I met Stephen Lord a few years ago at a event at The Royal Geographical Society in London. We had a good old chat and he let me know about his book, The Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook. At the time, he told me I should hold my horses since the second edition was about to go to print.
This book is a must-read for newbies as well as for more seasoned cycle tourists like us. It’s a handbook, with just the facts, ma’am; it’s definitely not a guide book or a tour diary.
While reading the book, I responded to some parts of it with, “Yes, I know this, I’ve done that. Hmm, I can even do this much better than he suggests”. However, there were plenty of parts of the book which gave me food for thought, and made me realise I’d not even begun to think about XYZ!
I like that the book features accounts by other experienced cycle tourists who have been out there and learned the hard way. This is golden knowledge that you can’t quibble with. These “stories” are nice and raw as they do tell you about touring “as it is” out there on
What I really enjoyed about this book is that it didn’t try to make cycle touring unrealistically romantic. Rather, it told it as it is. This straightforward approach is inspiring, and makes you want to jump on your bicycle and get touring.
The book is slanted more to the adventurous side of touring, out in the wild world, though it doesn’t neglect small-scale local touring. It has good coverage of the equipment you’ll need, from panniers to your kitchen, and from visas to vaccinations. An interesting insight is given into how you will be viewed as a cycle tourer around the world, and how to interact with the locals. All in all, it’s a good read which delves further under the surface of your standard cycle touring book, and presents a range of handy information about this fine way of seeing the world.
A very good read. If you’re new to the world of cycle touring, or even a seasoned tourist thirsty for more hints and tips, this is a book you’ll want to add to your library. It’s certainly taught me a thing or two.