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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a marvellous book
Steve's book arrived in my mailbox last week and immediately I felt it was something special. The first thing that struck me was the quality of the colour photos. Often publishers skimp on the photo quality, but here they've done an excellent job. How one can look at the 'centrefold' spread of Janne Corax gazing over Kyrgyzstan without feeling an ache in one's gut to...
Published on 12 Sep 2006 by Antony Bowesman

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good overview
The topic is somewhat lacking in books, and this is a welcome addition to any cycle tourist's library, but in many ways it tries to be all things to all people, and isn't quite enough in any of its three parts.

Because the book is geared at "adventure" cycle touring, it doesn't cover in great detail less adventurous places like western Europe and the USA, which...
Published on 23 Feb 2008 by Kenny


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a marvellous book, 12 Sep 2006
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
Steve's book arrived in my mailbox last week and immediately I felt it was something special. The first thing that struck me was the quality of the colour photos. Often publishers skimp on the photo quality, but here they've done an excellent job. How one can look at the 'centrefold' spread of Janne Corax gazing over Kyrgyzstan without feeling an ache in one's gut to get on your bike and be there, I don't know.

In addition to the superb colour photos, the pages are also dotted with a large number of small black and white photos, which add something of interest to many pages.

The book has several of the 'Lonely Planet' style of small articles every few pages that give greater detail on a particular topic. These are often written by contributors which gives the book such a broad view. I found Steve Pells' 'Going ultralight' (p57) amusing, as I much prefer the feeling of independence by being totally self sufficient for several days. In Bolivia I had to carry 15 litres of water and had food for a week, so I weighed in with 50kg of gear! However, it meant I could camp in some of the most incredibly remote places and stop when and where I wanted and with that amount of gear, I could easily hit 80kmh on those mountain descents!

Throughout the book there are standardised cyclists' trip reports. These are single page summaries that give one lines with details such as, cost, length, `best X', `longest X', `worst X', `biggest X' of trips made.

Anyone who has done a bike trip of any sort will appreciate the feeling of being in such awe inspiring places under their own steam when seeing the photos.

For those who haven't yet taken the plunge, the book offers a lot of practical information, not just from Steve's own broad experience, but also from many other cyclists who've made trips of their own, ranging from a few weeks to huge marathons lasting several years.

The first part deals has a short section covering basics such as money, health and travel details - the right length. It follows with a good section about bike and equipment which gives the reader well balanced information about the pros and cons of different kit choices, for example: whether to take panniers or a trailer, tunnel or free standing tents, or the more esoteric - number of spoke holes in a wheel rim!

The large Route Outlines section is a real gem. It collects many of the classic cycling destinations from all over the world into a single book. It is not a route planning book, more of an inspirational guide to how, where and when you can cycle. I was surprised at how much detail and information he has managed to squeeze into those 120 pages.

Part 3 - `Tales from the saddle' is taken up by individual trip reports, including Jean Bell's fascinating 1929 account of his European tour and Edward Genochio's tale of his attempted bike theft, by horse, in Mongolia!

A final short appendix covers bike maintenance in enough detail to make it useful as a reference, but not as a training guide. Bikes are generally pretty well made these days so it's not often that serious maintenance is needed for most trips and anything read will be forgotten by the time it comes round to changing brake pads or tightening headsets!

Steve has not only done a great job with this book by bringing together reports and articles from many of the adventure cycling community's well known names, such as Janne Corax, Ivan Viehoff, Cass Gilbert and Alastair Humphreys, but also stamped his style by making it eminently readable. He also managed to get in a section on his new Rohloff hub!

My comments may not be completely impartial as I made a small contribution to the content of this book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, 25 Jan 2007
By 
Hiace Drifter (Northern Hemisphere) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
I bought this book for a friend and I'm now buying one for me! Great sections on equipment (bikes especially) and planning routes. There is so much packed into this book it's amazing. The annecdotes from other cyclists are very useful. The photos are wonderful and inspire you to get on your bike and travel to far flung places. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but missing some things, 22 Aug 2008
By 
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's very easy to read and has many interesting contributions from various well know cycle tourists.

The other reviews for this book are very fair and comprehesive, so this is short!

The maintenance section at the back of the book covers the basics, but some things are missing like how to fix a split tyre, broken rack or braze ons. Broken racks and broken braze ons do get mentioned (as well as advise to carry small hose clips) but i could not find how to actually fix these things!

There are many tours in all sorts of exotic places, but as the 3* reviewer states, most people start with Western Europe or North America. These routes a not covered particularly in depth. I want to start with "lands end to john o groats" rather than cycle London to Cairo.

These are fairly minor points, so all in all I recommend this book as an entertaining and informative read. It is UK focussed too (e.g prices and brands) which is a bonus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good overview, 23 Feb 2008
By 
Kenny (LONDON, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
The topic is somewhat lacking in books, and this is a welcome addition to any cycle tourist's library, but in many ways it tries to be all things to all people, and isn't quite enough in any of its three parts.

Because the book is geared at "adventure" cycle touring, it doesn't cover in great detail less adventurous places like western Europe and the USA, which is where most cycle tourists will start and will train. This means you would probably have a bike and gear and likely have several trips under your belt already before you head off to these far-off destinations.

If you have already began touring, you won't really need to cover Part I in great detail because you will have already purchased most of the equipment and have enough experience to know what you need to take. Much of the equipment information is also available from chats with cycle shops and various places on the internet. However there are a few gems recommending particular, rare tools. Sadly even though it attempts to be broad and helpful, it still doesn't feel encompassing enough to allow one to leave for the jungle without a lot of doubts and second thoughts.

Part II gives overviews of touring in particular countries and regions. Because it is built on more than one person's experience it is much more useful than travelogues commonly found on the internet. However some countries aren't well covered and others aren't covered at all. It also doesn't give particular routes, instead it focuses general information about the country. This section, however, makes the book well worth the cost for any globe-trotting cyclist.

Part III is a collection of travelogues, all of which are well-written and many are very unique (including one from a pre-WWI tour!) These are inspiring and exciting, much along the lines of any other travel short story collection. However one has to wonder whether these should stand on their own as they aren't really useful in something that calls itself a "handbook".

Ultimately the book would be well-served by a second revision which added content in parts I and II, particularly when it comes to the nuts and bolts of planning a long-distance trip. However Lord clearly realises that one size does not fit all in DIY cycle touring, and takes the right track in letting the reader ultimately choose their own path.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit patchy and not really comprehensive enough. Good if you are planning to go to Asia, 28 Aug 2008
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
This is a very good book if you've done little or no touring: there is a lot of good, sensible advice on equipment etc.

The book's coverage seems to be very good on Asia, but for other parts of the world it seems cursory and under-researched. The UK, Ireland, and Italy are not mentioned at all.

-France gets a couple of paragraphs - mostly about carrying bikes on TGVs.
-The paragraphs on Spain are a bit better but while they mention the Camino Francés (to Santiago de Compostella) and the Vía de la Plata there's no mention of either the Transandalus or Transpiríneica.
-The section on the US has several pages on the Great Divide but other worthwhile long distance routes are ignored.
- Central America gets one short paragraph.

Obviously a book that tries to cover the whole world can't do so in great detail but it's disappointing that it doesn't provide either any suggestions for further reading or other resources - especially the huge amount of resources available on the internet - or indeed any advice on route planning and research.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for complete novices., 1 Jun 2009
By 
N. Byrne (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
Although this book is primarily concerned with 'adventure' cycle touring ie, in far flung, often hostile environments where the cycle tourist needs to be entirely self sufficient, it serves as an excellent introduction to the practicalities of cycle touring even if you are touring closer to home in the more familiar surrounds of Western Europe, or indeed North America.
By turns usefully informative and inspiring, this is a book that I think anyone who is new to cycle touring needs to buy and read. Obviously, there is no substitute for real hands-on touring experience, and no book can truly prepare you for what can happen on a tour, but this book does at least prepare you for some of the myriad things that you will experience on a tour, and if you are a novice, it is a good stepping stone into the world of cycle touring and a good basis on which to build and increase your knowledge.
More experienced cycle tourers will find little in this book that they don't already know, but nevertheless it is a handbook that is necessary and is well produced. Tourers accounts of their adventures are generally well written and will make you want to cycle round the world, even though you know it will be hazardous. I look forward to the 2nd edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent book that answered all my questions, 27 July 2009
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
I've enjoy both camping and cycling and thought last year: "why not combine the two". I'm going on my first three day trip next month, but wondered what equipment I needed to take and what it was like being on the road with my bike. This book answered those questions - and loads more. If they can go around the world - I feel confident I can do three nights on the south coast of England. I fully expect to be more adventurous next time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference material and a great read, 31 Aug 2006
By 
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
Honest, no nonsense equipment reviews, fascinating travelogue and great photos...... a must for anyone wanting to spend a year on the road!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book for beginners, 27 May 2011
By 
E. Kuscu - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
A reference book for beginners. As with any subject, this is a book perhaps not so useful if you have been there and done it but still worth reading.

I'm a beginner and I did use it a lot as reference and the author surely knows more than I do on cycle camping and travelling internationally on bike. He really has been there and done it around the world. So for me this was a well written/structured book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cycle Book, 26 Aug 2008
By 
K. E. Giles - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Adventure Cycle-touring Handbook: Worldwide Cycling Route and Planning Guide (Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling) (Paperback)
Since buying this book my partner hasn't put it down so it must be a good book, i have seen the pictures they are very interesting. This explains in great detail what to do when you want to go cycle touring.
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