Good times keep rolling this fall…
Snow’s beginning to fall here in the Rockies, but I’m sure some of you out there are still reluctant to put away your wheels for the winter just yet. Keeping that in mind, here’s a little teaser for you, excerpted from the UK Telegraph’s list of the Six greatest bicycle treks:
The Icefields Parkway is so called because it passes dozens of mountain glaciers, a few awesomely close at hand, others mere scraps of ice tucked high in the snowy tops. The route is a classic car drive. Caravans and SUVs come roaring this way every summer carrying wannabe backwoodsmen to a comfortable, air-conditioned date with Mother Nature.
Pacific Coast Highway
On America’s west coast, it runs for 2,000 miles between the cool Canadian and hot Mexican borders – a route so famously scenic (and long) it has been called the finest ride of all. Crashing seas and a diverse landscape are marred only by the sprawling motor-hell of Los Angeles. The trip requires five to six weeks but you can sample slices.
The new Loire à Velo cycle path (www.loire-a-velo.fr), though still being extended, is complete between Tours and Angers, a 100-mile stretch that provides fantastic, flat, signposted cycling through Saumur and Chinon, past châteaux and near limitless cafés and restaurants.
The Great Ocean Road
This coastal ride runs through southern Australia from just outside the surfing town of Torquay, an hour out of Melbourne, to Warnambool, a sandy bay some 200 miles to the west. Cycle between soaring banks of eucalyptus and gaunt seacliffs and the famous Twelve Apostles. The downside of the route is that many cars use it, though traffic reduces sharply from October to December. Best of all, when you get to Warnambool you can get a train back to Melbourne.
An unusual cycling alternative is to go big-game spotting by bike in South Africa, in a small group trip that includes an armed guard, and runs through Kruger National Park and the grasslands of the Millwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland.
North Sea Cycle Route
For sheer scope, this 3,750-mile epic is probably the greatest biking challenge of all. Aided by endless signposts and a incredibly detailed information resource, the route takes in eight countries – Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Scotland and England – in one gigantic circle, linked where necessary by ferries. Some people do the whole shebang. Others take it in bites. I sampled the route through Holland and found myself cycling over a breathtaking dyke that cut across more than 20 miles of ocean. And that was just the beginning.