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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars inspiring guide to the other kind of mountain biking, 1 Nov 2009
By 
C. Scott - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
HbB enabled a first timer like me (with no interest in domestic or European cycle touring) to try something I'd not think possible. I'd wanted to visit the Karakoram and Ladakh for years and the book offered an easy way of doing it, detailing the practicalities of riding across the motorable roads of High Asia: the why, how, where and when.
As we observed again and again, incredibly it was just about all researched by the indefatigable Laura who thinks nothing of scooting 600 metres up a side valley to check out a nice village after diligently recording details and impressions over hundreds of kilometres. Furthermore, unlike regular formulaic guidebooks, she's given the space to express herself with an enthusiastic and chatty style, fills out the route descriptions with interesting anecdotes and has a lyrical way of describing her surroundings.
The hotel and resto details have inevitably got dated in places; on both trips we carried a more recent, stripped-down LP or Rough Guide. But HbB fills out the crucial details for the places in between which don't change much and can be useful for other independent travellers, notably the Bulleteers who commonly visit Ladakh and HP (a subject which is outlined in an appendix).
If I have one reservation, it might be that she makes some long climbs sound a bit easy - in India I had to finish the very highest passes in a lorry, or we jeeped long rough sections to save time as it was late and snow was already falling. I also found some of the incremental distances on switchback stages (such as Tanglang La northside) seemed up to 20% short, possibly due to a memory-saving setting on the GPS tracklog odometre (a mistake I've made myself doing similar stuff). The Himank mileposts seemed pretty accurate. The maps are great but where present, would be even better if they fully depicted additional road details leading off the main route to both the suggested diversions mentioned in the text as well as unlogged but rideable excursions of which there seem to be plenty on the KKH and in Ladakh/Spiti. And although the gradient profiles are a vital feature in a cycling guide like this, it sure would be nice to have an impression of the surrounding relief featured on the maps too.
Marrying the idea of independent cycling touring with the world's highest roads may sound like nuts to all but a committed pedal-bashing hardcore who might scoff at a book like this. Me, I suggest that if you accept you can't ride every mile in the Himalaya due to intestinal dysfunction, lack of air or just plain laziness, lifts are always at hand so making the trip less daunting for recreational cyclists like me, while offering one of the most satisfying and inexpensive ways of exploring this amazing region at your own pace.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have Guide - Inspired accessible and accurate, 16 Dec 2008
By 
T. Fleming (Taiwan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
An excellent book which in conjunction with my experiences within the Himalayas provided the foundations for a successful trip. The maps are excellent and the tone of the writing accessible, unlike alot of the inaccurate and mildly patronising guides so prevalent in the travel section of book shops today. I am confident to rely on this guide for future trips
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Better Complete Himalyan Cycling Guide., 5 Dec 2009
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
This is a long overdue view of what I consider to be one of the most complete, refreshing and informative cycling guides written of its type.
Laura poured her heart and soul into this fascinating trip through various Himalayan regions and having cycled one small part with her I can sincerely vouch for her meticulous map making, research, detail and bravery. Not forgetting her extraordinary metronome like ability to cycle any long climb thrown at her in all sorts of weather and temperatures.
The accessible humour and cheer that accompany the writing style complete a book that can be read not only as the practical guide it was intended for cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness, but also for arm chair enthusiasts who would simply like to experience some of the journey and its magic.
If you are planning on an unsupported ride in any of the regions featured in this book, there is no alternative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Travel Guide!, 13 Jan 2009
By 
Mr. John K. C. Maclean (Crondall Hants UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
This book rates amongst 'great adventures' of our time. Clearly Laura Stone has overlooked nothing in her quest for accuracy, fun and readability in compiling this guide and it is clear that she had some amazing experiences on the rooftop of this world whilst doing so!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiration, 25 Sep 2008
By 
J. M. Chatterton (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
A wonderfully inspiring read by a true trail blazer. Could give anyone the get up and go to get on their bike. Very detailed with beautiful maps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally inspirational, 8 Dec 2012
By 
Kevin Lawlor (Carlisle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
It was the cover title and photograph that caught my attention. Throughout the pages the book is so inspirational that I desperately want to embark on one of the many journeys that the author describes in rich detail. There are routes for the the young and fit and also for the older, 'touring' types...

Okay, I admit that I am bias, because I love India: the food, the people, the culture and the Spirituality. I just feel that, armed with this guidebook, I can be led to other areas to absorb even more of this amazing country!

There are a variety of routes ranging from a week's duration to a year or more. The maps look more than adequate to naviagate by (I have yet to travel one of the routes) and there are plenty of en-route tips.

Overall, a wonderful book and I can't wait to go
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Himalaya by Bike (Paperback)
This is an excellent read. Concise and to the point, the author gives straight forward and easy to understand advice in a way that gets you itching to get on a plane and get out on your bike in the Himalaya!I will certainly take it with me.
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Himalaya by Bike
Himalaya by Bike by Laura Stone (Paperback - 1 Oct 2008)
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