Spandex Optional Bicycle Touring: How to ride long distance, the cheap and easy way

Spandex Optional Bicycle Touring: How to ride long distance, the cheap and easy way

Spandex Optional Bicycle Touring: How to ride long distance, the cheap and easy way
@ If you can ride a bike across town, you can ride across the country. And all that Spandex? It’s totally optional. With this book, learn what to eat, where to sleep, how to find a route that works for you, what to pack, crack logistics for transporting your bike, the all-important psychology of touring, and why training sucks. Bicycle tourists usually resemble intimidating neon ironman super-bugs, but don’t let this fool you. You don’t need to spend a fortune or become a mechanic. All you need is motivation and this book.

List Price: $ 9.99

Price:

Bicycle Touring

Related Bicycle Touring Products

2 thoughts on “Spandex Optional Bicycle Touring: How to ride long distance, the cheap and easy way

  1. 3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A little gem: concise, informative, and entertaining, March 9, 2015
    By 
    The anti-consumer (New Mexico, USA) –

    This review is from: Spandex Optional Bicycle Touring: How to ride long distance, the cheap and easy way (Paperback)
    I read this book, cover-to-cover, in a single sitting. Twice. It’s a great read. It falls into a genre of non-fiction that I like to call “little gems” – books which are simultaneously fun, informative, and concise. Despite it being a small book, Rice still manages to pack a wealth of information into the text. The writing style is down to earth and quite entertaining. While there’s humor sprinkled throughout, it never seems forced (unlike some books which try just a little too hard to constantly be funny). Rice also does a nice job of debunking the notion that bike touring requires a lot of expensive gear, a top of the line bike, or six-pack abs (though he doesn’t denigrate anyone who has high-end equipment or rock hard abs).

    This book also has inspirational and/or motivational qualities. As a matter of fact, I found myself starting to plan a bike trip in my mind while I read it. Allow me to share my devious plan for a little mini-tour: I’ll ride Amtrak part way – due to job and vacation constraints – with my bike on board. I’ll de-train and bike the remainder of the way to visit relatives. Had I not read this book, I’d probably have driven a car or taken a plane; bike touring was something that I was considering for a future trip. This book pushed me from “some future trip” to “well, heck, why not now?” All in all, a little gem, indeed.

    0

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes
    No

    View Comment
  2. 3.0 out of 5 stars
    VERY Basic Information, Suited For Bicycle Novices Only. NOT For Experienced Cyclists., September 24, 2015
    By 
    Stephanie (Florida, United States) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Spandex Optional Bicycle Touring: How to ride long distance, the cheap and easy way (Paperback)
    This book is an OK starting point, IF you are Peter Rice’s target group. Rice aims at folks who basically know what a bicycle looks like and could pick one out of a line-up of five different types of vehicles, but who haven’t ridden a bike since kindergarten. If that is you, and if you – despite not having ridden a bicycle since kindergarten – have the desire to give bicycle touring a try, this booklet is definitely worth a look to give you a general overview of what bicycle touring means.

    However, for those of us who are already avid bicycle commuters or somewhat serious recreational cyclists, this book isn’t going to tell us anything we don’t already know. While I enjoyed Rice’s conversational tone and his sense of humor, I found myself slightly appalled by essentially being talked to like a bicycle imbecile (“Mountain Bikes […] are easy to distinguish because they have handle bars shaped like a ‘T’.” – Actually, my MTB has handlebars shaped like a ‘U’. – “Road Bikes […] feature handle bards that look like the horns of a ram.” – Really? Also, according to Rice there are essentially only 3 types of bicycles – MTBs, road bikes, and hybrids, which, of course, is nonsense. And neither MTBs nor road bikes would be a good choice for most people when embarking on an extended tour.)

    I also found that Rice leaves out some important issues. When he talks about the cost of equipment, for instance, he only seems to compare brand new store-bought items; he completely disregards the possibility of buying used gear (which I find odd in a booklet subtitled “(…) the cheap and easy way) – it doesn’t get much more inexpensive than to buy used). As an experienced cyclist, I would always pick the used high-quality gear over the new low-quality gear at the same price. This is particularly true for the touring bicycle, but it holds also true for items such as a tent, other camping equipment, water-proof panniers, rain clothing, and so on. Rice’s “thorough” pack list is also lacking, particularly for riders who go on a trip that exceeds a weekend. One of the many things he leaves out is the possibility of bringing solar packs – some of which are light-weight and inexpensive, and these packs can help a great deal in keeping your GPS and your phone running, especially when cycling in rural areas. (This is just one aspect of many.)

    Furthermore, having clocked significantly more touring miles than Rice has (he has only 4,000 miles under his belt total – which in the world of bicycle touring is next to nothing and explains why his booklet is lacking in several ways), I found some of his tips (and approaches) highly impractical and some downright dangerous. For instance, Rice says he never takes bicycle lights along when he goes on a tour. Visibility is one of the most important aspects, when it comes to safe cycling, and recommending to not bring lights is downright ludicrous. I have similar thoughts about his lenience when it comes to using non-waterproof panniers. Granted, Rice seems to mostly ride around desert-ish areas where rain might well be the exception. But in most areas not only of this country but of this world, a cyclist will sooner or later have to ride through downpours, and there is nothing like having all of your belongings – incl. but not limited to all of your clothing, your food supply, and the technical equipment you’re likely carrying on the trip, such as a camera, a cell phone, or even a laptop, if it’s an extended trip – soaked, because you didn’t plan ahead.

    All in all, this is a booklet (of only about 60 pages; the page count is a little misleading, as Rice has added about 25 entirely empty pages to his booklet; I guess in an attempt to make it look like more than what it is?) for touring novices only, and it’s to be taken with a grain of salt. IF you are a bicycle novice and you intend to go on a bicycle tour, please do yourself the favor and look for some more in-depth information, ideally provided by touring veterans with more experience than Rice. And make sure to join a couple of bicycle touring forums online. Those are invaluable resources, usually with up-to-date information (which a book can never provide for obvious reasons).

    0

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes
    No

    View Comment

Leave a Reply