Even riding my bike on flat tarmac, I’ve managed to land myself in a hospital. And yet, I can’t give up going off-road. You might as well face it, you’re addicted to danger trails – so which ones do you want to ride?
Goat’s Gully, Whistler Bike Park
Any trail is dangerous if you don’t take proper precautions and take serious note of the conditions, and Goat’s Gully earns danger points on the grounds that looks can be deceptive.
It looks like typical roots and rocks but check out those steep drop hairpin bends that force the BC crew to approach each turn with extreme caution. And this is on a rainless day with great visibility. Goat’s Gully earns its reputation as an expert, double-black trail.
White Line, Arizona
It may be short but The White Line will only require one error of judgement for your day to go from good to bad. The trail requires you to ride in a straight line, drop a few feet, before doubling back on yourself. Sounds easy?
From the point of view of the rider, you can see that the surface is extremely angled so you have to commit to absolute trust in your inner tubes and tyres – as well as your ability to balance. Get it wrong and it’s quite a drop.
Cliffs of Moher, County of Clare
There seems to be a strange correlation between the beauty of a trail and its danger – and nothing demonstrates this better than The Cliffs of Moher. Not only do you need to be an expert mountain biker – you need to know and respect the lie of the land.
I told you it was beautiful. But the land beneath your wheels is as changeable and as treacherous as the weather above your head. Neil Martin’s channel shows off one of the most beautiful sections, with several riders keeping an eye out for each other. Sensible, in case one of you becomes unstuck.
Registering high on the “nope” scale, you do not only get a sense of beauty – you get a sense of deep history with passes and tunnels carved into the mountainsides of Northern Italy.
Although some sections are not particularly technical, your ride will be punctuated with areas that can kill you if you’re not applying your technical skills and full attention to the road. Not as simple as it sounds when you can gaze across a sublime and, at times, primaeval landscape.
Yungas Road, Bolivia
Even before you arrive at the ominously named “Death Road”, you have to navigate the risk of “express kidnappings”, roadblocks, and frequent political protests. Once you arrive at Death Road, you have to look out for dangerous weather, inconsistent trails, and other road users.
Some of the most beautiful sections of the Yungas Road are wide enough for Bolivians to believe they can drive wide trucks and articulated lorries along with them – and yet, you’ll be struggling to keep your bike stable. With 200 to 300 travellers killed along the road each year, the Yungas is only for the most extravagant thrill-seekers.