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Fantastic bike touring author is writing a book about Washington State + How to support it & score a copy

Ellee gives a talk about bike touring at Bike Works in early 2013
Ellee gives a talk about bike touring at Bike Works in early 2013

Ellee Thalheimer, author of the fantastic book Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-day Tours in Oregon, is turning her gaze north for the next Cycling Sojourner adventure. That’s right: A brand new book featuring the best multi-day bike tours in Washington State.

If you can’t tell, I’m very excited about this.

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Also helping out on the book are Josh Cohen of The Bicycle Story, Martina Brimmer of Swift Industries, Katherine Widing and Steve Krippner.

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington is partnering on the project to help with funding the research as a way to help promote bicycle tourism in the state. More details on those efforts and the book from BikeWA:

It’s not every cycling guidebook that gives the bike-loving public a chance to help write the content, but Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Tours in Washington is doing just that. Participants in the Bicycle Alliance of Washington’s Walla Walla Wine Country benefit bike tour will join author Ellee Thalheimer in writing and researching this Southeastern Washington route on September 19th-22nd.  The tour fees will go directly to supporting the book’s creation and Washington bike tourism advocacy. Along with the bike tour, the guidebook’s Kickstarter campaign is running now through August 26th and allows backers to get everything from an autographed copy of the book to an original bike-themed musical performance to an organizational or business logo on the back cover, all helping fund the book’s development.

Ellee Thalheimer is owner of Into Action Publications and author of Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Bike Tours in Oregon and Hop in the Saddle: A Guide to Portland’s Craft Beer Scene, by Bike. For Cycling Sojourner Washington, she recruited four Washington authors, including: Katherine Widing, author of several books on bike travel; Josh Cohen of the The Bicycle Story; Martina Brimmer, founder and co-owner of Swift Industries, a Seattle manufacturer of handmade bicycle bags and panniers; and Steve Krippner, a GIS consultant who researched the John Wayne Trail for his master’s thesis.

The book will include 9-10 multi-day tours from all over the state from islands and river valleys to mountain climbs and the rolling hills of the Palouse. With detailed cue sheets and maps, as well as information on food, lodging, attractions, activities, and how to arrive by train, the book provides high-quality, in-depth coverage for riders with all budgets and all levels of cycle touring experience.

Yet the soul of the book, and what makes it unique in the guidebook genre, lies in the voices of the five authors who use storytelling, local history, and humor to elevate the book beyond just an everyday guidebook to an inspirational muse that draws out your inner adventurer.

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington is leading the fundraising effort for the book to promote Washington state’s opportunities for bike travel, which supports local economies and increases biking opportunities for individuals and families. Royalties from the book will support the efforts of the Bicycle Alliance to increase investments in bike infrastructure for everyday riders as well as bike travelers through its policy work on the state level, where it has led the efforts around passage of the majority of bike legislation adopted in the past 26 years since its founding.

“Bike travelers are fueled by calories and spend money in just about every town along the route,” said Bicycle Alliance executive director Barb Chamberlain. “It’s increasingly evident that bicycle tourism can benefit small towns and rural areas and help save and create jobs. We know bikes are business-friendly and the towns that welcome bike travelers will reap the benefits. And as the voice of bicycling statewide it’s part of our mission to showcase some of the hidden gems of our outstanding variety of riding experiences as a way of getting more people on bicycles. This book will help us grow bicycling and prove yet again why Washington is the nation’s #1 Bicycle-Friendly State.”

Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyclingsojournerwa/cycling-sojourner-a-guide-to-the-best-multi-day-to

The book’s website: www.cyclingsojourner.com or http://bicyclealliance.org/support-us/shop/cycling-sojourner-best-bike-tours-wa/

More details on the Wine Tour to benefit the book:

When: September 19-22, 2013

Where: Wine country around Walla Walla

Capacity: Up to 10

Registration: $1,800 (covers cost of conducting the tour with an additional tax-deductible donation to support the book’s production and printing)

Includes: Lodging, snacks to fuel riders, welcoming beverages at the end of each day’s riding, an autographed copy of the book when it’s released April 2014, and special commemorative gifts. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to/from the starting point in Walla Walla and for meals–many times the group will be split up for meals in order to follow their taste buds and investigate potential listings in the book.

For more information: Contact Louise McGrody, [email protected].

What participants will do: Thalheimer handles what she refers to as “the tedious, nitty-gritty parts of the chapter.” Depending on interests and abilities, tour participants will contribute to the restaurant, lodging, and attractions listings, as well as route descriptions. Don’t like to write? Help with creating cue sheets and marking up maps. Want to review wineries along the route? Perfect—that’s an essential element of this chapter. Intrigued by a quirky historical event or interesting trend in the area? It may rate a boxed text highlight. Photographer or videographer? A great eye for visuals could contribute to the book and/or to additional online content to benefit bike travelers.

Before the tour specific research assignments will be given to the riders, so each person’s task will be clear, depending on his/her interests and what needs to be done.

In the book at the beginning of the wine country chapter each tour participant will be given credit beside his/her photo as a contributor.

About the author:

Related posts:


2 responses to “Fantastic bike touring author is writing a book about Washington State + How to support it & score a copy”

  1. Thanks for the article, Tom. Seattle-area readers are sure to appreciate the significance of our stats on the Kickstarter campaign to date: We’re already at over 50% of the way to the goal less than 5 days after launching. Seattle Bike Blog is consistently in the #3 or #4 spot on the list of sites that refer people who turn into backers. So again, THANK YOU!


  2. […] We wrote about Cycling Sojourner less than a month ago when the Kickstarter launched. But you haven’t missed your chance to score a copy or more. With a full week left to raise the funds, Thalheimer and her backers at the Bicycle Alliance of Washington are pushing to hit $14,000, promising more coverage of day-trip-worthy trails in Washington. […]

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