These are 5 cycle routes that we believe every cyclist should add to their wish list. Each one is unique and has its own breath-taking views, landscapes and places to explore. These routes will create a once in a life-time experience and what better way to experience them than on a bike?
The friendship highway runs from Lhasa, Tibet's capital city, to Kathmandu in Nepal and is 830km . It's is a very remote trail that has amazing raw scenery and landscapes. For the first few days it is recommended that you explore Lhasa to acclimatise to the altitude and lack of oxygen. The city has some amazing places that continue to carry on the traditions of the Tibetan way of life. Potala Plalace is an incredible sight when sitting above the city, the Barkhor (pilgrim) Circuit , alluring Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Temple are all wonderful and awe-inspiring places while visiting the city, and you can appreciate Tibetan culture.
The ride will take you past the Himalayas where cyclists can stay the night at the highest monastery in the world, Rongbuk , which is also the base camp for Mount Everest. Pedalling along the Tibetan Plateau offers the greatest reward of reaching the longest decent in the world and down into the incredible Kathmandu Valley .
The recommended months to go are between April and October, avoiding July and August as these are the rainy months. It can take up to 23 days to complete, with rest and exploratory days included and you will also need to be self-sufficient due to the lack of guest houses available.
The Great Ocean Road , Australia
This road is spectacular and striking due to the bright blue ocean and contrasting greenery framing both sides of the winding road. Cycling a long this road is very popular with many annual cycling events taking place such as Amy Gillet Gran Fondo , Bay in a Day and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race .
Situated between Warnambool and Peterborough The Bay of Islands Coastal Park provides spectacular views to ride beside. The Park has several lookout areas in which you can capture some fantastic photos of the rock stacks and cliffs.
Shipwreck Coast offers some fantastic stopping points such as Princetown , Port Campbell , and the most famous part of the ride is the Twelve Apostles . This coast also has a fascinating history, with only a third of the 700 shipwrecks in the area having been discovered. This ride will take past Cape Otway Lighthouse , which was built in 1846 in Otway National Park. It is open to visitors daily and gives tours of the inside, allowing you to see spectacular views from the top. The Great Ocean Road is a wonderful and unforgettable journey for any cyclist.
The Great Mountain Divide, North America and Mexico
The Great Mountain Divide will take you through open grasslands, high desserts, wild river valleys and mountain wildernesses . This route is simply mesmerising and will create plenty of fantastic memories. The trail starts from Canada and goes through the USA into Mexico. The total journey is 2,754 miles. It is a tough ride and is mainly off road cycling, riders will sometimes need to camp out and be prepared to encounter bears, bush fires, heavy rain and snow (but it's worth it!).
Cycling through beautiful national forests such as Helena National Forest , national parks like Glacier National Park and unrefined dessert such as The Chihuahuan Desert . This route also has a great variety of wildlife to look out for, wild horses, pronghorn antelopes, eagles, dears, mooses, bears, wolverines, wolves and many more. The Red Rocks Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to see these animals, and it has 230 species of bird to add to the list of wonderful animals.
Along this journey you will cycle under the rows of trees at Aspen Alley and visit one of the many ghost towns in the Sierra Madres mountain range, which adds even more excitement and thrills to the ride. This is a once in a lifetime experience and should be on every cyclist's list of routes to complete.
Holguin to Holguin, via La Farola, Cub
This route gives cyclists a chance to visit plenty of East Cuba's antiquated, vivacious villages and towns, such Niquero , Baracoa or Santiago de Cuba . Cuba is an amazing country to cycle in, it has a vibrant, fiery culture, and a captivating history. Due to its communist political situation, visiting it feels as though you have gone back in time. You will pass vintage cars, sugar cane plantations, banana trees, friendly locals, rugged roads and crumbling buildings, that altogether make a for sensational ride.
Holguin is a wonderful town to soak up Cuba's exciting culture, it has some lovely historical attractions such as the neoclassical building La Periquera, Museo Provincial de Historia . This was used as a barrack by the Spanish army during the war of independence and is the most famous building in Holguin. Loma de la Cruz is a small elevation in the city, that provided superb views of the Holguin, in 1790 a cross was put at the top to relive a drought.
La Farola , Cuba's highest mountain road, was built in the 1960's and sits amongst the Sierra del Purial mountains . It provides a link to the town Guantánamo which has the Stone Zoo or Zoologico de Piedra , you could also visit Martí Park which has a beautiful church , some shops and cafes. Cuba is a country like no other and is the perfect place for a dynamic and extraordinary cycle holiday.
On this route cyclist will begin at Hanoi City, the capital of Vietnam, and make their way Ho Chi Minh city. Another journey that has beautiful landscapes, historic cities, captivating landmarks and is an amazing road to travel. Cycling along this road will allow you to take in the enchanting limestone crags in Hạ Long Bay and the Imperial city of Hue . A great resting day could be spent visiting the Imperial Enclosure which was built in 1362 and was not finished for 203 years, or the Tomb of Khai Dinh . The Hai Van Pass , adds stunning and serene costal views to this ride, while Ho Chi Minh is a vibrant and energetic city, that creates a fantastic end to the ride.
Due to it being on a main road the heavy traffic can be daunting , especially as the road rules in Vietnam are not always adhered to. However, due to Highway 1 being a busy road and cycling being a popular mode of transport, the infrastructure of the road is good, meaning that there are wide shoulders to accommodate cyclists. Another good side to a heavy amount of traffic is that there are plenty of hotels, towns and stop off points to accommodate for all the travellers.