For many, traveling by bicycle is the opposite of the contemporary trend of rapid, fly-in, fly-out travel. In fact, it is extremely difficult to imagine a greater way to discover a nation than by bicycle, quietly riding through the countryside as it unfolds before you. Cycling allows you time to appreciate your surroundings, separates you from other tourists, and, maybe best of all, is environmentally friendly, causing no damage to the environment you’ve gone to see. The major attraction of a bicycle is that it resembles a very efficient form of walking in its purest form. Whether you are an enthusiast looking at the latest cycling odds, or just looking for new routes to cycle, here are some of the best cycling routes in the world.
Simply take the bicycle, jump on, and peddle fast – to the store, the bar, or wherever the destination may be. Nevertheless, some riders enjoy more exciting journeys. Possibly even picturesque, isolated, and arduous. Here are five incredible journeys from across the globe that might take anything from a day to many months to accomplish.
La Farola (the lighthouse road), one of Cuba’s seven contemporary technical wonders, connects the beach hamlet of Cajobabo on the dry Caribbean coast to Baracoa, the country’s charming oldest city.
The 34-mile-long (55-kilometer-long) route passes the steep-sided Sierra del Puril, winding precipitously through a vista of granite cliffs and pine-scented forest before abruptly plunging into the lush tropical beauty of the Atlantic coastline.
It gives riders a typical Tour de France-style test with steep ascents, exhilarating descents, and generally smooth roads. La Farola begins 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Santiago de Cuba and is thus best included in a larger Cuban cycling tour. You might also hire a cab to transport you to the starting location.
The 800 kilometers (500 miles) between Lhasa and the Nepalese border may or may not be the most beautiful trek in the world, depending on your tolerance for high-altitude desolation.
It is the tallest.
The route includes three road crossings over 5,000 meters, with the highest point being the 5,220-meter-high Gyatso La mountain pass, where on a clear day, one may get a sight of Everest in the distance. This is not suitable for everyone. The distance between communities necessitates meticulous planning, and in addition, the political climate in Tibet may make travel problematic.
From the religious and cultural splendors of Lhasa and Gyantse to the prayer flag-draped summit of the Gampa La mountain pass, with Yamdrok Yumtso flaming in the valley below, this remains one of the world’s most authentic experiences.
The trail ends with a 3,500-meter descent down the Tibetan plateau on muddy hairpins, which is perhaps the longest plummet in the biking world.
La Ruta de los Conquistadores
This 270-kilometer off-road journey through Costa Rica is shorter than the Friendship Highway but probably no easier.
This route from the Pacific to the Caribbean includes mud roads, jungle, coffee farms, and an extinct volcano. In November, as part of the annual mountain bike race from which the trip derives its name, it may be completed in three days. Those who are not in a hurry may spend as much time as they want, whenever they want, retracing the itinerary of the title’s primary conquistador, the sixteenth-century Spanish conqueror Juan de Cavallon.
In an area about the size of Switzerland, Costa Rica has a great array of natural wonders, with nearly a quarter of the territory constituting a national park; La Ruta provides a fair sample of this.
Another epic is set in Western Australia, one of the most remote regions on earth. At least with the Munda Biddi, route organizers may be on the side of the cyclist. Slightly.
Munda Biddi, which means “way through the forest” in the local indigenous language, is a newly finished 960-kilometer (596-mile) off-road route through the wooded wilderness that goes from near the state capital, Perth, to Albany in the extreme southwest.
Less-ambitious hikers may traverse shorter, less arduous parts in a single day or more, and the official website provides information on the sometimes muddy path conditions. Anyone making the whole trek would be prudent to avoid the peak of summer’s heat and arrive well-prepared. However, every 30 kilometers or so between cities, there are approved campsites with sleeping huts and a water supply.
North Sea Cycle
The NSCR, also known by the somewhat less dramatic term Euro Velo Route 12, is a nightmare for Euroskeptics, an EU-funded epic spanning eight nations that promise to be the world’s longest signed bike route.
It stretches from the northern border of Scotland’s Shetland Islands along the shores of Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway for over 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles).
It goes without saying that nobody needs to attempt the whole thing, although inevitably, a surprising number of people do. Mostly throughout a succession of summers. The hottest place on this trip is probably somewhere around Ostend on the Belgian coast, but it is not suitable for the winter.
The most daring Dutch riders populate the official NSCR website with obscure advice on how to get Danish krone while entering the country and how to transport themselves and their bicycle across the seas.