Round II in The Whistler Bike Park. Credit to the riders
Drop down into the Weald of Kent: the rolling hills are gentle at first but you know you have Westerham Hill ahead, which keeps the legs pumping. Kent in the sun is a pretty, pastoral patchwork, and even in the rain it is never miserable. Stop off at Hever Castle for a quick history lesson before heading to The Swan pub, in West Peckham, for a homebrewed ale. With so many little roads linking up, you get a taste for an older England without ever having to do the same route twice.
Laguna Verde, Bolivia - Uyuni won out because nothing can prepare you for riding over its swathes of white salt, baked hard under a fantastically blue sky. This is a landscape just waiting for your imagination to paint it. Moreover, there is a bonus in the title - salt FLAT. The ride can be done in a day, which is probably advisable as nighttime temperatures sink to around -20°C (-4°F). Make sure you have fat tyres not road ones.
Lord of the Rings might have been filmed in New Zealand, but Norway was surely a strong contender. Jotunheimen, the highest mountain area in Scandinavia, offers endless options for the strong of thigh. The ride is a steep climb but crystal views of still mountain lakes along the way make it worthwhile. If you prefer fewer hills, try the Sognefjord Cycle Route between the towns of Borluag and Turtago: it combines mountains and fjords without causing your muscles to cannibalise themselves.
Woow!!! Swiss Alps Mountain Passes Swiss Tour: The mountain passes of the Alps are always a favourite with bikers, as the winding roads offer dramatic climbs and descents coupled with stunning views.
A portion of the Canal du Midi - wonderful bike trail
Shimanami Kaido That's a ramp. For bikes. A massive ramp for bikes, and it's only a tiny part of just one of the many such ramps on this route. The amount of money and planning and design and materials and effort that went into this bike route is pretty amazing and although I am not complaining, I have absolutely no idea why they would ever build something like this.
Located in the heart of Taiwan, the Sun Moon Lake has long been charming curious foreigners and local visitors alike. Its calm, turquoise water has also inspired many ancient Chinese poets and painters. The route around the largest lake in Taiwan is a three-hour ride, where visitors can enjoy lake scenery, experience Thao aboriginal culture and learn about the local ecology in the Nantou County. If you arrive in early spring, you can even catch the cherry blossoms near this mirror-like l...
The Karakoram Highway is the highest international road in the world, reaching an altitude of 4,700 meters at the Khunjerab Pass. Starting in Kashgar, China, cyclists can travel up to 1,200 kilometers on mostly unpaved roads, but the views are as breathtaking as the riding. The snow-capped Karakoram Mountains will always be within sight, towering over the Hunza Valley. You will also come across some small villages and towns near the Cathedral Ridge, with glaciers reaching the roa...
Biking is arguably the best way to explore Udaipur, Venice of the East. Cyclists often need to pedal past herdsmen and their goats and camels, sharing narrow, old pavements in this rustic but romantic city. But surrounded by ancient forts, temples and majestic palaces, Udaipur conjures one of the best biking experiences, allowing cyclists to truly discover rural India. How to get there: Udaipur is directly linked by rail with major cities including Delhi, Himatnagar, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ko...
Island Arch, Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
Kettle Valley Rail Trail, British Columbia — 280 miles The big attraction here are the stunning trestle bridges, long tunnels, and mountain scenery glimpsed from an easy grade that never exceeds 2.2%. (Many of the trestles were destroyed in a forest fire in 2003 but are being rebuilt. The photo shows a rebuilt trestle.) Ten days is a easy decent trip.
John Wayne Pioneer Trail - While this trail officially transects Washington state, only 113 miles of the final 200 mile trail have been developed (by 2007) and are presently open. You can get several overnights out of it. Great diversity of terrain: unshaded, dry sagebrush in east, glacial valleys and ranchlands in the west. Hard gravel. Biker/hiker camps.
Wexford is a unique golf, yachting and tennis community with an elaborate interior harbor. It boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, 37.5 acre harbor, lawn and racquet club, swimming pool, clubhouse and miles of bike trails. Best of all, Wexford is an active, friendly family-oriented community.
Hiawatha Bike Trail, Montana/Idaho - This popular bike ride follows an abandoned rail-bed 15 miles downhill through tunnels and over trestles to Pearson in Idaho. Ride both directions (2% grade back uphill) or take a shuttle bus back to the top. There is a fee for this ride and also the shuttle and it is not open all year so check the links below for more information. Also make sure you have something warm for the Taft tunnel and a good bike light and a helmet.
El Camino De La Muerte, Bolivia - Narrow sections (San Juan Pass being the most dangerous), blind curves, and climate changes all keep this road as one of the top places to go for thrill seekers. If you're superstitious, be sure and stop by the Witches' Market in La Paz for a good luck charm before your journey.
Kathmandu trail, Nepal - The ride from Lhasa to Kathmandu defies superlatives. The countryside covers an amazing range from barley filled valleys, dramatic arid passes, the grandeur of Everest to the almost unreal descent into the greenery of Nepal clinging to the walls of steep river gorges.
Samurai Trail Shikoku, Japan - Shikoku provides a rare window into ancient Japan. Here away from the crowds, we cycle along ancient Samurai paths that wind over mountain passes and along crystal clear mountain streams. Life appears to stand still in these remote valleys as we ride through old villages on narrow roads built for horses, where old gabled roof rural houses stand sentinel to the passing of time. The riding is mostly on nicely paved secondary roads that see little traffic.
Belgium - The country has miles of bicycle paths along romantic canals winding between quaint towns, charming castles, outdoor cafés and incredible restaurants. Wallonia is a biking lover's dream.
Picos de Europa, Spain - Situated on Spain's north coast and subject to the vagaries of Atlantic weather, they can be wet and sometimes wild, but the sense of adventure is well worth it.
Peloponnese, Greece - After all, where else can you cycle through a literal Arcadian idyll and end up at the home of the Olympic Games? Or perhaps you are a hardier soul and fancy a visit to the Spartans in their home city? The cycling is mainly on roads of slightly dubious quality and you're never very far from a hill of some magnitude.