With every passing year, more and more people make a name for themselves as they join the cycling community. Well, this partly because cycling enthusiasts enjoy the lovely outdoor terrains of the high mountains and low valleys, not to mention the ever-present challenge of conquering these places. For instance, the North Sea Cycle Route in Europe has about 4000 miles of different but beautiful terrain.
The best part is that you do not have to be Marianne Vos to enjoy bicycle trips. In fact, all you need is comfortable gear and refreshments to keep you going. Unlike touring with cars, bicycles don’t require fuel, so you won’t have to worry about stopping for fuel. Additionally, cycling this way is a great way to keep fit when you are traveling on vacation.
Where to Start?
Before we get started, if you are new to biking, you should pick up handbooks for the location you’re biking on. They are great as they help you understand various laws on biking and safe practices to follow.
If you happen to be new to cycling, or you are merely looking for a challenge, the following destinations are guaranteed to make it worth your while. The following are 13 of the best cycling destinations in the world.
What better place to start than the home of the world-famous Tour de France. According to France Trips.com, France has over 12 regions that have been listed as cycling routes! What’s even better is that most of these routes are challenging. Bicycling has been popular here for more than a century.
Did you know that Paris was one of the vet first cities to offer free bicycles to its inhabitants? So, this is a great place to start whether you are looking for a challenge or just touring for fun. Furthermore, you will be treated to beautiful surroundings including views of France’s best geographical features, such as mountains, well preserved ancient villages, and so much more.
Of course, the States had to make it on this list. The USA has an abundance of beautiful landscapes. From cold, rocky mountains to vast lands of deserts, this place is guaranteed to meet your biking needs. If you want a challenge, there are many places to get started. In fact, you could even sign up for races to meet fellow enthusiasts.
According to National Geographic Journals, there are over 4000 miles of dedicated biking land on the TransAmerica bike trail! Even better, the infrastructure is excellent, with low traffic, so you don’t have to worry about fumes and cars. Where to start? The best place to start your USA biking expedition is The San Juan Islands. Other cool areas to cycle include the Pacific Coast, Southern Utah, Vermont, and Redwoods, just to mention a few.
I am sure you’ve seen lots of postage stamps with a beautiful feature from New Zealand. As it turns out, the country has wild and steep roads from mountain tops to beautiful lakesides. Start at the Otago Peninsula. The scenario is great, to say the least.
Argentina has one of the best landscapes and terrain of any country. The beautiful geographical features and harsh environment make Argentina one of the best places for bike touring, whether you are looking for a challenge or you are simply touring. One of the best places to start in this vast country is the county side of Mendoza city. However, if you are an expert, start biking on the beautiful valley of Lujan de Cuyo.
Still in South America, Chile is arguably the best place to enjoy nature while biking. This country literally has it all, wild weather patterns, thick forests, beautiful mountain trails, gorgeous desert roads, and a few snowy mountains. Want a great place to start, why don’t you go for the Carretera Austra which is punctuated with unpaved roads and beautiful sightings.
We couldn’t resist the home of Safaris. However, Africa’s Gold mining Capital is full of beautiful scenery, including mountains, rural and well-preserved villages, waterfalls, seafront pathways, and many more. You name it South Africa has it. For cyclists looking for a tourist destination, you could start at the Karoo and enjoy a pleasant and beautiful waterfall that’s surrounded by mountain passes and beautiful farms. For cyclists looking for a challenge, you could start at the thick Knysna Forest, that’s punctuated with canopy tours.
Known for its vibrant colors and energy, India will fill you with excitement. Apart from the breathtaking sightings and world tourist destinations, India actually advocates for cycling. When riding, you will probably sight loads of monasteries, quiet and ancient tribes, and of course, the Taj Mahal. Need a place to start? Udaipur to the Taj Mahal pathway will open up to other beautiful lakes, streams, and rivers, not to mention the forts and temples you’ll encounter.
Norway has breathtaking views, mountainous environs, and cold climate. The serenity of the environs makes it one of the most popular areas known to man. If you love biking, Norway will love you even more. There is so much terrain for biking; you can camp anywhere, discover animals and food.
As you bike in Norway, you will get to challenge yourself with each terrain you encounter. Trondheim, Narvik, and Mo I Rana are the most popular places to practice your craft as you take in the beautiful atmosphere.
Start the week by cycling through vast lands in Kazakhstan. The environs are full of magic and terrain to be explored and appreciated. You will get to improve your craft here at the Tian Shan. The foot of the hills is filled with gravel and surfaced roads to give you a mixture of both worlds.
Don’t miss out on Charyn Canyon, which is nothing short of spectacular. It dates back to the Silk Road to the Kegen Plateau and Lake Tuzkol. You will find yourself at the colorful environs of ALtyn-Eme National Park. Here there are sandstones, and you will get to hike up to 120m of the Singing Sand Dune. The site is simply unbelievable.
Vietnam and Laos
Tackle through trails of Laos Mountain today. The challenging backroad adventure that leads north-west Vietnam into Laos will have you gasping for air once you are done.
The regions are filled with vast terrain that will have you cycling through and through. Take your wheels up in the Sapa region along steep terrain to catch the midday sun. You will find yourself in Luang Prabang, which is regarded as the World’s Top City by Wanderlust.
Add on to your pilgrimage by biking with intrepid’s Cycle the Camino de Santiago trip. The UNESCO World Heritage trail is over 250 km filled with fresh air, serenity, and breathtaking views. The road leads to small villages and rural hotels.
Bike through the Castilian plains to the El Bierzo’s valley, pedal through the lush countryside as you admire tapas and finish off at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Here you will get to interact with people from all over the world, drink to a brim of the famous wine and drool over fine art and destination. Spain is not a terrain to miss out on.
Cambodia is beautiful, lush, and surreal, especially on a bike. The country is filled with sites that do not go unnoticed and unexplored. If you haven’t heard of Angkor Wat road that leads to the Cardamom Mountains, then you must be living under a rock.
The trip to Cambodia is not complete until you take your wheels oo the sandy beaches. There are rice paddles to pedal through; old temple ruins full of history, eerie destinations, and lush national parks.
You will track through the heist peaks of the Atlas and wind up at the Sand Dunes of the Sahara Desert. The environs of Morocco are nothing short of ornate and eerie. You will get to experience the height of all emotions on this biking expedition.
Jebel Sahro region was made for bikers to enjoy. The perfect climate, continental breeze mixed with a tinge of erratic temperature, will have you appreciate nature all over again.
The adventure is a great way to escape the dullness of the winter. Get lost in the Atlas peaks and pass by the 1000 Kasbahs today in Morocco. The pink and ochre mountains will have you dwindling on their ornate outlook.
Life on a bicycle can be a daunting task due to exposure. Depending on the terrain you want to explore, you will need to be fit. Try biking every day to avoid saddle soreness, especially when you take on the Atlas.
It is highly recommended that you start with a tour guide in the beginning. Various companies offer biking tours. Identify a trip that matches your fitness level and go for it.
Before going for a bike tour, ensure that you understand the making of a bike. Learn how o change tubes, repair punctures, and replace the chain-link. The bike is not a complicated machine; you can get any knowledge online or self-taught.
When going on a bike tour, always wear your baggy shorts. Cotton based clothes, coupled with comfortable closed shoes, are great for cycling. It is paramount that you pack light.
You can find further guidance on the Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook,2006. You can also browse through biking websites such as crazyguyonabike.com if you are a beginner. Tour d’Afrique will give you varied options when it comes to biking tours. They operate in cycles through Africa, Asia, and Latin America.