For many of us, learning to ride to a bicycle was one of the biggest milestone of childhood. Whether it was a hand-me-down Chopper or a lean five-speed racing model, a bike offered a precious first taste of freedom. And if you’ve always wanted to recapture that sense of exhilaration, or if you’re still a keen cyclist, why not consider a cycling holiday?
Cycling holidays are growing in popularity every year with holiday makers realising the benefits, both to physical and mental wellbeing. The European Cyclist Federation promotes cycling as a healthy and sustainable solution to many of the world’s woes. They are also a great way to experience travel to new places, with many options to suit all ages and abilities.
There are a huge variety of cycling holidays throughout the UK and Europe, and you can enjoy a leisurely, unhurried pace, the chance to explore local points of interest, and sample the local delicacies along the way. Staying in luxurious hotels, or cosy bed and breakfasts, the relaxed way of life will help you to enjoy a holiday away from the daily stresses, while still remaining active and adventurous. Many cycling holidays incorporate other interests you may have. If you enjoy wine tasting, experiencing nature or visiting atmospheric castles, there are holidays you can book that combine these activities.
Bespoke cycling holidays of many types can be arranged. Corporate, team building or even client hospitality trips are very popular. As are long distance charity cycle rides, and many large charitable donations have been raised through cycling and having fun along the way. Group holidays cycling through Europe are easily organised, and you even have the opportunity to ride along with, and chat to, Olympic medallists.
Many well-known travel destinations are also becoming famous for their access to local mountain biking trails if you are interested in exploring, and expending, a little more energy. Some of these trails follow the routes of the great cycling races, such as the Tour de France, and the awe inspiring climbs they include. The popular Mont Ventoux cycle trip takes in one such climb.
Some say Mont Ventoux is the hardest of all the mythical Tour de France uphill struggles, and, with an elevation of 1,909 m, quite rightly so. The mountain achieved worldwide notoriety when it claimed the life of the great English cyclist Tom Simpson in 1967.
Nicknamed the Beast of Provence, it demands respect from everyone who gazes in awe at its rugged face. Reaching skywards, the summit crowned by snow and clouds, wind speeds of over 200 mph have been recorded at its peak. Coniferous trees, such as cedars and wind-stunted junipers ascend from the foothills, while eagles soar overhead. The biological distinctiveness of the region was recognised by UNESCO in 1990. Its impressive regality has to be seen to be believed.
Taking an cycling holiday can be a great way to create new memories with friends and loved ones, whether enjoyed as a couple or in small groups. The adventure of shared experiences brings people together, and can make new friendships that last for years and years. The breathtaking views, the exploration of fresh and interesting places, and the sense of comradery while cycling create the perfect balance for a perfect holiday.