Are your normal training routes feeling lackluster and mundane? Time to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience by cycling some of the world’s most beautiful places.
Cycling through a new place combines the magic of endurance and adventure in an economic and leisurely way. Who could resist a spin through a far away land?
Life is short and the world is big. So ride your way to unforgettable memories with our list of the top 10 routes to ride before you die.
1: Easter Island
Feel the warm sea breeze and watch the waves crash on the cliffs of Easter Island, located at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania.
Cycling Easter island, though it requires some effort, is one of the most rewarding alternatives due to a lack of other riders. Feel like you have the island to yourself as you explore one of the world’s oldest heritage sites. Plus, because the island is so small, cycling around it comfortably to meet all of the mysterious Moai is a done-deal.
2: Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, Canada/USA
Experience a powerful piece of American history while riding 2,057 miles from Mobile, Alabama, to Owen Sound, Ontario. Developed by the Adventure Cycling Association, this route honors the bravery of slaves trying to reach freedom and those who helped them.
Sites along the way highlight the route’s history, from former slave markets to museums dedicated to African-American history.
3: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Boulder is the Girona, Spain of North America. Just like Girona many professional athletes call Boulder home and for good reason. There is on average over 300 days of sunshine a year, endless roads including gravel and pavement and always someone to join you for a quick ride or an epic adventure. The terrain makes for a perfect cycling adventure that will include plenty of elevation gain with spectacular views on each peak and even better descents toward the town below.
The only thing that could slow you down is the altitude, but easily remedy that by sipping a post-ride beer at one of Boulder’s many microbreweries.
Check out Boulder local and Wahooligan Kevin Scott Batchelor’s love-hate relationship with the Super Flagstaff climb.
4: Southwest, France
It’s hard to find the same energy and excitement toward all things cycling, in any other place as much as France.
But however classic, the French cycling culture is ripe for discovery. Amazing mountain roads, spectacular landscapes, small preserved villages, world-class food and great cycling infrastructure are a treat for cycling fans and professionals alike.
5: Peru’s Great Divide
Peru just might be the best-kept secret in the cycling world.
And this long, bike-packing trip through the Peruvian Cordillera mountains is a stunner to intermediate riders, taking them through mountain passes and majestic waterfalls. Along the way, riders will pass through small, traditional villages to stock up on supplies. This is a great adventure for those looking for solitude, for most of the time it’ll be just you and the road (no tourists in sight).
See how Wahooligan Anna McLeod Bike Packed the French Divide in 12 Days.
6: Majorca, Spain
If you close your eyes and imagine a paradise for cyclists, look no further than Majorca, Spain. The island surrounded by jewel-colored waters, hosts varied terrain from soaring stone mountains to rolling hills and agricultural plains.
Part of the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain, Majorca has long attracted vacationers seeking relaxation and beauty, and it is increasingly a coveted destination for road cyclists from around the world.
7: Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail, Canada
Fall in love with Canada and get a bang for your buck with Nova Scotia’s glorious Cabot Trail. Vistas, forest and ocean enthrall riders, making them feel like they’ve toured the Irish countryside (without the passport). This 298-km paved loop on Cape Breton Island is not for the cycle newbie, but with glutes of steel, riders can tackle it all in three to five days.
8: The Lake District, United Kingdom
The U.K. is not flat. Head up to the Lake District for a day of climbing steep grades with fast descents and unforgettable scenery. Hardknott Pass is one of the most difficult climbs in the area with a leg-searing 33% pitch as it makes its way up the steep mountainside. With climbs like Hardknott the effort is not for the weak of heart. Plan to work hard and put your climbing ability to the test with this ride.
Many U.K. cyclists plan their cycling vacation around riding in the Lake District but the landscape is vast and the roads are so quiet that you will forget that cars exist at all.
Wahooligan Rowley Clifford rode from Eurobike to his home in the United Kingdom last year, check out his journey home.
9: Girona, Spain
We would be remiss if we left Girona off this list. Spain makes two appearances on this list due to its landscape, weather, and access to amazing roads. The city of Girona is a short drive south from France and just to the west are the steep pitches of Andora. The cycling scene in Girona is something not to be missed. Roll up to your favorite cafe, ours is La Fabrica, grab a cafe and meet some people to head out for the day.
The options are endless in this region. Ride to the coast and take a dip in the ocean or head up to the mountains and test your mettle against legendary climbs like Roccacorba or Mare de Deu de Mont.
10: Friendship Highway, China
China’s Friendship Highway, a 500-mile scenic route connects the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, with the Chinese/Nepalese border at the Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge between Zhangmu and Kodari.
The scenery along the highway features important cultural monuments, the upper valley of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River, vast grasslands and meadows, and mountain vistas including five of the world’s highest peaks: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu and Shishapangma.
Cross a destination off your bucket list with an adventure in cycling! Show us how you Wahoo and tag us at #wahooligan to share your favorite places to ride.
Did we miss a destination? Leave your bucket list rides in the comments section below.