For some people, the perfect holiday is staying at home and working on the house. For others it is languid beach vacation, drinking piña colada and working on the tan. Others like the more cultural holiday, visiting museums, galleries and old buildings.
But for a select breed of people all the above are simply not ideal. Many prefer something a little more active, an adventure holiday if you will. This could be hiking or diving or, if you are a cycling enthusiast, it could be a vacation with a bicycle at the centre.
If you have never tried a cycling holiday maybe it is something you should start to plan for. Here are a few ideas.
Not everyone is a born cyclist and if you are keen, but your family is less enthusiastic about the idea, then you will have to find a way to sell it. The idea of a proper off-road experience could be just the thing. We are talking a trip into the sand dunes of the Kalahari or the snow-covered mountains of the alps.
We are talking about mountain biking. Those bikes with the super-wide Maxxis bicycle tyres that are designed to spread the load and make light work of normally arduous terrain. It will be slow and enjoyable and the whole family will enjoy it.
Follow the Tour
You don’t have to be a cyclist to know about the Tour de France; it is cycling’s most famous and prominent event. Unless you are an elite athlete you are also never going to ride in the Tour. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t sample some of the experience and ride a portion of the route.
There are now many companies that offer amateur riders the opportunity to ride parts of the route in the days after the professionals have completed it. It is summer in France which is a great experience anyway but covering the route and getting to sample the extraordinary feats of the winners and their teams are quite an opportunity.
There is number of destinations that lend themselves perfectly to languid cycling holidays. Slovenia is famous as a country that is great to cycle around. Not too big and with safe and wide roads and incredible landscapes it is a great place to relax with friends and a bike.
Another great destination is Scotland where cycling and whisky have been combined to great effect. Distillery tours on bicycles are starting to prove very popular. The roads are quiet and done right the peloton gets to take in a couple of distilleries a day. That is interspersed with a spot of laid-back cycling and often a ferry ride or two as you move between islands.
One of the best ways to see a city is to walk it. But if time is tight then cycling is just as good – you are still above ground and you just move a bit faster than you would on foot. Many cities are also geared to travel on bicycles, you just need to do a bit of research. Riding around a city gives you a great perspective of its layout and its people. Often the bikes are available for free or a nominal fee. It really is a great way to discover new places.