Sandwiched neatly between California and Washington, Oregon is a beautifully scenic state filled with spectacular mountains, lush forests and seemingly endless vistas. It is an adventurers playground although it is sometimes forced second fiddle to some of the more well known western states, including it’s two high profile neighbors. But a new book not only hopes to encourage visitors to explore Oregon more closely but do so in one of the best ways possible.
Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Oregon was released a few weeks back and is without question the most complete guide to cycling the state. Written by Oregonian Ellee Thalheimer, the book offers eight enticing itineraries that truly have something for every kind of traveler and rider. Whether you prefer a leisurely ride through the state’s wine country, a scenic trip up the coast, or a more challenging ride through the mountains, you’ll find everything you need to make the trip happen.
The book begins with a few pages for out of state travelers who are visiting for the first time. Those pages offer tips for arriving in Portland, either by plane, train or bus and provide suggestions on where to eat and stay while in town. Some of the cities more popular bike shops are also listed and the author even has suggestions on where to attend a yoga class as well.
With the preliminaries out of the way, it’s on to the meat of the book – namely the tours themselves. Thalheimer begins each section dedicated to a tour with a great introduction that lists the basic price range of the trip, where to camp or stay in a lodge, the relative difficulty rating and a lot more. Included maps offer suggested routes and the historical and environmental facts help to set the backdrop for the region you’ll be cycling through. The advice even extends to letting you know how good the cell coverage is and where the closest hospitals are located, just in case. In short, it is everything that you could ask for in a guide book and considerably more.
Each of the tours also comes with a day-by-day itinerary as well, listing the best places to stop along the way and providing information about the towns that riders will be staying in too. Daily cue sheets are also included, giving travelers a list of milestones and signposts to keep an eye out for as they make their way along the route. Those cue sheets will prove invaluable to anyone planning on riding any of the itineraries in the book, as they make it extremely difficult to get lost or make a wrong turn. The author has made it so easy in fact, that all you have to do is ride and enjoy the scenery.
Whether you’re new to cycle touring or you’re an old pro, the book’s suggested packing and gear lists, found at the end, will be of interest as well. Thalheimer offers some great suggestions on what to bring with you on a trip of this type, including basic gear for both the bike and rider, as well as equipment for cold weather, camping and more. She even tells you what to stock in your repair (bike) and first aid (rider) kits.
Cycling Sojourner is definitely a must read for anyone planning a cycling trip through Oregon, which is obviously who this book is going to appeal to the most. But there is also quite a bit of good practical advice for cycling in general here as well. If you’re planning a long distance bike trip, you can still find some good information to aid you along on your journey as well.
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