Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
National Geographic has published it’s list of the Top 10 Cycling Routes. This is an interesting list and one to take a look at if you are planning a tour. Many of the miles on these routes are not paved and suffer from Bike Trail Syndrome.
From the National Geographic book Journeys of a Lifetime
- La Route Verte, Canada The newly completed Route Verte (Green Route) crosses the province of Quebec from east to west, running for more than 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) along carefully selected rights-of-way and rural roads. Well signed, it’s easy to follow and includes directions to interesting sites. The terrain and vistas vary immensely, from calm stretches along the St. Lawrence River to mountain views in the Laurentides.
- Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, U.S.A./Canada The Adventure Cycling Association developed this route from Mobile, Alabama, to Owen Sound, Ontario, to honor the bravery of slaves trying to reach freedom and those who helped them. There are five segments, adding up to a total distance of 2,057 miles (3,310 kilometers). Sites along the way highlight the route’s history, from former slave markets to museums dedicated to African-American history. www.adv-cycling.org
- Ruta Austral, Chile Mostly surfaced with graded but unpaved gravel, the route runs for more than 810 miles (1,300 kilometers) from Puerto Montt in central Chile, south through Caleta Yungay to Villa O’Higgins in northern Patagonia, with numerous ferryboat transfers along the way. You pass through wild and beautiful landscapes, including Queulat and Cerro Castillo national parks. Large stretches of native forest and enormous ferns surround Puyuhuapi Hot Springs, near Queulat.www.gochile.cl
- Munda Biddi Trail, Western Australia In the Noongar Aboriginal language, Munda Biddi means “path through the forest.” This cycling trail runs through miles of “jarrah forest”—from the local name for eucalyptus trees. The 206-mile (332-kilometer) section from Mundaring to Collie opened in July 2004, and two extensions will take it to Albany. You may encounter forest natives like western brush wallaby, western gray kangaroos, and brushtail possum. www.mundabiddi.org.au
- Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam If bikes and beaches mix well for you, Vietnam combines them on this 746-mile (1,200-kilometer) route between the country’s two biggest cities, taking you along vast stretches of sandy coastline. But it’s no picnic, as road surfaces vary considerably and there are many natural obstacles like the Hai Van Pass, the historical division point between North and South Vietnam.
- Gran Fondo Campagnolo, Italy This mass-participation ride through the Dolomites around Feltre honors Tulio Campagnolo, who invented the modern gear-shifting system, the derailleur. It takes place each year in mid-June, soon after the mountain roads are cleared of snow. You climb more than 13,780 feet (4,200 meters) along the 130-mile (209-kilometer) course, which tops four summits.www.infodolomiti.it
- Luchon to Bayonne, France The Tour de France crossed high mountain passes for the first time in 1910. On Stage 10, the most difficult that year, the winner took 14 hours to cycle the 202 miles (325 kilometers) from the mountain spa town of Luchon to the finish at Bayonne, crossing four major passes, all unpaved at the time. Tracing the route is simple—follow the roads that climb the same passes: the Peyresourde, Aspin, Tourmalet, and Aubisque. www.customgetaways.com, www.clevacances-65.com
- Route du Comte Jean, Belgium/France Belgium is known for its Vlaanderen Fietsroute (Flemish Cycle Route) along country roads and paths, many closed to vehicular traffic. The Route du Comte Jean (named for a 14th-century Flemish general) takes in 137 miles (220 kilometers) of the network, from Bruges into northern France. There are no mountains, but coastal winds present a challenge. www.visitbelgium.com
- Land’s End to John O’Groats, Britain Depending on your route choices, the distance can be 900 miles (1,450 kilometers) or more. Prevailing winds are more likely to be with you going north to south. Even if you take the long way in a relaxed fashion, you should have no problem beating the first official End-to-End record: 65 days, done in 1885 on a highwheeler. www.ctc.org.uk
- Cape Argus Pick ’n Pay Cycle Tour, South Africa At 68 miles (109 kilometers), the Cape Argus ride isn’t the world’s longest open-ride race, but with some 35,000 participants, it may be the biggest. The course does a loop of the Cape Peninsula with constant ups and downs. If you’re just happy to finish, you’ll enjoy the many coastal sections and the portions through Table Mountain National Park. www.cycletour.co.za
The 21st Annual Maine Bike Rally is July 10-12, 2009. This is a fun and affordable event. The $110 nonmember registration fee for 3 days includes tenting, meals and 1 Tee Shirt if you register by June 25th. I am planning to be there and hope you will be there also.
The Bike Rally will be in Fryeburg, Maine again this year. That is great bicycling country and near the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Fryeburg is out of the hustle and traffic of North Conway, NH but close enough if you want to hit the restaurants or outlets (no sales tax in NH).
The rally is sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, visit their site for more information.
Here is some of their information about the Rally:
The Maine Bike Rally is a much-beloved tradition that brings together hundreds of bicyclists from throughout the United States and Canada. The 2009 rally offers three days of road and off-road bike rides in beautiful western Maine and the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire for all levels of cyclists, plus a full weekend of family entertainment.
Rides from five to 100 miles showcase covered bridges, woodland trails, historic sites, local swimming holes and the historic Fryeburg Fairgrounds. There will be a Time Trail (where each bicyclist races against the clock), two century rides, several metric centuries, sunrise rides and stargazing night rides. The rally also will appeal to the non-cyclists in your family with canoeing, hiking, shopping and other attractions nearby.
Now in its 21st year, the rally features a colorful bike parade, ice cream social, music and other entertainment. Camping, food (including big breakfasts, picnic lunches and all-you-can-eat dinner), all rides, entertainment and a bike rally T-shirt are included in the affordable, weekend price if you preregister by June 25th.
An adult bike driving class (Smart Cycling-Traffic Skills 101) and a League Cycling Instructor training course will be offered in Fryeburg during the week before the rally
Tour la Nuit – June 5
Tour de L’ile de Montreal – June 7
It is time to start planning for the 2009 Montreal Bike Festival. The is a first class event and one of the biggest rides in the world. If you haven’t been to one go; if you have you know how much fun they are.
Go and be amazed at how well this event is organized. The tight organization keeps it fun. It is an incredible experience to be riding the streets of Montreal, traffic free, with over 30, 000 other riders. The amazing thing is that it doesn’t feel that crowded and you don’t feel oppressed by the crowd. It is just fun.
The Montreal Bike Festival is a week long event high lighted by the last day’s mass ride, Tour de L’ile de Montreal, La Féria du vélo de Montréal – Le Tour de l’Île de Montréal. Use this link to get information on tickets and places to stay.
I have stayed in the city and across the river; staying in the city is much more convenient and more fun. If you need an inexpensive place to stay try one of the hostels or get a room at one of the universities (nearby Hotels on Expedia).
The Ride begins and ends at Jeanne-Mance Park. The Circue de Soleil will be performing in the park, that should make the 25th Anniversary Ride a very special event.
Montreal may be the most bicycle friendly city in North America so you won’t need a car once you get there. Just watch out for the bicycle only traffic lights in the bike lanes, you probably haven’t seen those before.
Go and Ride, you’ll never forget the experience!!
I don’t listen to music while rideing but I love to bring my iPod Touch along.
1. I have always carried a book with me in my bike bag. With the iPod Touch I now carry as many books as I want in much less space. Plus if the light is dim .. no problem, the display is back lit. It is even easier for me to read a book in my sleeping bag on the iPod Touch than it is to read a paperback because the iPod Touch is easier to hold and I don’t have to hold a light in my teeth.
Here’s the latest update from the Hobo Bikers, Nancy and Randy. They have worked their way down from the Arctic Circle to Peru. Their letter follows but if you want to see more pictures and read about their amazing bicycle trips use these links:
Check out what Protland has done for bicyclists … bike boxes in the road. This is amazing and innovative. Cheers to Portland!!!
You have just sealed that ranking as number 1 bicycling city in North America for me.
Around Montreal you will see a lot of people bicycling on all kind of bikes. More riders means more need for Bicycling Rules. The folks in Quebec know the rules of the road for bicycling and will point them out to you if you don’t. So be prepared and read the Quebec Safe Cycling Guide – English before you go there.
The biggest change for most riders is the bicycle only stop lights. You will have to keep your eyes open for them as you ride the bike paths.
The Route I have been laying out crosses the border from the US into Canada and returns. So what do I need to do to be prepared for that crossing?
If you are looking for an Adventure ride, think about Newfoundland and Labrador. It will be the experience of a life time. Go prepared for solitude, wind and savage camping. Where else can you ride in July and watch ice bergs wander by? The roads are good and there isn’t much traffic so you will be able to enjoy your ride without the stress of traffic. I have ridden the Viking Trail from the Channel – Port aux Basques Ferry Terminal to St. Anthony/ L’Anse aux Meadows and will never forget that ride.
Link to: Part 1 of this series – Pedaling.com
I ride with a GPS but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still use and carry maps. It is much easier to plan routes with maps than GPS Map Software so maps are still essential for trip planning. I also still carry maps because GPS batteries run out and I like to plan side trips while on a tour. Planning side trips with just a GPS is OK if you want to get to the closest beer or pizza, in fact they are great for that. But if you want to add a side trip to visit places the locals tell you that you must see, you will need maps.