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Cycling the Rhine Route: Bicycle Touring Along the Historic Rhine River Paperback – 24 Apr 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
The route description has a Germanic precision, and I think it is the result of careful research, but it has NO DISTANCES for the junctions. As a result, to follow the guide, you have to read it continuously, and keep an eye out for every detail, to know which is next. If only the author had written down the cycle computer readings, you could relax and wait for the next 1 or 10 km to pass by!.
Perhaps the second edition will be improved. And by the way, a practical guidebook like this deserves to be a smaller format, in a flexible waterproof cover, like many climbing guidebooks!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I traveled my own "Rhine journey" by bicycle (the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland) a few years ago, and it was one of the most memorable events of my life. I kept a detailed diary at the time (highly recommended), and frequently still turn to it. John Powell's book also brought back many happy memories.
My quibbles (mostly minor) about Powell's book are as follows: I found that for each route, the number of tiny instructions offered to the bicyclist seem obsessively detailed, almost to the point of being funny. For just one example, to bicycle from Bacharach to Mainz, a very simple stretch of 37 miles, all on the western side of the river, Powell offers more than 90 instructions! Long-distance bicyclists are a pretty resourceful and intrepid lot, really don't need this kind of detail, and rarely get lost. I myself bicycled the entire Rhine route with just good maps, notes I made at home before I left (about places and sights), and a small guide to youth hostels. And I never got lost!
Speaking about youth hostels, most long-distance bicyclists in Europe are relatively young and stay in hostels along the way. Hostels are usually fun, cheap, and a good way to exchange travel tips and make friends. Powell devotes very little space to them. A hostel guide is very useful in planning. The one from the Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk in Detmold is great, also "Hostels Germany" by Paul Karr and Martha Coombs is useful and fun.
A tiny point: Powell says, regarding bicycle tires, that he uses "slick (smooth) treads for better speed." What's the hurry? Why not slow down a bit and enjoy the marvelous scenery? Also, I think a somewhat thicker tread is advisable, unless one is adept at fixing flat tires (not all the bike paths are free of sharp pebbles and glass!).
Powell's book is a thoughtful guide, obviously not a book to sit down and read cover to cover, but a good resource for planning or executing that trip along the Rhine. If you do make the trip, I hope you have as great a time as I did!
My next one (July/2009)is from Zurich to Amsterdam via Rhine river.
This book has good intentions but is not well organized, some excess information in turn left and right and no detailed information on elevations, wind, temperature or GPS points.
The direction shown in the book is west/north to east/south and I am really going the other way following the river flow.
The maps inside the book aren't good either.
I am not taking this book to Europe with me.