Cycle touring holidays: Holiday Activity Guide
"Cycling is one of the best ways to spend a holiday with or without companions. Though it is an excellent activity to share with others, cycling can be a liberating way to enjoy a holiday in solitary reflection. Throughout the world, there are a number of natural and urban landscapes ideal for conquering on a cycle tour. Before planning a cycle tour for holiday, the cyclist must ensure they have a healthy supply of materials for repair and maintenance. Expecting the unexpected is a healthy practice when packing for a tour. Additionally, the bicycle should complement the tour in terms of terrain.
Considered by many experts to be one of the most beneficial forms of exercise, cycling over a holiday may require some practice and training for the ultimate experience. Different tours may require more experience and strength than others, so it is imperative to research the topography for any cycle touring holiday. Training for a cycle holiday tour is often done in steps. Shorter rides are drawn out over days and weeks into longer rides to build endurance, while bursts of sprinting placed throughout help to strengthen muscles used for climbing and tough terrain."
Suggested cycle touring itineraries:
Route 100, Vermont, United States.
Some of the most picturesque land in the Northeastern United States is found through the mountains of Vermont. The 165-mile trek on route 100 through Vermont to the Canadian border is full of picturesque, lush topography. Throughout this journey, there are charming towns and communities dotted with old New England charm and mystique. There will be a number of demanding, mountainous climbs on this ride, and holiday touring cyclists should come prepared for the work. The iconic Ben and Jerry's ice cream headquarters is located along this route, and can serve as a nice respite from the calorie burning demands of the Green Mountain State.
Isle of Wight, England.
The South coast of England boasts an immaculate variety of landscape and terrain. Sheer cliffs hundreds of feet above the water are complemented by miles of lush, green pasture land. Though the Isle of Wight is generally accessible for holiday cycle tours on paved roads, cyclists must be aware of automobile traffic on narrow passages. The climbs on any cycling tour in Southern England are sure to be accompanied by winds of varying speed. Around the water, winds can make cycling a test of physical and mental endurance.
Maui, Hawaii, United States.
Maui is an idyllic setting for most leisure activities, but the integration of paved paths for recreational use has created a buzz for cycling tours. The range of a holiday cycling run in Maui can run from 20 miles to 70 miles, with variations in landscape to create completely different experiences. A number of runs hug the coastline on Maui, offering picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and its panoramic beauty. For the more adventurous cyclist there are options in the elevated lands of Hawaii's dormant volcanoes, which climb thousands of feet above sea level.
Nova Scotia, Canada.
The lands of coastal Nova Scotia provide plenty of smooth, planed surfaces for cycling tours. Nova Scotia is famous for its hamlets and fishing villages, many of which can be found around ideal cycling routes. When choosing a cycle touring holiday with routes along the coast, accommodations must be made to deal with the strong winds coming off the sea. Any excursion through Canada should be scheduled during the region's temperate seasons, as winter weather in coastal Canada can be treacherous.
Very few countries celebrate cycling like Italy, and the lands of the Barolo region are fantastic for the execution of a cycle touring holiday. Barolo is steeped in history, food and wine, making the trip equally satisfying from a leisure aspect as it is for the recreational athlete. There are countless roads winding through the rolling hills of Barolo that see little to no traffic and only slight moderations in elevation. A few tame climbs make the cycling experience one of enjoyment and sightseeing above tests of endurance. The lack of automobile traffic through many of the vineyard roads and farmlands make the region ideal for the learning cyclist on their first major holiday tour.
South Island, New Zealand.
Along the western coast of the South Island of New Zealand is an abundance of low-traffic roads with immaculate views of the landscape. New Zealand is widely considered one of the most topographically unique environments in the developed world, and South Island boasts miles of gorgeous terrain. In the shadow of Mount Cook lie endless ribbons of road rarely frequented by automobile or pedestrian traffic. And abundance of farmland and private farms has enabled the west end of South Island to maintain its isolated allure.
German Alpine Road, Austria and Germany.
A popular route for Europeans and cycling enthusiasts worldwide, the Alpine Road is accessible and manageable for riders of all skill levels. With startling views of the Alps visible throughout, the German Alpine Road is unique in its options for trips of all distances and skill levels. Many small off roads and villages provide options for shorter trips within the larger cycle holiday tour. The Alps are a daunting and awe-inspiring venue for any trip. Exploring the Alpine Road is an exciting journey, though best enjoyed during the summer months to avoid potential traffic congestion and poor weather.
North Sea Route, France and Holland.
Similar to the German Alpine Road, the North Sea Route through France and Holland offers its travelers a wide variety of landscape and difficulty. Sand dunes, small European villages and coastal spaces all prevail along the route, with stopping points available throughout its 250-mile distance. Cyclists who choose to complete the entire North Sea Route should come prepared with detailed directions and an understanding of the layout they face. The bike paths linked along the North Sea Route are less conspicuous than those of other cycle touring holiday destination.