The Casual Cyclist's Guide - Melbourne

This is a little book with a large appeal for many people - particularly those who love to travel on two wheels, not four. This newest edition promises to be 'bigger, better, bikier' and it achieves this by including new hand-drawn riding routes and a fully updated, suburb-by-suburb directory.

Far from being just a getting-to-work guide, this book takes you touring through Melbourne's suburbs and the city itself. So on one page you might find yourself guided past some of Melbourne's iconic CBD architecture and little-known back streets, and on another you and your companions might be headed for Footscray or even further afield.

It's a fun book, even for non-cyclists to read. The Casual Cyclist's Guide looks as much at the destination as the route, so one of the many contributors to this book might invite you to go nightclubbing, or to settle down for a picnic in the park, chase down some good beer or sake, join in a progressive Italian feast, search for vintage items, or nose-out a bowl of authentic laksa - without having to worry about parking!

In fact there's a chapter on 'five surprising situations when it's better to take the bike' - and ease of parking is not even one of them.

Matt Hurst, the mind behind this book, is founder of a bike-hire service, The Humble Vintage, as well as the popular Melbourne for Visitors and Casual Cyclists maps. He knows his stuff. He (and his co-writers) are obviously cycling enthusiasts as well as Melburnians, and the combination is this unique and bike-friendly book.

Subtitled 'routes, rants and raves about the city and the bike', whether you live in Melbourne, or are visiting and plan to hire or borrow a bike while in town, this is the book to have in your bag.

The Casual Cyclist's Guide to Melbourne, by Matthew Hurst & guests, published by Hardie Grant Books, September 2014, paperback, rrp $22.95, ISBN 9781 742707 891

- reviewed by Sally Hammond

 

 

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