This is one of those collections of books that makes you think – “Perfect Christmas present… or maybe I’ll just keep it for myself”.
It’s a colourful collection of ultra slim (nice for two-wheel, hands-free weekend adventures) city guides to Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Antwerp/Ghent, Milan, Berlin and Barcelona: places where hiring bikes provides an appealing way to see the city. Pointers to great shops, cafés, galleries et al are peppered with cycle tips (Paris’ Rose Bakery on Rue des Martyrs might be a nice place to stop for lunch as the road is pretty steep, for example), or quiet backstreets that avoid the traffic, and give you a more romantic, behind-the-scenes view of a city. The focus is on trundling along on a bike in a leisurely weekend way, rather than boy-racer style (though the books are co-published by hipper-than-hip cycling brand Rapha).
These tomes aren’t too prescriptive – they don’t give you strict routes, just how best to explore suggested streets and areas by bike, so you can potter about in your own way, rather than having to keep stopping every 5 minutes to check you are on course. The illustrations, from local artists, are fun too, as are the refuelling boxes: where to eat, drink, check in with WiFi or drop in for a puncture repair.