We took a look at the Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World, a book that aims to capture in its pages the globe’s most thrilling cycling routes. And after having a read it’s safe to say we felt pretty compelled to get out there and explore them!
The mark of any great book, film, album is its ability to stir its audience. Most of us will know that feeling that comes with watching a great movie that not only provides entertainment but inspires us to action. This book achieves the same thing. At the start the book introduces itself saying, ‘Hopefully, this book will prove that there’s no better way of experiencing a place, a culture and its people than by bicycle.’ It doesn’t take many turns of the pages to completely agree that indeed there is no better way.
The book is set out with the help of dozens of writers around the world, who have all offered their epic ride experiences. Starting in Africa, the book is written autobiographically by writers who really take you with them on the routes that they ride, with the people they ride with, into the towns and villages and cultures they enter and explore.
On top of the feature routes that the writers take you through are several ‘more like this’ routes. These are less autobiographical and more factual. They give a bit less of a connection that one feels with the lengthier autobiographical accounts, but they are no less inviting.
New Zealand rides of course feature with the Forgotten World Highway between Stratford and Taumarunui, Auckland to Piha via Scenic Drive, the Old Ghost Road from Lyell to Seddonville, the Heaphy Track from Collingwood to Karamea, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail among others that all feature.
On-road and off-road routes alike all have their place in this encyclopaedia of bike-friendly trails and trips. The highly pictorial book only adds to the allure of the rides; and confirms my desire to take a year out and try them all!
I love this book. I love it because it reminds me why I love to cycle. It makes me think not only how much I want to explore the routes in the book, but how much I just want to explore and get out there. This utterly compelling book belongs on my coffee table for regular reference and inspiration.
The Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World retails at $49.99 and is available at Whitcoulls stores. From now until August 31st if you purchase a book you can enter a competition to win a trip for two to Vietnam valued at $7,500+.