Cycling enthusiasts prepare thoroughly for the big summer event: a good chair or hammock, a television, the bigger the better, refreshments, drinks or coffees, good friends to comment on the best moments… and you are ready to follow the Cycling Tour to Spain, a classic of the naps of every summer. For those who are not satisfied with” practicing ” cycling on TV, perhaps it is time to prepare for a good sports trip on two wheels.
- The Borders, Scotland
The 7stanes (” seven stones”, in Gaelic) are seven mountain bike stations in territories of the Forestry Commission distributed by the Scottish Borders. From Kirroughtree, overlooking the Irish Sea, to Glentress and Innerleithen, south of Edinburgh, past Glentrool, Mabie, Dalbeattie, Ae and Newcastle, the 7stanes are world-famous for their routes, suitable for anyone and classified according to the level of difficulty. After getting used to the weather and the accent, the traveler can go to the Highlands and take advantage of the Scottish law of free access to natural spaces.
Glasgow and Edinburgh are the gateways to this tour.
- The Alps, France
The hills come alive with the screeching of the brakes; in summer the ski resorts of Haute-Savoie open the lifts to Mountain cyclists and the slopes of the largest mountain range in Europe become a territory of protected runners and integral helmets. The stations in the vast region of Portes du Soleil, such as Les Gets, have bicycle areas, bike parks with jump zones, downhill, and wall-rides, while in Verbier, you can walk narrow paths with a local guide.
In the high mountains there is snow all year round, and to enjoy them you can start from Geneva or Grenoble.
- North Island, New Zealand
New Zealand, a country of great outdoor enthusiasts, was a pioneer in mountain biking. Bicycles are prohibited in its national parks, but on the North Island, there are several Mountain Bike Parks, ideal for those looking for demanding routes. Makara Peak, a few minutes from downtown Wellington, hosts 100,000 cyclists every year. Further north, near the hot springs of Rotorua, the Whakarewa Forest offers 70 km of routes between pine, eucalyptus, and ferns. In the South Island go to the big one,: cyclists and bicycles can climb in a helicopter to the ski resort Coronet Peak, the Remarkables Mountains.
- Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
In Whistler Bike Park the cycling season starts in May: the snowboard is kept and the bikes are ready. British Columbia’s largest ski resort opened its ski lifts for the first time to cyclists in 1999 and today has more than 200 km of routes with an inclination of 1500 m vertical. If you get tired of being overtaken by ten-year-old children on tracks like A-line or Freight Train, venture along the country routes through. Other British Columbia stations, such as Sun Peaks and Silver Star, also open their doors to mountain bikers.
Whistler is located about a 2 h drive from Vancouver.
- The Rockies, Colorado, United States
For a reason, Denver, the state capital, is called Mile-High City, for its 1609 m altitude (one mile), a high-flying experience. The cyclists of the plain take a few days to acclimate to the height among the majestic landscapes of the western part of the state. In Durango, Crested Butte, Leadville, Telluride, Fruita, and Boulder the cyclists are part of the landscape; even the New Belgium Brewery, Colorado, has a call Fat Tire Ale, in memory of a bicycle trip through Europe. There are routes, such as the 401, that leave Crested Butte, that cover epic distances through remote Meadows and canyons.
- Himalayas, Nepal
The climbers arrived first, but finally, the mountain bikes have their place in the most spectacular mountain range that exists. Instead of walking up the Mountain Between yaks and sherpas, it is best to ride a bicycle and ride through the hills of Kathmandu Valley and the surroundings of Pokhara to the northwest of the capital. A mountain bike has always been a passport to adventure but here it is also a time machine; on the less trilled trails you discover hidden villages, with their pagodas and prayer wheels.
In Nepal, there are few mountain bike guides, but in the center of Kathmandu, you can find an agency.
- Marin County, California, United States
This is a tribute to the cradle of modern mountain biking. In the mid-seventies, in the firewall of Mount Tamalpais, a handful of enthusiasts with flannel shirts ran downhill with bicycle cruiser rugged tires. The authorities did not like the idea and equipped the forest guards with speed radars. After riding through the Tam, you can cross the Golden Gate and go to Downieville, in Gold Country, California: that is where the invention of those pioneers reached its full potential.
The gateway is San Francisco. You can go from April to October, but be careful with the snow at the highest levels.
- Finale Ligure, Italy
For mountain bikers, the perfect holiday includes sun, sea and a good dusty route. Finale Ligure, a city between Nice and Genoa, on the Italian Riviera, has everything. The chestnut collectors opened the first routes through the hills and Cabos of the area; today it is the cyclists who roll among the trees of this limestone terrain and full of dust. The reward after so many hours on the saddle is to eat mozzarella, fresh tomato and olive oil from the region overlooking the Mediterranean.
The Airports of Nice and Genoa are 1 h away. In summer it is very hot and the best time is spring and autumn.
- North Shore, British Columbia, Canada
“Follow me,” the guide will say. And the traveler answered, “really?”. North Shore circuits in Vancouver are the place where you explore your own boundaries. On the Coastal Mountains, local cyclists built bridges with logs and wooden stairs (they roll on huge rocks, not around them). From East to West, the key peaks are Mount Seymour, the Fromme, and Cypress. The winding routes between tsugas and cypresses are short, steep and intense.; many are not suitable for those suffering from vertigo, but others, such as Bangor on Mount Seymour and Lower Oil Can on the Fromme, are recommended for those with an intermediate level.
- Hurricane, Utah, United States
The ocean of rocks surrounding Moab, east of Utah, attracts crowds and sports magazines, but if you go to the ‘tables’ (plateaus) and plains surrounding Hurricane and Virgin you discover a new dimension of the mountain bike. In Gooseberry Mesa the singletrack routes embrace cliff edges and plot a path through rocky fields similar to the Martian landscape (a map and good indications are needed to find the beginning of the routes). To the north, the city of Virgin is the scene of the most extreme event: The Red Bull Rampage.