06 April 2011

Recommended Reading: Guide to Climbing

The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike) in Colorado

I recently received a copy of this brand new book (published in 2011) by the author John Summerson. I have been diving into it's pages for nights in a row. For those of us who no longer panic when the road before us arches skyward, but instead simply raise our gaze to the horizon with determination, this is the book for you. A climber's manual to the climbs in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado!

I really like this book, the first thing you will notice is it's size (6"x4.5"). You can hold it in your hand like an old fashioned guide book. It is fun. The second thought you might entertain is, I have a lot more climbs to climb! The book lists out the greatest, the highest, the longest, the steepest, the most technical descents, and the most scenic. It makes me want to get out and ride my bike.

I am so impressed that John Summerson gathered such perfect and consistent detail about every climb in Colorado (he explains in the book exactly how he did it). As I turned page after page I thought he rode most of these climbs, I want to do that! He begins with a background and history about climbing in the sport, but quickly begins to lay out the details of each major climb in our glorious state of Colorado.

For years I have searched for this information online and only come up with a very partial list of maybe 12-20 climbs. This book is well done and complete, he even includes profiles with gradients. Buy it. You will read it and refer to it. The book is available through your local book store, or at Amazon.com now: Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike) In Colorado [Paperback] John Summerson (Author) $12.89. Other Complete Guides to Climbing including California, the Southwest, and a condensed National version.

With the new USA Pro Cycling Challenge coming to town to motivate you, the Triple Bypass and the traditional Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado events coming up this summer, this is the time to get out and ride some of these mountain passes yourself. This book might create an entirely new Bucket List for you. I recommend it.