This old book was my favorite find from our most recent annual summer trip to Manitoba. In a little museum in Carberry, near Brandon, I spied this anachronistic cover on a shelf of books for sale. The color scheme, fonts, and, most of all, the photograph–of two rigid-fork mountain bikes being ridden across what appears to be a sunny field by a good-looking man and woman (helmetless) wearing semi-cycling attire (check out the gloves!)--mark this volume as from the late 80s/early 90s.
But what really caught my eye was the phrase in the bottom right corner: “Gravel, paved, & off road routes.” Gravel? Really? And not only is the word gravel included in this list, it’s the first item in the list. Turns out this Manitoba Outdoor Adventure Guide: Cycling was published in 1989 by Fifth House (Saskatoon) and written by a then 32-year old Ruth Marr, who’s listed on the back cover as “a Winnipeg writer and ecologist.”