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Epic Bike Rides of the World

Release date: 03rd January, 2017
Publisher: Lonely Planet

List Price: £19.99
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Driven largely by the sustained success of Chris Boardman, Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and a host of others, cycling has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity over the past decade and a half.

Even the government can take some credit for encouraging an activity that offers everything from simple to vigorous exercise and as much fresh air as anyone could want. The tax break which enables people to buy a bike on which they can ride to work has boosted participation beyond expectation and continues to make the nation healthier.

Unlike other forms of exercise, such as swimming or running, one great advantage of cycling is the opportunity it affords riders to explore further afield. Sticking to the same route each day is to be applauded, but with a modicum of planning and some half-decent weather, the cyclist can soon branch out – and not just in the UK.

There are plenty of good books in which authors tell of how they rode this or that Grand Tour route (read anything by Tim Moore), or careered across continents, but time (and money) considerations ensure that most folks will never have the chance to follow in their footsteps. Which is where Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World comes in.

This is a peach of a read: aspirational and ambitious, it’s perfect for cyclists who might be getting a little tired of following the same rutted pathway every day, though they don’t have the inclination or time to take six months off work to cycle the Americas, top to bottom.

Covering two hundred rides, from what it calls “family-friendly, sightseeing urban rids to epic adventures off the beaten track,” it’s likely that readers will be inspired to explore well beyond their regular routes, even if they’re ‘weekend warriors’.

Admittedly, most cyclists will never dream of journeying the length of Africa and travelling across Australia might be a tad ambitious, but it’s still worth reading in case you do.

Such is the book’s enormous geographical scope that it would be curmudgeonly in the extreme to pick fault with some of the detail in the ‘toolkit’ section that accompanies each ride, but if you’re planning to tackle the Americas, you would probably take a little more than a Lonely Planet guide.


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