Washington State Bike Tours – Cycling Sojourner : A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington

cycling sojourner book review

Are you looking for a book filled with maps, route information and expert advice on the best Washington State bike tours? If so, then look no further!

The name may be long and difficult to say, but the new book by author Ellee Thalheimer is informative, well-designed and jam-packed with useful bits of bike touring knowledge. CYCLING SOJOURNER: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington is a small, but info-packed guidebook I whole-heartily recommend to anyone planning a short or long-distance bicycle tour in Washington state.

Cycling Sojourner Washington Book

If author Ellee Thalheimer sounds familiar to you, it’s because she’s one of the most prolific bicycle and travel writers I know. She contributed to Lonely Planet’s Cycling Italy as well as several other Lonely Planet guidebooks: Mexico, USA and the Caribbean Islands. In addition, Thalheimer is the author of Hop in the Saddle: A Guide to Portland’s Craft Beer Scene, by Bike. She’s also responsible for the first book in the Cycling Sojourner series: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Oregon.

Like so many of the books Thalheimer has been a part of, Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington is well-written, colorful, informative, inspiring and educational. But Thalheimer isn’t entirely responsible for this book. She had some help! Along with Thalheimer, there are six additional contributing authors that have come together to make this 240-page text so inspirational and informative: Josh Cohen, Katherine Widing, Lucy Burningham, Steve Krippner, Martina Brimmer and Jason Goodman.

Washington State Bike Tours map

Inside this first few pages of this book you are introduced to the basics of bicycle touring and given a breakdown of the necessary gear, the mentality needed for traveling by bike and some references you can look into for additional information. Then, the rest of the book is broken up into nine detailed chapter – each chapter featuring one of the book’s nine Washington state bike tours:

  • Taste of Touring: Beginner Tour from Seattle
  • Escape from Seattle: Riding the John Wayne Trail
  • San Juan Islands: Discovering Sascadia’s Archipelago
  • The Olympic Peninsula: America’s Rugged Northwest Corner
  • Epic Washinton: North Cascades Hwy to the Methow Valley
  • Walla Walla Ramble: Wine Tasting to Seas of Wheat
  • Pedaling the Palouse
  • The Okanogan: Overlooked Northern Reaches
  • Northeast DIY

Covering the entire state of Washington from west to east, Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington lays out each of its nine bike tours in a fun, yet meticulous manner. Each chapter includes bike tour pricing details, a difficulty rating, yearly temperatures, historical tidbits, environmental information, weather statistics, details on how to come and go from the tour’s start and end points, camping locations, information on the food and drinks you’ll encounter along the way, mapping info, riding tips, cell phone coverage information, emergency medical addresses and phone numbers, details on other activities you can do in the area, useful complimentary websites, lodging contacts, restaurant recommendations, nearby bike shops, a detailed map of the bike tour itself, elevation charts, day-by-day and turn-by-turn directions, plus a whole lot more!

spandex optional bicycle touring by peter rice-8732

The BEST Part Of This Book

  • Well-written by an experienced bicycle tourist.
  • Well-designed, fun, magazine-style guidebook.
  • Inspirational text that makes you want to go bicycle touring in Washington state.
  • Packed with everything you need to know about the nine bike tours detailed inside the book.

The Worst Part Of This Book

  • Terrible, difficult to say title. It should be called “Washingon State Bike Tours” or “Cycling Washington.” The front cover should also be re-designed to make it more clear that this book is about bicycle touring in Washington State.
  • Doesn’t mention Bicycle Touring Pro or The Bicycle Touring Blueprint as one of the recommended bike touring resources.
  • If you are doing only one of the bike tours in this book, you probably won’t want to carry the entire book with you. Just photo copy the pages you need for your trip and then leave the rest of the book behind.

In the end, Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington is a comprehensive guidebook covering nine of the best bicycle touring routes in the state of Washington. It’s not a how-to book for bicycle touring anywhere in the world and it doesn’t even cover every bicycle touring route in Washington. But if you live in Washington and you like to cycle, or you’re planning a trip to Washington in the future and you’re trying to decide which of the Washington State bike tours is best, then this is the book for you!

washington cycling route elevations

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