Summer is here so I was hoping to get some summer reading on the go (for when I am not riding my bike).

Sometime in the future (next summer hopefully) I would like to do a cross-Canada bike tour. I was wondering if anyone had read any good books on bike touring (bonus points for across or in Canada).

The book could be in story form or instructional. Bonus points for funny storys and specifi Canadian route information.

(Blogs are also welcome but priority is given to books, hence the title "summer reading". It is hard to read a blog post in the park on a sunny day.)

  • 1
    While list questions like this are mostly discouraged, general reference questions that can be of use to the community are good for the site. (Wanting books on touring is a pretty common question, and we can just point to this thread.) People, try to keep this to books that won't go out of date too quickly, and one book per answer, please. Will convert to CW. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 5:58
  • @Neil, the post "Rational for Community Wikis" in meta addresses this issue. The most voted answer suggests that community wiki is for: "protection against questions with 30+ 'answers'". There are defiantly not thirty books on bike touring in Canada. I also think that my question is specific enough to have one accepted answer. See: meta.bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/273/… Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 12:04
  • @sixtyfootersdude - Just because there aren't thirty possible answers doesn't mean this isn't a list question. Making this CW was clearly appropriate. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 13:12
  • @Neil, I disagree with you. The question has one selectable answer and is therefore not a list question. I guess that since you are a moderator and I am not, you get to decide. Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 16:08
  • @sixtyfootersdude: if you disagree you could always post something on meta asking if this question should be wiki and open up a discussion. It's possible for a moderator to un-wiki and we'd be likely to do so if there was a clear strong consensus in favor of that course of action.
    – freiheit
    Commented Apr 28, 2011 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


Over the Hills, by David Lamb

Not related to Canada, but this book a great first-tourer story; it also encouraged my own interest in touring -- along with John Doesey's wonderful tour journal, the first one I ever read.

Over the Hills is a memoir of a middle-aged journalist’s 3000-mile "afternoon ride". The book is well-written, fun to read, and strikes an excellent balance between travelogue, personal memoir, and barely disguised worship of middle America’s relaxed way of life.

The author is decidedly not part of bicycling culture. He wore ordinary-looking clothing on his trip, ate in ordinary diners and truck stops, and stayed in ordinary hotel rooms, with his bike standing by the side of the bed. Mr. Lamb is very much a character in his own story.

Funny story, from the middle of a Boston to New York City tour: I was pushing my way up a hill on the way to a repair shop, and chatted with a guy on a motorcycle; he started to describe this book, and I interrupted him, asking if it was this book. We both laughed; it was a bonding moment.

I learned a few things from this book: To keep my hands loose on the bars when going over grooved pavement, that it's not "cheating" to accept a ride to get past an onerous section of interstate, and that talking to strangers is just plain fun.

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