Whether discovering country lanes or city centers, it’s a fact: The best way to get to know any city is by bike. Thames + Hudson can appreciate that most of us like to do our sightseeing the cheap, eco-friendly and healthy way, and that’s why they joined forces with sophisticated cycling brand Rapha Racing to produce a series of City Cycling guides ($40) geared to helping you see Europe on two wheels.
Covering eight volumes — London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Antwerp/Ghent, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona and Milan — this excellent series of cycling guides is the work of design and writing duo Andrew Edwards and Max Leonard. The series promises to be a highly desirable addition to any rider’s bookcase — not to mention, inducing serious pangs of wanderlust.
Each volume contains everything you need to know to have a two-wheeled vacation — extensive maps marked with bike routes, plus tips on refueling points, bike shops, WiFi access, coffee + cake stops (essentials!). They also put you in the fast lane of learning local cycling etiquette and how to ride safely in each city. The guides are created and designed with the cyclist in mind, giving you the confidence to fully experience a city from the saddle.
Each guide features a different illustrator to portray a style unique to each city. There’s a big focus on shining a light on the less-traveled streets of “locals only” neighborhoods, with hip places to hang, under-the-radar pubs and locally owned bike shops listed. Think of these pocket-sized guides as akin to having a local cyclist to show you around.
Though the lovely design of the guides may tempt you to keep them in mint condition (even the little box they come in is pretty!), these guides are meant to be used. They’re slim enough to fit easily in a wider jean pocket or a backpack and are light enough that you’d take them with you while you exerting some serious pedal power.
Heading to a bike friendly destination this summer? Let us know in the comments below!