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Sneak Peek into Cycle Sojourner and Interview with the Author

This Thursday, June 7th, at 5:30 pm we’re welcoming author Ellee Thalheimer to launch her new book, Cycle Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Bike Touring in Oregon. Many of us here are frequent two-wheeled commuters with our Standing Stone bikes, and we thought this was a great opportunity to bring cycle touring tips and information to the brewery, for employees and community members alike to enjoy.

We asked the author to give us a sneak peek into Cycle Sojourner and tell us about her passion for cycling around the state.

What are the greatest benefits of bike touring?

There are so many reasons I love bike touring! Independent adventure is one reason – it’s the opposite of a passage vacation. The exercise aspect gives great endorphin highs, and, rather than the drained exhausted feeling you might get from traveling, you experience an invigorated exhausted feeling, which is a wonderful reward. When bike touring, there’s also more opportunity to talk with people. Other travelers and folks along the way are generally really interested in chatting with you and learning about what you’re doing. It makes for a rich social experience with people who may not otherwise start a conversation with you.

Why a book about bike touring?

Planning you own cycling tour can get kind of time intensive. It definitely takes more preparation than motor traveling, although once you do a tour you get it down pretty fast. This book is intended as a tool so people don’t have to spend as much time with logistics and can use it as a reference. We’ve gone through all the dirty work, learning about routes, road conditions, mileage, and elevation so cyclist can better prepare. I also believe we’re hurtling ourselves forward to being the best cycling state in the country. I found it incongruent that there’s not a lot of information out there for bike touring – Oregon hasn’t featured a book like this until right now. After receiving grants from Cycle Oregon and Travel Oregon we launched the project.

Where was your first Oregon Bike Tour?

My first tour in Oregon was actually my first tour ever, and I rode from Astoria to San Francisco with my father. I’ve found the coast is a popular and frequented route for bike tourists, but I also think some of the best cycling in the state is in Southern Oregon, though I have favorites all over the state. In my opinion, Crater Lake features some of the best routes in the region, if not the country. There are lots of really cool service roads and logging roads, and the views at Crater Lake National Park can’t be beat.

Tell us about your next project, Hop in the Saddle, pairing cycling and breweries in a Portland guide.

My editor is a beer and food writer. We were talking about including a snippet in Cycle Sojourner with a Portland brewery guide and found it was a whole other project all by itself. We kept going back to the idea and finally said, “Let’s make it happen!” Beer and bikes always seem to go together – people get super excited. So we chose to do the book, which you can expect to see in November. It’s full of easy routes in all the neighborhoods of Portland, with extended routes available if the reader wants a real cycling workout. The city has an amazing biking infrastructure and world-class craft breweries. With five to six stops in each neighborhood, the book includes easy routes, bike parking, and quick reviews of the brewpubs. It is 100% supporting local – businesses, breweries, and sustainable tourism.

Thanks Ellee! Cycle Sojourner is launching in Ashland, OR just in time before Cycle Oregon comes to the Rogue Valley for a two-day stay, September 12-14. This state-wide cycling tour rolls 2,000+ people all around the state, and we’re thrilled to welcome these outdoor enthusiasts to our area and show them around.

Grab you bike, come down to meet the author and pick up a copy of the book while you’re here to learn about great biking routes right in our regional backyard.

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