Cycling is great. It’s good for you, it allows you to gem out into the fresh air, and it’s fun, too. While it’s possible to spend a great deal of money on the necessary equipment, it’s also possible to save yourself a great deal of time and money in commuting.
But as worthwhile as it might be to cycle over a short distance, it’s good to give yourself something more substantial work towards. A cycling challenge will allow you to pursue your hobby on a grand scale, and raise money for your favourite good cause in the process. To begin with, it’s worth considering the wealth of UK charity challenges available. But eventually, you’ll want to venture overseas. Let’s take a look at seven cycling trips that will challenge more advanced cyclists.
1. London to Paris
Cyclists looking for a challenge usually first look to cycle London to Paris. This is a trip that stretches over almost three-hundred miles over a four day route that winds through the countryside’s of both nations. You’ll find that the French are incredibly fond of cycling. The roads on the other side of the channel are well-tarmacked, and the locals will assuredly offer you their vocal encouragement – even if you can’t understand a word they’re saying. You’ll finish up beneath the shade of the Eiffel tower – the perfect setting in which to luxuriate in your triumph!
2. Paris to Geneva
The trip from Paris to Geneva is slightly more challenging than the one from London to Paris, as we’ve the not-inconsiderable obstacle of the Alps to surmount. The final leg of this route will take cyclists through the Jura Mountains, a sub-alpine region riddled with spectacular looping bends. Once you’ve conquered that, it’s all downhill to Geneva, where you’ll be able to toast your success by the famous Lake Geneva.
3. Milan to Monaco
If you’re looking to venture a little further south, then you might consider the route from Milan to Monaco. Cyclists will traverse 240 miles over three days, during which time they’ll encounter hilly, challenging terrain. Of course, the best thing about this particular trip is that it offers participants a chance to visit both Milan and Monaco. You’ll be able to indulge in a spot of tourism at both locations!
4. Brighton to Brussels
Next on our list we have this trip from Brighton to Brussels. The first day will see you from Brighton to Dover, where you’ll cross the channel to Calais by ferry. The second day will see you travel from Calais to the famous Bruges, where you’ll be able to see all of the famous locations experienced by Colin Farrell in the film ‘In Bruges’ – though hopefully you’ll enjoy them a lot more than he did. The third day will see you cycle from Bruges to Brussels, where you’ll finish the trip at the Grand Palace, and celebrate with a special dinner. What’s not to like?
5. Death Valley
For those looking for a more dramatic backdrop for their cycling excursions, it’s worth considering a trip through California’s Death Valley. This route will take your through the 420km of incredible, hot, dry desert. While this particular location is infamous for its incredible heat during the summer, this particular road trip is a great deal safer than you might suspect – but that’s not what you’ll tell friends and relatives when you announce that you’ve cycled through the valley of death!
6. Yosemite to San Francisco
The very same state is home to one of the world’s most beautiful national parks – Yosemite. The scenery in Yosemite is spectacular, in the main, for completely different reasons to Death Valley. While Death Valley is all scorched dirt and bones, Yosemite is a thriving forest, filled with spectacular rocky outcroppings and impossibly tall pines.
This trip will take cyclists from the heart of the park, all the way south into San Francisco – with a finish across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
7. Kilamanjaro to Ngorongoro Crater
If you’re looking for an African trip, then this cycling excursion, which adjoins two of the continent’s most famous landmarks, crams in more eye-popping scenery than most people see in an entire lifetime. Cyclists will traverse 350km of Africa, pedalling their way across both the Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, where they’ll encounter amazing wildlife and even more amazing scenery. This trip crams an enormous amount into just a week – and it’s sure to give you memories that will last a lifetime!
Images credit (under CCL) by order: Lily Monster,