Road Cycling Adventures
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” – Ernest Hemingway
Road cycling is an exhilarating sport that combines fitness, adventure, and the joy of exploring new horizons. Whether you're an avid cyclist or a beginner looking to dive into the world of road biking, there’s a plethora of enjoyable opportunities to be found.
Exploring routes near and far on a road bike opens up a world of adventure and discovery. You can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of scenic landscapes, explore charming towns, and uncover hidden gems that are often missed when traveling by car.
Whether you’re out for just a short loop from home, or a day-long exploration of an enticing location, you’ll forge a deeper connection with your surroundings, creating lasting memories and a sense of freedom on two wheels.
Naturally, cycling your own local roads offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with your community and explore the hidden gems in your own backyard. You’ll discover new routes, experience changing seasons, and witness the beauty of familiar landscapes from a different perspective.
But wait, there’s more! If you’d like to challenge yourself beyond an hour(s)-long pedal, consider these road cycling experiences:
For those who seek a different kind of road cycling experience, long-distance touring offers multi-day or even multi-week journeys, traversing countries or even continents. This type of cycling adventure offers the chance to explore vast landscapes, immerse oneself in nature, and experience the thrill of self-sufficiency.
Discover hidden gems, experience diverse cultures, and challenge yourself physically and mentally. Long-distance touring requires careful planning, including route selection, gear preparation, and navigation skills. The rewards, however, are immeasurable — a profound sense of accomplishment, breathtaking vistas, and encounters with fellow adventurers along the way.
Right here in the US, the American Cycling Association's TransAmerica route is an iconic long-distance cycling adventure that stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. Covering over 4,200 miles, this cross-country route takes cyclists through breathtaking landscapes, historic sites, and charming towns, offering an unforgettable journey for those seeking an epic cycling challenge.
For an adventure further away, look to Europe with its well-developed cycling infrastructure, an ideal destination for long-distance touring. The EuroVelo network spans 17 long-distance cycling routes, covering thousands of miles (well, kilometers – hey, you’re in Europe, after all) and connecting various countries. Popular routes include the EuroVelo 6, which follows the path of the Loire River in France, and the EuroVelo 15, known as the Rhine Cycle Route.
Clearly, long-distance touring necessitates some pretty heavy lifting when it comes to planning. Want someone else to work up those tricky logistics? Check out Trek Travel as they specialize in cycling vacations around the world. With a focus on creating exceptional experiences, Trek Travel offers guided trips, luxury accommodations, and top-notch support, allowing cyclists to explore stunning destinations while enjoying the thrill of the open road.
Exploring Europe by Bike
Did we catch your attention by bringing up Europe? European tours are a dream come true for many cyclists. Europe is a continent renowned for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and cycling-friendly infrastructure. From the iconic climbs of the French Alps to the scenic routes along the Italian coastline, there is a tour to suit every preference.
The Tour de France is undoubtedly the most famous road cycling event in Europe. This three-week race attracts professional riders from all corners of the globe. However, it is also possible for amateur cyclists to experience the Tour de France firsthand by participating in the Etape du Tour. This event allows enthusiasts to ride the same route as the professionals on closed roads, providing a taste of the intensity and excitement of the race.
Aside from the Tour de France, Europe offers numerous other cycling tours that showcase its diverse beauty. The Giro d'Italia in Italy, the Vuelta a España in Spain, and the Paris-Roubaix in France are just a few examples. These tours allow participants to soak in the rich cultural heritage of each country while challenging themselves on demanding routes.
Trek Travel offers some phenomenal European cycling packages – learn more on their website.
For those of you who enjoy chasing the thrill of the race, check out crit (shortened from criterium) racing, which is a form of road racing that takes place on closed-loop circuits, typically in urban settings. Unlike traditional road races, crits are fast-paced and intense, featuring multiple laps around a short course. With tight corners and narrow streets, crit racing demands exceptional bike handling skills, agility, and explosive bursts of speed.
Crit racing is known for its electric atmosphere, with spectators lining the streets, cheering on the racers. The races are usually short, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, making them highly spectator-friendly. This close proximity to the action provides an adrenaline rush for both participants and spectators alike.
The US has a thriving crit racing scene, with events like the Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, New York, and the Tulsa Tough in Oklahoma gaining popularity. Interested in testing your mettle? There are several upcoming crit races happening in our area – check out the NCNCA calendar for details.
In Europe, crit racing is equally exciting, with events like the London Nocturne in the United Kingdom and the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt in Germany drawing large crowds.
Crit racing offers a unique opportunity for cyclists to showcase their sprinting prowess and tactical skills. It requires quick decision-making, positioning within the peloton, and the ability to unleash raw power when it matters most. For those seeking intense competition in a dynamic environment, crit racing is the perfect avenue.
Discover Your Joy
Road bicycling encompasses a wide range of experiences, from the exploration of local routes, to the adventure of long-distance touring, to the grandeur of European tours, to the adrenaline rush of crit racing. Each experience offers a unique way to indulge in the sport, catering to different interests and goals.
Whether you're chasing the thrill of competition, seeking to conquer epic climbs, or simply looking to embark on a cycling adventure, road bicycling has something for everyone. So, grab your bike, hit the road, and let the two wheels take you on an unforgettable journey.