For cyclists, even the most textbook places open up from an unexpected angle. Plus, cycling is easier than you think. You don’t have to be an athlete to ride the European bike paths or the cities of the Golden Ring. And if you practice a little, then the Himalayas become on the shoulder.
Reconcile active holidays with the beach
Season: March-June and September-October
A man rides a bicycle near the Cinque Terre in Italy
The Italian Riviera beckons with turquoise seas, graceful old towns and cypress-scented air. It is good to wander along the winding streets, bask on the beach, and then dine on pasta with Genovese pesto sauce. Too little adventure? Then rent a bike and run around the local bike paths. You don’t have to aim for records: the coast of the Ligurian Sea is full of routes that even children can handle.
A good place to start is San Lorenzo al Mare, from which the bike path stretches to Ospedaletti. You will meet tunnels – do not be surprised: a railway used to pass here, instead of which smooth asphalt was laid. All 24 km can be covered in one day, and if you get tired, stop at any town along the way. Just try not to miss San Remo. Find out where Alfred Nobel lived, where the Cathedral of Christ the Savior came from in Italy, and in honor of which empress the embankment was named. And if you arrive in March, you will go straight to the flower festival – you can consider it a reward for a cycling trip.
Hiawatha Trail, USA
Season: mid-May-late September
On the border of the American states of Idaho and Montana lies the Bitterroot Range, part of the famous Rocky Mountains. The railroad used to pass through here, and now in its place is the 24-kilometer Hiawatha Bicycle Trail. A dirt road through a pine forest on the slopes of the mountains would be good on its own. But the Hiawatha Trail, as befits a mountain railway, runs over dizzyingly high bridges and dark, dark tunnels. The longest – St. Paul’s Tunnel, aka Taft – tests cyclists for strength for 2.7 km. It sounds intimidating, but even six-year-olds can handle the road.
They usually start at the highest point – East portal. Not only bicycles are rented here, but also helmets with flashlights, which are indispensable in the tunnels. It’s nice to scream and echo in the tunnels, just try not to scare fellow cyclists. The descent to the lowest point takes about two hours, if not in a hurry. You can get back to the car park at the start by shuttle bus.
Cross the Land of Snows
Lhasa, China – Kathmandu, Nepal
Season: April-June, end of August-mid-October
The road from mystical Lhasa to relaxed Kathmandu literally flies under the clouds. The 800-kilometer Friendship Highway climbs three passes above 5,000 meters, opening unbearably beautiful views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and other highest peaks. Then the road suddenly “collapses” from the high, empty and deserted Tibetan plateau to the Sino-Nepalese border at an altitude of less than 2 thousand meters: everything is covered with subtropical forest. The remaining 115 km to Kathmandu never tire of being amazed at how different Nepal is from China – including the quality of the road.
It is worth staying in Lhasa: firstly, to adapt to the altitude, and secondly, to feel the atmosphere of one of the most impressive cities in the world. Join the throng of Tibetan pilgrims twiddling the rosary and chanting mantras, and circle around the Potala and Jokhang, Lhasa’s two main shrines. A travel agency will help with the cycling program, without which they are still not allowed into Tibet. It also organizes a Tibetan pass, English- or Russian-speaking guides, an escort car and everything else you need for a bike tour in the Land of Snows.