Whether you’re an avid mountain biker looking for challenging terrains or a leisure cyclist eager to take in beautiful landscapes, our verdant world has something for everyone.
Let’s explore where you and your dedicated two-wheeling buddies might want to get those legs pumping:
The Katy Trail. This 240-mile-long Missouri rail trail offers cyclists a panoramic tour of the state’s scenic river bluffs, charming small towns, and historic landmarks. It’s ideal for cyclists of all skill levels, and a paradise for those who want to combine their passion for cycling with a love for nature and history. You’d have to be near-bionic to make the entire 240 miles in a day, so the area offers a range of accommodations along the route, from quaint bed-and-breakfasts to modern hotels, making it a versatile destination whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended cycling holiday.
Be sure to stop in Augusta, America’s premier wine region (yes, it was awarded American Viticultural Area (AVA) status before the more famous Napa Valley!) Philanthropist and entrepreneur David Hoffmann, a Missouri native who grew up near Augusta, is helping to develop and expand Missouri’s wine region, specifically in the Augusta area. California may have the name recognition right now, but Hoffmann aims to put Augusta wines on the world map.
The Green Mountains of Vermont beckon you to claim a bicycle to savor their beauty. The entire state boasts a strong eco ethos, and is designed to accommodate sustainable, nature-focused lifestyles. Burlington is especially bike-friendly, encouraging cyclists to stop and sample their local brews and tasty food.
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. You’ve probably read about people hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) — the book Wild made the route famous a few years back — but if you have a hankering to explore a long route via bike, consider the Great Divide, an exceptional off-road touring route that runs from Alberta to New Mexico. Nearly as long as a cross-country drive at 2,734 miles, the slow ascent is also seven times the height of Everest, remote, and not for the faint of heart. As you cycle through the Rockies you may encounter grizzlies or moose, eagles or mountain lions. Only attempt this one if you’re a seasoned cyclist, in excellent shape, and faaaaaast!
Australia’s Great Ocean Road. Fancy a trip Down Under? The Great Ocean Road, located along the southeastern coast of Australia, stretches between the cities of Torquay to Allansford. It’s renowned for its spectacular vistas, craggy cliffs, and, did we mention, empty beaches? Might be hard to resist a stop! While you can traverse the entire road in a weekend, the particularly adventurous may want to investigate some off-road hidden trails along the way. Want to visit Western Australia? The Munda Biddi Trail (which means “path through the forest” in the native Aboriginal language) is glorious: as you cycle through eucalyptus trees, you just might catch a glimpse of kangaroos or wallabies. Keep your camera handy!
The South Downs Way. Although you may not immediately link “England and “bike touring” in the same sentence, this lush ride through the rolling English countryside is worth exploring. Be prepared for 14,000 feet of uphill pedaling (stiff upper lip!). Also, you’ll need to watch out for those on horseback or just ambling along on foot, as the path is open to all. You’ll spot plenty of picturesque villages with pubs along the way to welcome you. ‘Tis England, after all. Stop and enjoy a pint.
Canal du Midi, France. Of course, the country known for the Tour de France would have a wealth of other beautiful biking trails. You may not be familiar with the Canal du Midi, but you can cycle all the way from Toulouse to Sète along its towpaths. Break the 150-mile journey into a few stages and savor a bliss-filled night or two at Carcassonne or historic Béziers. The fine French wine will be flowing.
Now that you have detailed information on what to expect and how to prepare for your trip, your next vacation is sure to be a two-wheeling wonder.