Good Touring Tales

For some people, the love of bicycling brings them to read other riders' memoirs. For others, the vicarious thrill of touring on paper is what brings them to try it in real life. Either way, there's nothing like a good book about traveling by bicycle to inspire vacation planning in the midst of a rainy winter, to remind you of the fundamental joy of self-propelled voyages at a pace that not only allows but forces you to experience the lands you're passing through.

What follows is most definitely not a comprehensive list of bicycle touring books. Instead, it's a listing of books that I, personally, have read and enjoyed. If you see several books on the list that you found insufferably boring, chances are you and I have different literary tastes. If you see several that you've enjoyed, maybe you'll like the rest. Or maybe not.

For convenience, I've linked titles to, though if you have a good local book store I would certainly recommend keeping them in business. Book stores, like bike shops, are part of the soul of a community, usually run by underpaid devotees who find the fastest route to a small fortune is to start business with a large one. Still, Amazon is very fast, has excellent selection, and beats the pants off of chain bookstores in the mall.

For the books that are out of print, you might want to try an on-line used book search engine like Alibris that links the inventories of many used book stores around the world -- if you can't support your local book store, you can at least support someone else's.

I frequently get requests from people to add books to this list. Sometimes authors, sometimes publishers, sometimes enthusiastic readers. But this contains only books that I have read and enjoyed. So if you think I'll like your book, Email me, and if I haven't read it I'll give it a try, I'm always looking for good new books!

The Books, In No Particular Order

This page written by Josh Putnam. Please feel free to email questions, comments, corrections, suggestions, etc.

Josh Putnam's Home Page | Bike Page | Framebuilding Page | Photo Page