Ellee on tour. Photo via author’s website.
Portland, OR’s Ellee Thalheimer is an author, freelance travel writer, and avid bike tourist. Her newest book, Cycling Sojourner, is a guide to multi-day, self-supported touring in Oregon, the only one of its kind for the state. I reviewed the book last month then finally got a chance to talk to Ellee as she wrapped up her book tour and some exploratory bike touring for another potential touring guide. We spoke about her past experiences touring nationally and abroad, her background in writing, her process for Cycling Sojourner, and more.
Bicycle touring’s popularity is on the rise in America. There are no firm statistics available (though Adventure Cycling Association is actively collecting data to help change that), but it’s clear from the number of dedicated websites, blog posts, forums and the fact that nearly all major manufactures have an off-the-shelf touring bike available (certainly not true 10 years ago), more and more people are hitting the road for everything from overnight bike camping to multi-year tours. Unsurprisingly, Oregon seems to be at the forefront of states recognizing the economic potential of the bike touring industry. Oregon tourism website Travel Oregon promotes bike touring. Portland’s Cycle Wild leads guided bike camping trips. Path Less Pedaled is creating a video series about traveling Oregon by bike. And last month, Ellee Thalheimer made her contribution to the state’s burgeoning bike touring industry with the publication of her book Cycling Sojourner, Oregon’s first guide to self-supported, multi-day bike touring.
Cycling Sojourner offers its readers an in-depth guide to eight different tours around the state ranging from an easy several day cruise through Oregon wine country to a challenging week-long adventure out east that’s chock full of mountainous gravel climbs.