Have you always fancied a trip away with your bike? With ferry crossings taking you all over Europe, and fairly affordable options in terms of flying your bike abroad, there’s never been a better time to see the world on two wheels! Here are a few great places to head if you are on your bike!
New England, USA
New England is one of the most beautiful parts of America, and is a real haven for the cyclist. Known by many people in Britain as America’s Lake District, the scenery is at times breathtaking. There are some wonderful mapped routes in this part of the world which will be perfect for someone looking for a challenge, but there are also a wide range of trails and routes that are a bit easier on the thighs! You might want to conserve some energy for the great food you’ll find along the way!
You might think that Tenerife is nothing but a sunshine holiday destination, but think again! With incredible scenery, and the opportunity to go from seaside locations to over two and a half thousand metres above sea level in just a few miles, this is an incredible place to cycle. This is actually the location as chosen by Bradley Wiggins for his preparation prior to his Olympic success, so you know you are in for a challenge if you travel to Tenerife!
Isle of Man
OK, so it’s a little closer to home, but there’s no doubting the credentials on offer for keen cyclists. If you really want to pit your wits against the great outdoors, then the almost impossibly challenging motorbike TT course is there for the taking. If you search online you can find free downloadable routes that you can take with you to give you the best course through the wilderness. There’s also the End 2 End Mountain Bike challenge every year in September, if you’re looking for a bit of competition. This challenging course takes in around 75 kilometres of terrain which will have even the meanest cyclist struggling for breath!
The Camino de Santiago do Compostella is a famous cycling pilgrimage which runs from St Jean do Port, high up in the French Pyrenees, and runs all the way down to Santiago de Compostella, some 480 miles away, so this one isn’t for a just a few days! If you don’t think you can manage quite such a distance, you might be better off setting off from Leon in Castille, which takes you through one of the most stunning sections of the ride. Whichever option you go for though, you are going to see some of the most stunning scenery Europe has to offer.
Tuscany is not famous for its scenery for nothing. For anyone that has visited this part of the world, it has a quality that is incomparable, and trying to take this in from the window of a moving car or coach just won’t do! Cycling through Tuscany allows you to take in the beautiful views at your own pace, and really feel a part of the beautiful countryside. The other great thing about Tuscany is, of course, the food! Don’t be afraid to lean the bike up against a wall for an afternoon while you stop off at a vineyard for a little wine tasting. Then, back on the bike, to work up an appetite for the inevitable pizza at the end of your days cycling! Tuscany caters well for people looking to cycle at their own pace, with tranquil trails, and plenty of flat rides for those who don’t want to be racing up hills.
Prepare for a Trip
A trip to another country with your bicycle, of course, requires plenty of preparation. Undoubtedly you will want to do a lot of planning in relation to where you go and where you will ride, but you also need to think about the security of your property when you’re out there.
What To Bring
There are a lot of different things you need to bring on your trip, so I won’t give you a complete list. But here are a few you can start with:
- A backpack or saddlebags
- Cooking gear
- Camping gear
- Waterproof clothing
- Cycling clothing
Putting your bike through its paces over sometimes hundreds of miles could take its toll, so it’s important that you are insured for the journey. If you go online you can find a variety of different insurance packages which will work well for you, depending on what sort of trip you are taking. For the most part, you will find mostly UK based insurance policies that have an option of a 90 cover abroad. Sometimes you need to speak to the insurers, but there will always be a policy out there for you. A lot of people opt for insurance because of the level of cover and the relatively low cost. Of course, you have to check all the policies to find one that suits you, but this can be a good place to start.
Laura Ginn is a part time travel writer, part time intrepid two wheeled explorer! There’s nothing she likes more than to explore the unbeaten path, even if it’s just around the corner from her home!