From the Library: Where To Bike Los Angeles...

Still need one more gift for that cycling someone you know? Where to Bike Los Angeles may be just what you are looking for. As you may have guessed by the title, the Where to Bike books are a series of guidebooks covering various cities in the United States and Australia (the publisher is an Australian company), as well as Aukland, New Zealand and London, England. 

Los Angeles is part of a large and, potentially confusing, region. Most of us who ride here have our regular routes we ride, ones we know like the backs of our hands. Going outside of these familiar routes can be problematic - there are a lot of unknowns. Guidebooks such as this can take the edge off those unknowns, and open up a range of rides through territories we may not have otherwise considered. Clearly, riders new to the region, and those less familiar with it, as well as people new to riding are likely to benefit the most from this book. That does not mean that long time, experienced riders won't find it useful. On the contrary, guidebooks are all about opening up possibilities, discovering new places, which is what this guidebook is designed to do.

Where to Bike Los Angeles provides description for 81 rides in the greater metropolitan area. The rides are grouped by area - San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, Westside, Downtown/Beverly Hills, Long Beach. The table of contents gives a quick overview of each, including terrain, kid-friendliness, distance, elevation gain, and a difficulty scale. Each ride "chapter" then adds detail to each of the overviews, and includes a ride map, turn-by-turn directions, an elevation profile, and descriptions what you can see along the route, where food and drink can be found, as well as photos to pique your interest. The guide also groups together a section of 30 especially kid-friendly rides at the back, making them easy to find.

You may recall from an earlier post that the authors have been holding a series of rides corresponding to the rides in the book. I was able to attend the first of these, and thus know that they are knowledgeable, putting much thought and effort into selecting, researching, and describing the rides. Thanks again to co-author Jon Riddle for providing a copy of the book for review. Look for it at your local bike shop, or local REI store, or find it on the web. Check the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for future rides; I also post announcements here, and look forward to seeing more people out exploring the diverse region in which we live. 

Riddle, Jon and Sarah Amelar   Where to Bike Los Angeles   Where to Bike LLC, and BA Press, 2012