Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 12: Pedal Power!

It's Day 12 (12-12-12!!) in our 24 Days of Books, and today we're going to hop in the saddle! We Portlanders love our bikes. Both local and national publishers have figured this out, so now we have a selection of recent biking-related books that will appeal to the bikers on your shopping list.

OregonCycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Oregon (Into Action Publications, $17.95) by Ellee Thalheimer, is a guide for adventurous souls who long to hit the Oregon road with their bikes for extended periods of time. This guide features 8 multi-day bike tours in every part of the state, including complete camping and lodging info, 12 breweries, 3 scenic bikeways, and 14 mountain passes. All levels of cycle touring are included, and tours for every season are recommended, as well as tours for every budget. “Cycling Sojourner is like bike touring with a witty fellow bike nerd who is full of enough lively anecdotes to keep you entertained but enough information to keep you from getting lost” – Russ Roca and Laura Crawford

BikingPortland: 55 Rides from the Willamette Valley to Vancouver (The Mountaineers Books, $18.95) is by Owen Wozniak, who has lived and cycled in Portland for ten years. As a project manager at the Trust for Public Land, he works to protect natural places for people to enjoy. This is his third guidebook. The 55 rides outlined in the guide range from the city’s urban core east to the base of Mount Hood, west to the Tualatin Valley and Coast Range foothills, down the Willamette Valley and north across the Columbia River. The rides vary in length from 3 to 56 miles, and in difficulty from easy through moderate to challenging. Each ride is clearly mapped out and described with elevation profiles, mileage logs, public transportation access,

Also published by Into Action Publications, and perhaps our secret favorite book on this list, is Hop in the Saddle ($9.95), a cleverly named guidebook to Portland’s craft beer scene, by bike. This book is also by Elle Thalheimer, with the help of Lucy Burningham and Laura Cary. This little red beauty covers 20 breweries, 8 bottleshops, and 31 bars and restaurants. Each of these beer spots is a local treasure such as Amnesia Brewing, Hair of the Dog, Grain and Gristle, etc. NOT included are the national chain locations, common in every city. There are 5 Portland Beer Routes (and 5 Bike Nerd Extended Routes) to get you to your destinations, with plenty of things to see along the way. Beervana indeed.

Where to Bike Portland (BA Press, $27.95) is by Anne Lee, the Deputy Director of Portland’s Community Cycling Center. This spiral-bound guide outlines 72 great rides, including 26 rides for kids. Illustrated with hundreds of full-color photos and detailed maps, it’s a handsome and useful book whose rides include many in the inner city, but stretch as far afield as Vernonia, Clark County, Wilsonville, and Troutdale. 

75Classic Rides Oregon: The Best Road Biking Routes (The Mountaineers Books, $24.95) by Jim Moore includes routes all over the state varying in length from 3 to 359 miles, including 4 multiday tours and variations for longer or shorter rides, or connections to other routes. Expert advice on preparation, safety on the road, and riding techniques are accompanied by a handy at-a-glance chart to help you select your ideal ride, and downloadable turn-by-turn cue sheets. There are 6 rides on the coast, 13 in the Portland metro area, 11 in the Willamette Valley, 8 in southern Oregon, 11 in the Mount Hood/Columbia Gorge area, 7 in the Cascades, 4 in central Oregon, 11 in eastern Oregon, plus the 4 multiday trips.

Although it’s not a local guidebook, we include Fifty Places to Bike BeforeYou Die (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95) by Chris Santella for two reasons: Chris lives in Portland (in our neighborhood, actually), and it’s a biker’s dream book. Within these pages you will find essays by fifty biking experts, who share the world’s greatest biking destinations. Each essay is accompanied by a beautiful photograph of such exotic locales as Western Tasmania, Costa Rica, Botswana, Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, and many more. OK, OK, there are three Oregon destinations: Crater Lake, Chief Joseph Country, and Greater Portland. But this is really an armchair traveler book for bikers who love to imagine biking around the world.

Enjoy your bike and stay safe! Don't forget -- we have many more great gift ideas in our Holiday Books guide, available in our store. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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