We know what you’re thinking. Europe is way too small for your ambitions. Don’t worry. We got you covered. If you want to leave the Old Continent this year and start one truly epic adventure far away, let’s at least offer you the 5 best cycling routes in the world, which you will undoubtedly love.
Golden Gate Bridge Loop, California, The United States
We start off our world tour with a quick visit to the United States. New York has a lot to offer not only for you but for your partner. They can stroll down 5th Avenue while you are dashing through the Hudson River “Riverside walk”. Still, when it comes to cycling, San Francisco is the North American Mecca. The Sunset City has the infrastructure and the curves to excite you. And what better way to commemorate your visit to San Fran than going through the Golden Gate Bridge with your bike?
The Golden Gate Bridge Loop will take you on a journey across the mesmerising northern area of the city where you will climb up to 220 m. The entire 42.3-km adventure is not that hard but it will offer you some great views of the whole of San Francisco Bay. In addition, you will have the chance to cross the Golden Gate Bridge twice and take an Instagram-worthy pic of this engineering masterpiece from above.
The ride can be done for as little as two and a half hours, as there are hardly any steep climbs. The highest gradient you will have to conquer is around 12%. Still, we’d suggest taking your time and taking some snaps. It’s not every day you visit such a majestic place.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
The Great Ocean Road is one of the most iconic coastal roads in the entire world. And what do we do with iconic roads? We ride on them, of course. The entire route is 271 km long, and it would usually take about 4 days to complete. This will give you enough time to take your snaps and enjoy the scenery. However, if you are up for some challenge, you can always take it in one ride. The route is quite astounding with its views and can offer you some mesmerising scenery. Make sure you don’t forget to breathe while passing the Twelve Apostles.
Your journey will start at Geelong, just several miles southwest of Melbourne. Over the 271-km-long ride, you will have two steep climbs. The first will take you from 0 to above 300 m and drop you back to sea level. The second one is just 20 km down the road. Unfortunately, that’s the bigger one, and it will take you from 0 to 460 m in just under 16 km. That might not sound as tough as some other routes you’ve tried but keep in mind you’ll already have passed more than 150 km at that point.
The ride will take you through some pretty awesome beaches, where you can take a quick swim if you need a break. Just be mindful of the waves, currents and sharks. On second thought, you better stick to your bike and marvel at the water from above.
The Shimanami Kaido, Japan
Japan is a great place to have a cycling vacation. It has so much to offer and so many places you can visit. Whether you are a roadie or an MTB rider, you can choose where to try your skills. Still, if we have to choose one place from this otherwise cycling paradise, we would go with The Shimanami Kaido. Essentially, that’s a road connecting seven smaller islands to mainland Japan. The entire length of the road is 89.4 kilometres and, despite the long distance, this one is relatively easy. However, it presents some mesmerising views and a lot of culture along the way. This is a dream come true for every avid cyclist as the route is relatively flat, with minor climbs reaching a 10-12% gradient.
Your journey will begin at Honshu, Onomichi and will end at Shikoku. Along the way, you will enjoy the fantastic views of the dotted islands, and if you are a sushi lover, be prepared to stuff yourself full of these delicious rolls. So, while the ride can be taken easily in about 4 hours, we recommend you enjoy the views, food and sights along the way. If you have the chance, you can even go a step further and return the same way with some minor deviations in the route.
Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa
Nothing will improve your stamina like running away with your bike from a cheetah or a lion. While that’s not something we would recommend, riding in Africa can actually be a lot of fun. The continent offers a lot of magnificent routes. However, some could be a bit dangerous due to wildlife and criminals. However, if you try your luck in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, chances are you will have a great time and enjoy one truly remarkable ride. Still, if we had to choose one route in Africa, we would definitely go for the iconic Cape Good Hope ride. This route is part of the Tour of South Africa and follows the road from the 200-year-old fisherman village of Simon’s Town right to the tip of the iconic cape.
Along the ride, you will have a spectacular view of the sapphire-blue ocean and False Bay, as well as the mesmerising surrounding nature. The 28-km ride is quite curvy, though you will only ascend around 350 m with an average gradient of 1%. Still, you will have to conquer 9% slopes at the most challenging climbs. Finally, about 5 km before the endpoint, you will have the opportunity to see the gorgeous lighthouse overlooking the ocean as if staring at Antarctica.
Finally, if you are brave enough to taste the water, you can check out either Maclear Beach or Diaz Beach. That’s what we call a perfect finish of a perfect ride.
Death Road, Bolivia
With a welcoming name like this, how can we not add the Death Road to our list of the best cycling routes in the world? In fact, that would be the most challenging route you’ve ever tried. Compared to it, Alpe d’Huez is a gentle ride in the park. The infamous route starts at Senda Verde Animal Refuge and goes right to La Paz. However, only the first 29 km of this 86.8-km journey are through the Death Road. The rest is on a high mountain road, which is breathtaking and extremely hard to climb but not that dangerous.
Death Road is well-known as the most dangerous road in the entire world. Still, that definition has been given for vehicle traffic. The road is actually quite spacious for bikes. We recommend using gravel tyres for this ride for extra grip and safety.
The name, however, is not the real challenge. In the 86-km ride, you will have to climb nearly 4,000 metres. That’s not a typo. Your journey will start from 1,266 m and will reach up to 4,676 m above sea level. If that’s not intimidating enough, some slopes will reach a 46% gradient, while the average will lay around 13%. The good news is that the last 26 km are entirely descending. So you will have some pretty well-deserved rest before getting to La Paz.
While you ride, don’t forget to look around and even stop to enjoy the breathtaking views around you. Not just everyone can brag about riding at 4,600 m above sea level. So, enjoy the moment while taking a breather every once in a while.
The entire ride can be taken in about 7 hours. However, we would suggest allocating at least 10 hours for this journey. Moreover, make sure the weather will be fine and that it hasn’t rained heavily in the past few days. Remember, you are going through the Death Road, and there is a reason for its infamy.
Now everyone can tour the world
Sadly we are well aware of the truth – not everyone can travel the world and enjoy riding these mesmerising places. On the other hand, everyone can visit and ride such breathtaking routes virtually, thanks to ROUVY’s Augmented Reality. It’s just like being there, without the flights, crippling jet lag and several thousand euros you will have to pay for accommodations and transport. It’s truly the next best thing after being there. We invite you to check out Rio de Janeiro and the world-famous Copacabana where you can take a quick 16-km ride along the renowned beach. You won’t be able to have a quick swim but hey, as if you weren’t going to cycle these roads if you had the chance. Come one! Let’s see if you can make it in under 20 minutes.