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Biking

One of the first things we learn to do as a child after walking, is learning to ride a bike. The self-propelled nature of riding a bicycle allows us to explore a new destination, charge downhill on a single-track, or cycle tour self sufficiently from one location to the next – often seeing parts of a country at a pace that is not easily achieved in a vehicle. The sense of satisfaction and self discovery on a bike is truly rewarding and will provide you with a lifetime of memories.

Mountain Biking and e-biking are booming, and most places in the world have bike trails, cycle paths, downhill parks or established routes to bike. Sometimes the greatest challenge is deciding which tracks and trails to bike, as there is such a variety to choose from. Incredible cross country and downhill mountain bike locations exist in Whistler - Canada, Utah and Colorado - USA, The Alps – France, Queenstown and Rotorua – New Zealand, Finale Ligure and Lake Garda – Italy, the Eastern Cape – South Africa, and numerous locations across Australia.

Cycle touring (while travelling through a country or across a key route) is a refreshing way to see a country. You can stay in hotels or hostels along the way, or choose to carry all your supplies and camp out in designated campgrounds. How about crossing the European Alps, travelling to the Himalayan outpost of Leh, cycling from Saint Petersburg to Istanbul, traversing Vietnam, discovering Patagonia, experiencing the Munda Biddi trail in Australia, crossing the Gyatso La Pass from Lhasa to Nepal, or linking the Pacific and Caribbean via the La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica.

Two great things about biking are that its a super social activity that can be shared with friends or family, and it's also very environmentally friendly. You do all the work and get out of the experience as much as you put into cranking the pedals. There are well established mountain bike communities in key destination locations too which makes getting to know the locals really easy. Why not plan your next adventure on a bike and enjoy the ride!

Ability

Biking ability depends a great deal on the type of biking adventure undertaken. For cycle touring and exploration, nothing more than the ability to ride a bike and have the fitness to go the distance is required. For more skilled undertakings such as cross country riding and single track, experience in the level of track or course you will ride is required. Skill develops quickly as you gain more experience and confidence with more challenging rides. From total beginner to pro, the great thing about biking around the world is there are options for everyone.

Gear Required

For rides organised by operators or outfitters, all technical riding equipment should be provided including bike, helmet, shoes, etc. Most people who get into biking sort their own clothing, shoes, helmet, bike computer and accessories early on to ensure a good fit for them – especially when travelling for bike adventures. Obviously travelling with a mountain bike or touring bike is difficult due to their size, and this is why many people choose to rent in-country. However dedicated riders will ultimately want their own bike and gear with them and planning accordingly for the countries you plan to visit is important.  

Biking

exploreGO Top Experiences

  • Ride one of the best mountain bike playgrounds in the world; The Alps, France
  • Explore some of the world’s best downhill and park mountain biking in Whistler, Canada
  • Park City, Utah for incredible single track in a high altitude setting
  • For sheer variety and quality, head to Rotorua or Queenstown, New Zealand
  • For rolling hills close to the coast, combined with tight trails, try Finale Ligure, France
  • Pedal the Pan-American Highway in Central America
  • Cycle the Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Traverse a new destination by bike: Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey, Cuba, Ireland, Lithuania
  • Ride steep mountain roads and trails in Peru and Bolivia
  • Explore temples dispersed in the jungle; Myanmar and Cambodia

Best time to travel

Biking adventures can be had year-round in most destinations.

Snow covered destinations will obviously not be operating, but biking during a shoulder season or off-season can also be great as there are much fewer people and you may have trails to yourself.

Spring, summer and autumn in most places are very good for biking adventures, and combining nice warm days and stunning views with a single track adventure, cross country ride, or meander through the countryside (or an entire country) are what exploring by bike is all about.

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exploreGO Top Tips:

  • One of the big decisions is rent a bike in-destination or take your own (especially if mountain biking or on an expedition style journey). Either way do a bunch of research as there are rewards and pitfalls with both. Taking your own ride: sort transport logistics including airlines, a tried and tested bike that is suited to you, cheaper than renting if on a longer trip, no extra fees for damaging your own bike. Renting a bike: hassle-free – just turn up and have a fully serviced bike that’s ready to ride, the chance to try out a new ride or something you wouldn’t normally own such a downhill or fat tyre bike, allows for freedom and flexibility if traveling pre or post your riding adventure.
  • Get in touch with a local bike shop when you arrive at your destination as this is a great way to find out local information, local-secret rides, getting a bike tune, and meeting new friends to ride with.
  • Sort all the travel logistics out prior to arrival: a valid passport with at least 6 months to run before expiry, check whether you need a visa for the country(s) visited, plan on getting enough local cash to get you through (and keep it in a couple of locations, including mostly in your hotel or accommodation), make sure relevant vaccinations are up to date, and create a packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything – or if there are things you need to source in-destination.

Related Experiences

Interested in Biking but seeking a different experience right now? Check out some suggested experiences below or click the link to browse our full suite of activities.

List Your Experience

exploreGO is currently sourcing the top Biking experiences from around the globe.

If you are an operator or guide and have an experience you want to list with us - Get In Touch.