The National Geographic travel guide, Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Greatest Trips features 22 Top 10 list of odd travels. One of them is the World's Top 10 bike trails.
Blogger Andres Restrepo has gone to the trouble of finding online links, images and descriptions of these ten biking trails, chosen as he puts it "for their beauty, length and excitement." Great work Andres, and I'm personally pleased to see that down under was able to score a mention in the list. The trips selected by National Geographic, according to Andres are:
No 1. Route Verte (Canada)
"criss-crosses QuÃ©bec from north to south and east to west, lining up more than 4,000 kilometres of biking explorations."
No 2. Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (U.S.A./Canada)
"Upon crossing into Ohio, the route enters Canada at the Peace Bridge near Buffalo, New York. In Ontario, the route follows the shores of Lake Ontario and ends at Owen Sound, a town founded by freedom seekers in 1857."
No 3. Ruta Austral (Chile)
"Proud and arrogant, its wild natural beauty seduces with a bit of drunkenness and make us witness, in the silente night, of the incommensurable green greatness of the deep one and the frozen snow."
No 4. Munda Biddi Trail (Australia)
" There are few places left in the world where a 900-kilometre track could be built through an undeveloped natural corridor... you have the ideal setting for an off-road cycle trail [middle pic]."
No 5. Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
"We will cycle along a coastline of quaint fishing villages, unspoiled beaches, stunning lagoons, and cross dramatic headlands with spectacular views."
No 6. Gran Fondo Campagnolo (Italy)
"The Gran Fondo Campagnolo is the Italian version of L'Etape du Tour. It ... takes place in the beautiful southern Dolomite region of Italy. The event starts and finishes in the small town of Feltre, and is mountainous, but there is a choice of either 110km Medio Fondo, or the full 208km (Gran Fondo)."
No 7. Luchon/Bayonne (France)
"Luchon-Bayonne biking trail has been taking cyclists across the Pyrenees mountains from the towns of Luchon to Bayonne since 1946. After warming up a hundred meters or so, first you'll have to conquer Peyresourde pass before reaching downhill (17km) the town of Arreau in the valley of Aure."
No 8. Route du Comte Jean (Belgium/France)
Not a heap of info in English on this ride, (You just have to buy the National Geo book!), but does seem to include Antwerp and Zeebrugge and might be around 220 km long.
No 9. Land's End/John O'Groats (Britain)
Around 1,000 or so miles, depending on the route chosen, the United Kingdom, end to end.
No 10. Cape Argus Pick'n Pay Cycle Tour (South Africa)
Andres didn't have text on this one either, but we can tell you that it is the world's largest individually timed cycle race, attracting over 35,000 cyclists, who ride the spectacular and gruelling 109km route [right hand pic] around Cape Town.
But head over the Andres' blog, ::Semio6 for the links that he could find, plus more pix and longer descriptions.
No doubt many readers have other long distance bike rides they would've like to have seen on this list. Go ahead, share with us.