Leisure & Culture #08

Touring Europe on Two Wheels: City Cycling Europe guides

Rapha Racing, Thames & Hudson

Written by RMM
Photos by ©Rapha

In cities around the world, the wheels are turning: bicycles are slowly but surely taking over as one of the preferred modes of transport. It’s no surprise, seeing as how cycling not only helps reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions but helps keep citizens healthy as well. Travelling by bike is usually one of the fastest ways to get around too – have you ever seen a traffic jam in a bike lane?

Despite its penchant for cobblestone streets and uneven terrain, Europe boasts one of the highest concentrations of bike-friendly cities. Copenhagen alone has 5.2 bicycles for every car and is the place where cycling is a sign of independent mobility. With European drivers getting more accustomed to cyclists on the road, and urban policy makers taking the benefits of cycling more seriously, Rapha Racing – a cycling product company – decided that it was the right time to push their passion for road riding even further. Thus, the City Cycling Europe guide was born.

《City Cycling Europe》is a collaboration by famous cycling products brand Rapha Racing and publisher Thames & Hudson.

Together with publisher Thames & Hudson, Rapha enlisted Max Leonard and Andrew Edwards to write and design a set of stylish pocket-sized guides covering the major cycling cities of Europe:

  • Amsterdam
  • Antwerp/Ghent
  • Barcelona
  • Berlin
  • Copenhagen
  • London
  • Milan
  • Paris
  • To bring out each city’s unique aesthetic and personality, the guides are fully illustrated (over 400 illustrations were specially created for this collection!) by local artists – Joost Stokhof for Amsterdam, and Henry McCausland for London are amongst the group.

    Since navigation is every biker’s best friend, expect to find detailed maps and functional layouts that make your bicycle adventures easier and a little more magical.

    The set of eight guides each feature “cycle-friendly neighbourhoods, itineraries, cycle maps and places to visit where cyclists are always welcome” – so there’s no fear of having nowhere to park your trusty companion. Bike routes are clearly marked out in each map, along with recommended places to have a cuppa or rest your weary legs. Neighbourhood bike shops and WiFi spots are also noted, along with your usual points of interests like museums, galleries and tourist spots.

    The series is perfect for those weekend getaways with your bike, and does away with all the stuffy seriousness that usual travel guides bring. Find out the best way to explore Montmartre’s bohemian delights and tourist sites by bike; or learn about how to train for your next bike race. The guides also reveal hidden gems like north London’s Hampstead, and Copenhagen’s Christianshavn and Islands Brygge that would bring a smile to any intrepid two-wheeler’s face. There’s no set itinerary or strict schedule for you to follow – just hop onto your bike and follow your heart (or the bicycle lanes).

    The City Cycling Europe guides certainly have something for everyone, from the seasoned cycler to the occasional peddler. Because it’s only common sense that the best way to get to know any city, is by bike.

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