From the Library: Cyclists' Route Atlas, A Guide to the Gold Country & High Sierra/South...


This is another of those books bought with the best of intentions as of yet unfulfilled (well not exactly, I have done the June Lakes Loop - #15 - but before I had the benefit of this book). Not for lack of want, mind you, I love Gold Country for its scenery, small towns, and amazing roads tying everything together. If I do one final hors categorie ride in this life let it be the one over Sonora Pass - a six mile stretch at over 9% (max approx. 15%) was enough to give my old Ford apoplexy going up, and burn through two sets of brake pads down the 19% other side, when I still drove that blue devil. Twenty-eight rides are detailed in this book roughly between Mariposa at the south, and Plymouth in the north; four of the the routes traverse the Sierra, and five of them follow along roads to the east of the range. The problem with guidebooks is that the information they contain can be come dated; roads don't change much though, so you know these ones are still there, and people are riding them every day.

There is enough here to use as basis for a single weekend get-away, or a series of rides over a long week. The ride descriptions are the best part of the book and will pique your interest, but the sections of route profiles at the back will make or break your decisions.

Braun, Randall Gray   Cyclists' Route Atlas: A Guide to the Gold Country & High Sierra  South   Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books, 1988

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