Books About Bicycling

In our quest to recover all the great old data from the old website we have uncovered this wonderful list of books about bicycling. If you have any more you would like to add please do so in the comments!

(This page put together with a lot of help from Doug Mink)

Massachusetts On-Road Bicycling

Short Bike Rides in Eastern Massachusetts and Short Bike Rides in Western Massachusetts by Howard Stone, Globe Pequot Press Lots of good short rides on well-tested routes.

Exploring In and Around Boston on Bike and Foot, by Lee Sinai, Appalachian Mountain Club Books, 1996 Globe Pequot Press. I bought this from the author at Bike to Work Day in Boston, three weeks after it was published. It contains 11 on-road, 10 off-road, and 19 walking loop trips in Boston and its suburbs, all inside I-495, many inside Route 128. I haven't tried any of the rides as listed in the book, but I have ridden many of the trips and found the routing and commentary in the book quite helpful. There is a bit more description than in Howard Stone's books, and I like the inclusion of both the Minuteman Bikeway (on-road) and its extension to Concord (off-road).

Bicycling the Atlantic Coast: A Complete Route Guide, Florida to Maine, by Donna Ikenberry Aitkenhead, Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1993. In my days as LAW State Touring Information Directory, the most common request from out of state was for a route along Massachusetts' seacoast. The Massachusetts portion of the route described, with maps and points of interest, in this book is a good first step toward such a route, though it bypasses the scenic and historic South Shore by taking the ferry to Boston from Provincetown.

The Cape Cod Bike Book, by William E. Peace (P.O. Box 627, South Dennis, MA 02660). This little book covers Cape Cod, including the Cape Cod Rail Trail, with very detailed maps which let you get off the routes and explore without getting lost.

Short Bike Rides on Cape Cod, Nantucket and the Vineyard, by Edwin Mullen, Globe Pequot Press I have used earlier editions to find interesting places to ride when visiting unfamiliar parts of the Cape, and found it an OK starting book, especially when used with Andy Rubel's map. The new sixth edition includes more routes and should be an improvement over the earlier editions I've used.

The Boston Basin Bicycle Book, by Edward Goldfrank, Janice Goldfrank, Alexander Humez, and Nicholas Humez (1975, David R. Godine, 300 Mass. Ave., Boston) It's now out of print, but is worth tracking down in used book stores. It contains 30 rides within the basin defined by the hills through which Route 128 (now I-95 and I-93) runs. Cue sheets are provided, and the routes are laid out on sections of U.S. Geological Survey maps with added information about local geology. The authors not only tell you where the hills are, but why they're there, as well as what many interesting rock outcroppings are made of. Following these routes is a good way to explore the city in a systematic way; later, when you have to get to a specific place, by bike or by car, you'll know where it is in the grand scheme of things. Contact the publisher in Boston to ask them to reprint this book.

Bicycle Touring in the Pioneer Valley, Nancy Jane, University of Massachusetts Press, 1978. ISBN 0-87023-248-7; 88 pages; $6.95 A good little book which is useful if you are riding around the Connecticut River valley. There are 16 rides ranging from 5 to 25 miles. There are distances and riding times for each loop, and good maps which show other roads in the area, a helpful feature if a turn is missed. A useful appendix describes interesting sites and indicates which rides to take to get to them.

The Bicyclist's Guide to the Southern Berkshires by Steve Lyons (1993, Freewheel Publications, Lenox, P.O. Box 2322, Lenox, MA 01240. ISBN 0-9632585-5-9; 272 pages, paperback, $14.95. The southern part of the Berkshire valley is quite FLAT unless you choose to go up into the hills. The Southern Berkshires are rural and crammed with cultural and scenic attractions. Tanglewood, the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge with a bike path right through the grounds (Rockwell was a bicyclist!) and the Albert Schweitzer Center are just a few of the area's many noteworthy stops. One ride from the book retraces the route of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant littering crime expedition, complete with a hilarious photo of Arlo. (John Allen)

Short Bike Rides in the Berkshire Hills by Lewis Cuyler (1991, Berkshire House, Box 297, Stockbridge, MA. ISBN 0-936399-02-3; 200 pages; $8.95) This is a nice book of rides for all of Berkshire county, including the superb, challenging ride up and down Mt. Greylock. You can also ride all the way around Mt. Greylock without any serious climbing. (John Allen)

There is a whole lot more, click below to continue reading.

New England On-Road Bicycling

The Best Bike Rides in New England, by Paul Thomas and Paul Angiolillo, Globe Pequot Press Shameless plug: I rode one of "The Best Bike Rides in New England" by Paul Angiolillo, published by Globe Pequot Press. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride and am told I am credited in the book, though I've not yet heard of its release. You might just ask if the revised edition is available. Check out this interview with author Paul Angiolillo.

Bed, Breakfast, and Bike in New England: A Cycling Guide to Country Inns by Alex & Nancy May (1991, White Meadow Press, P.O. Box 56, Boonton, NJ, 07005. ISBN 0-933855-05-2; 224 pages; $12.95) Available from Adventure Cycling. One of my favorites; it has a selection of nice B & B's, not cheap, several bike routes near the B&B's, and breakfast recipes in the back (my favorite part). (Bonnie Friedman).

Touring New England by Bicycle, by Peter Powers, Terragraphics, 1991 I have not tried the routes in this book, but it is interesting in giving route altitude profiles and computer-generated 3D "maps" of route terrain. (Anne Anderson)

New England Over the Handlebars, by Michael H. Farny (1975, Little, Brown, Boston). Contains 41 rides through five of the six New England states. This one might be in stock at the Lincoln Guide Service, where author Farny presides. For each ride, a map and cue sheet is augmented by a running narrative describing points of interest and obstacles along the route.

25 Bicycle Tours in Vermont, John S. Freidin, Backcountry Publications, 1993 The earlier edition of this book inspired me to take my 15-year-old nephew bicycle touring for eight days in Vermont. We had a wonderful trip, using some routes from Freidin's book. (Anne Anderson)

New England Bike Paths and Trails

Great Rail-Trails in the Northeast, by Craig Della Penna, $12.95 Good descriptions of trails. Adventure Cycling carries this.

Lost Railroads of New England, by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1996 Focusing on abandoned railroad lines, this is the second edition of a book which was first published in 1989. The included maps delineate an enticing array of present or future rail trails. The contorted corporate and geographical history of the maze of rail lines in New England makes for interesting reading. Being involved in the Wayside Trail, I was particularly interested in the history of the Central Mass. Line. The history of every existing or proposed rail trail (that I know of) is included. The author is on the library staff at U. Mass Lowell. He has done a lot of work researching railroad history in New England and has written books on several subjects including railroading. It is available from the publisher for $12.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). It is also available in many bookstores, including some Barnes & Noble, WaldenBooks, etc. (Richard C. Williamson)

The Rail Lines of Southern New England, by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1995 As the title indicates, the book focuses on Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. All rail lines are described including those still active, those out of service, and those abandoned. As with the other book, there are lots of maps, photos, and interesting history. It is available from the publisher for $22.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). (Richard C. Williamson)

The Turnpikes of New England, by Fredric Wood, updated by Ronald Dale Karr, Branch Line Press, 13 Cross St., Pepperell, MA 01463 This is the first paperback edition of a book first published in 1919. I've abridged it somewhat, and modified the maps. Some of these old turnpikes may be of interest to cyclists. It is available from the publisher for $22.95+$3.00 S&H, 1st book, $1.50/copy for subsequent books (MA residents add 5% sales tax). (Ron Karr)

New England Off-Road Bicycling

Mountain Biking in Southern New England (or The Mountain Biker's Guide to Southern New England) and Mountain Biking in Northern New England (or The Mountain Biker's Guide to Northern New England) by Paul Angiolillo Falcon Press. Available from Ingram. Both in third printing, with a total of over 100 rides throughout New England.

Mountain Bike Rides Around Boston, by Stuart Johnstone.

Bicycle Maintenance and Repair

Anybody's Bike Book, by Tom Cuthbertson, 10-Speed Press. When I was 13 or so, I got a book called Anybody's Bike Book by Tom Cuthbertson published by 10-Speed Press. I recently saw it out in a second edition. It's very approachable for the not-so-mechanically-inclined. My first thought puts it in the category of repair manual, but if I recall it also has other good advice like equipment selection, locks, technique, etc. (Joel Parks)

The Bike Bag Book - A Manual for Emergency Roadside Bicycle Repair, by Tom Cuthbertson and Rick Morrall, Ten Speed Press, 1981. Small, clearly-written book with essential repair operations detailed. (Anne Anderson)

Sutherland's Handbook .Great but it's expensive and really geared for professional mechanics not beginners. (Joel Parks)

Glenn's NewComplete Bicycle Manual, by Clarence W. Coles, Harold T. Glenn, and John Allen; published by Crown Publishers. I rewrote much of the book for the 1986 edition. It is unusual among repair manuals in covering geared hubs. Sutherland's also does, including newer ones, but at a higher price. (John Allen)

Richard's Bicycle Book, by Richard Ballentine, Ballentine Books. A fairly complete listing of different kinds of bikes, as well as a second half devoted to maintaining them. Much more history than most of the other books, and not nearly so technical as my description might lead you to believe. It's my favorite general book about bikes. (David Wittenberg)

Building Bicycle Wheels, by Robert Wright, Anderson World, Inc., 1982 Small book, but packed with information. (Anne Anderson)


Bicycling Skills


Effective Cycling, by John Forester, MIT Press. The bible on cycling in traffic, this book also includes quite a bit on maintenance, repair, and safety.

Bicycling Street Smarts, by John S. Allen, published by Rubel BikeMaps All the information you need to hit the street on a bike. Available online or in print at bike shops and from MassBike. This 46-page booklet covers the nuts and bolts of safe and legal on-road cycling including lane-positioning, navigating intersections, expert control of brakes and steering, emergency maneuvers, and dealing with difficult situations (ordering information).

The Complete Book of Bicycle Commuting, by John S. Allen. Rodale Press. 1981. "Street Smarts" is actually a much-abridged version of this book, which I think is better than Forester's, but which Rodale Press let go out of print after one edition. Copies occasionally turn up; grab one if you can. Check Amazon's used books.

Bicycle Touring

The Road of Dreams, by Bruce B. Junek. Fascinating, well-written account of a couple's two-year bicycle tour of Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and Northern India, focusing on the Asian and Indian segments. Incredible scenery, incredible experiences, all by bike. A coworker loaned this to me last year, and I read it cover-to-cover. Adventure Cycling carries this. (Anne Anderson)

Bicycle Racing

Beginning Bicycle Racing, by Fred Matheny, Velo-news, Brattleboro, VT, ISBN 0-941950-04-2, 1983 A good introduction, explaining the various types of bicycle races, tactics, training, etc. (Anne Anderson)

Complete Bicycle Time Trialing Book, by editors of Bike World Magazine, World Publications, Box 366, Mountain View, CA 94042, ISBN 0-89037-123-7. Has some good information, although equipment coverage is out of date. (Anne Anderson)

Other Books About Bicycling

Bicycling Science, by Frank Whitt and David Gordon Wilson, MIT Press. Full of high-powered analysis and lots of other good stuff. (Joel Parks) David Gordon Wilson is older in years than in spirit. That just shows what a daily bicycle ride will do for a man. (John Allen)

Cycling Science, on-line magazine.

BikeCult, by David B. Perry; publisher 4 walls, eight windows.
ISBN 1-56 858-027-4 570 pages, $23.95. Lots of short biographical snippets on riders, and discussion of historic races. "Neat all around stuff about bikes" (David Wittenberg)

Guidebook Issue, from Recumbent Cycling News. Recumbent Cycling. A very thorough look at what is available as cycling alternatives. Given how popular feet first bikes are with the health club crowd, they just might convert some people that were turned off 15 years ago by a saddle suited to a 100km of training daily European racer. (Jeff Del Papa)

Pedal Power in Work, Leisure, and Transportation, by James C. McCullagh, ed., Rodale Press, 1977. Apparently out of print, but a fascinating collection of pedal-powered tools and adaptations of standard tools to pedal power. Has given my 8-year-old daughter and me hours of design ideas, including a pedal-powered snowplow for our driveway which we have never built, but continue to design every time we shovel snow. (Anne Anderson).

Bicycles and Tricycles, by Archibald Sharp, reprinted by MIT Press. Interesting history and mechanics. (David Wittenberg)

EnCYCLEopedia, Open Road Press EnCycleopedia describes bikes they find "interesting". Some are quite practical, others pure racers, but always interesting. They have more information on recumbents than most other sources. EnCycleopedia is an annual put out by the same folks who publish the Bicycle Culture Quarterly. (David Wittenberg)

Bike Culture Quarterly, Open Road Press "Published in Britain, Bike Culture Quarterly (BCQ) reports on the latest technological advances in bicycling and alternative bicycling products available, covers cycling advocacy efforts around the globe and includes features on the world's fastest and wildest human-powered vehicles and their designers. Commentary, photo essays, bicycle art, humor and fictional pieces round out BCQ making it the only magazine that thoroughly examines all types of cycling everywhere." (BCQ website)

Tales from the Bike Shop, by Marynard Hershon; published by Vitesse Press. A warm, friendly collection of stories set in a bike shop, but more about the people than the bikes. Requires a little knowledge of bicycling to make sense. (David Wittenberg)

Sources for Bicycle Books

Chelmsford Paperback Booksmith, 7 Summer St., Chelmsford, MA 01824-3063. (978)256-3514. This is the store that loans us books to sell during Bike to Work Week. I have found them friendly and helpful, and they have a reasonable selection. (Anne Anderson)

Globe Corner Bookstore Harvard Square, Cambridge. Guidebooks and maps to everywhere. They sponsor lectures by people who have traveled and written the guidebooks.

Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). A good assortment of bicycle books as well as other useful wilderness access books.

Eastern New England Council of HI-American Youth Hostels. 617-779-0900 x17

Adventure Cycling Association. Excellent source for bicycle maps and books. Publishes Cyclist's Yellow Pages annually, a collection of sources for bicycle tours, maps, advocacy, etc. in the U.S. and around the world. As an organization, Adventure Cycling develops bicycle routes and advocates for bicycle access and awareness. Publishes a good monthly magazine for members in addition to Yellow Pages. (Anne Anderson)

Adventurous Traveler Bookstore, 1-800-282-3963 A search on the word bicycle returns a long list of bike books, including several of those mentioned above, and you can order from the comfort of your SSL-enabled web browser using their secure server.

CycleBooks David White-Lief has many of the books listed above and says that he "will try to work all of the ones in print into my list."

Pedaling History Bicycling Museum 3943 North Buffalo Road, Orchard Park, NY 14127-1841, 716.662.3853. A great collection of historical information about bicycling, including vintage and collector books, reprints, and proceedings of the annual Cycling History Conferences, as well as other bicycle books.

Pete & Ed Books 5506 Madison Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46227, (800)793-7801 An extensive assortment of books about bicycling available by mail or phone order through their web page. Their catalog seems to cover the Midwest quite thoroughly, including maps as well as guidebooks, but they have books covering the whole world, sorted logically, with a brief description of each book.

Tamassee Guidebooks, Maps, & More, 401 West Main Street Walhalla, South Carolina 29691 Toll Free 888 770-5463, Fax 864 718-0042, email [email protected] They carry the bulk of bike titles and give wonderful service. (Madeleine Noland).

The Globe Pequot Press They publish a lot of bicycle touring and route books, including several covering New England. You can order from their Web site if your local bikeshop or bookstore doesn't carry the books you want. They suggest ways to find a bookstore from which to buy their books.

Rubel BikeMaps, 617.776.6567 [email protected]. Andy Rubel now publishes great bike maps of Eastern, Western, and Central Massachusetts as well as the second edition of his Cape Cod and Cape Ann map. He has also updated David Weaver's Boston Bike Map, originally done for the Boston Area Bicycle Coalition in the late 1970's.

Bicycle Books, San Francisco, CA. A few interesting books, including Cycling in Cyberspace.

Seidler Productions, Crawfordville, FL. Producers of the Effective Cycling Video and a long list of others.