Saturday, October 5, 2013

From the Library: Mountain Bicycling in the San Gabriels

The bikes shown on the cover photo, as well as those on the inside pages, might lead you to think this book is dated. You would only be half correct; most of the 34 routes detailed here you will find in more recently published collections, and cover the entirety of the mountain range between Pacoima Canyon in the west and Mt. Baldy to the east. In other words the information here is, mostly, as relevant today as it was when first published. Those photos, they add an air of historic novelty. 

Each route contains quick, at-a-glance information (distance, time, elevation gain, difficulty) before the author gets into the description of the route. Each also contains a topo of the ride. Immler also lets you in on routes that may not be worth the time, such as the 1.83 mile long out and back at Kratka Ridge which, he confesses, involves "mostly pushing the bike". The rides range in distance and difficulty; frequently the author will turn out-and-back routes into loop routes by incorporating the mountains' paved highways. This was likely one of the most thorough trail guides when first published in 1987, and though eclipsed by more recent publications covering the San Gabriels, I would say it is still a respectable guide for many of the regions better known trails.



Immler, Robert   Mountain Bicycling in the San Gabriels   Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press, 1994

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