an umbrella drink and a lounge chair. She has toured nationally and internationally, worked as a professional bike tour guide, and coordinated cycling routes professionally.005-2009, Ellee contributed to Lonely Planet guidebooks, and she authored their bike touring guide Cycling Italy. Her travel writing has also appeared in BBC Online, The Oregonian, Momentum,, Oregon Cycling Magazine, and Cycle California! Magazine.”

I’m a big fan of bike touring. See Cycling holidays, Part 1: Rail trails  and Cycling holdays, Part 2: Organized tours.

“The nine tours in the book provide meticulously laid out nuts and bolts information, including cue sheets, maps, and information about weather, difficulty level, camping and lodging options and how to get to the ride’s start. Yet, the soul of the book lies in the voices of the five authors, four of whom are Washingtonians, who use storytelling, local history, and humor to elevate the book beyond just an everyday guidebook to an inspirational muse that draws out your inner adventurer.”

I haven’t done the tours so I can’t attest to accuracy but the kind of information included looks just right. They’re exactly the sort of things I’d want to know. Also, the guide manages to be a reasonable size to carry with you. It would easily fit in a jersey pocket if you’re a “credit card/B & B” bike tourist as opposed to the “carry your tent with you in panniers” sort. I’ve done both and see merits in both approaches.  Each ride is rated in terms of days. difficulty, season, scenery (“jaw drop factor”). Hills are well marked!

You can like Cycling Sojourner on Facebook here.

2 thoughts on “Bike Touring Dreams: Washington Edition!

  1. Perfect post for this time of year. The weather is just starting to give us the impression that maybe, just maybe, bike touring will be possible again. I’ve never done multiple days carrying my stuff (have done many multi-day loop rides with one base), but I’m going to check out these books. Thanks!

  2. Great to see the review! I’m executive director at Washington Bikes, the statewide bike advocacy nonprofit. We worked with Ellee to bring the book out and sales will benefit our work for better bicycling.
    I personally haven’t toured yet (I’m a utility rider and have done some long-ish group rides). This book has me champing at the bit.
    As an aside, I have your blog on the list at that I’ve been curating for around 3 years now. So nice to circle back around and see your blog from this angle.

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