The Rough Stuff Cycling in the Alps guide book was compiled by Fred Wright and self-published in 2002.
It preserved the collective wisdom of generations of riders who pioneered riding the 'rough stuff' - riders who headed into the high peaks armed only with touring bikes and canvas rucksacks, sandals and floppy hats, crossing mountain ranges and joining up towns and famous cols on little-known gravel tracks, dirt trails and even icy climbs(!).
This was gravel biking before gravel bikes - mountain biking before mountain bikes, in some cases.
The book contained nearly 300 routes, ranging from easy unsurfaced roads at little more than 1000m to steep footpaths above 3000m, and from the southern French Alps to Switzerland, the Dolomites and the Austrian Tirol.
The entries often included detailed personal accounts of when the route was ridden, and the book also offered tips for beginners, advice on equipment and maps, and suggestions for routes not covered in the guide.
More and more of us are choosing to head off the beaten track with our bikes. Adventure touring, gravel biking, bikepacking - whatever you call it, we all want to get out there. The Alps are one of cycling's ultimate playgrounds, and this guide is an invaluable resource of practical information about cycling in some of the most remote and beautiful places in Europe.
This new edition includes;
- 16 new hand-drawn maps, showing the areas covered and the routes described, so that readers can easily locate the main towns and road passes, and the potential unpaved tracks and paths to navigate between them
- A beautiful overall Alps map illustrated by Stefan Amato of Pannier.cc
- An extended colour photo section. Fred included just four photos of his adventures. We will have at least 16 pages of original photos taken by Fred and other pioneers of rough stuff riding in the Alps. See the pics in this campaign for a selection.
- A new introduction by Fred Wright himself, explaining the genesis of the book and recounting his riding life.
A new postscript by James Olsen (founder of the Torino-Nice
Rally, who used the guide to create the TNR) on rough stuff in the 21st century. This will give advice for using the book in the age of mountain bikes and gravel bikes, bikepacking luggage, 3G and GPS
- Updated information - for example, on the availability of paper maps and adding a few suggested routes where possible.