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Bucket List, Cycle Touring

Bucket List #3: Cycling Destinations

As those of you who regularly follow Travel Destination Bucket List know, I love to travel and love to cycle.  To travel the world by bike, experiencing different cultures and getting up close and personal with the country side would be like a dream come true.  I have had the good fortune to have cycled across Canada, cycled Australia’s iconic Great Ocean Road and spent considerable bicycle holiday time cycling in Mallorca and France.  I still dream of cycling around Australia and have much of the trip mapped out – a major cycle touring bucket list item for sure.

cycle touring, road bikes

There are so many great places to cycle in this world – I am pleased to present my next list:

Bucket List #3:  Cycling Destinations.

Italy vacation

1.  Cycling Holiday in Italy

I have covered the island of Mallorca, cycled in France’s glorious regions of Provence and Brittany (Paris-Brest-Paris), but I still daydream of cycling holiday in Italy.  There are so many wonderful regions for cycling – I almost don’t even know where to begin!  While I usually embark on these adventures without the assistance of an organized tour – I have to say – a quick internet search landed me on the Cycle Italia site – and I love their philosopy:  “pedala forte, mangia bene!” (ride hard, eat well).  What a great philosophy for the next cycling holiday – destination Italy!  Who wouldn’t want to cycle tour through Tuscany or tackle the legendary Dolomites?

cycling trip, cycle tour, Italy

The road is there to ride! Photo credit: Cycle Italia website

2.  Cycling Holiday in Vietnam

Vietnam is such a popular cycling destination and that popularity is growing.  There are countless companies offering cycling tours of all levels and distances in the area.  Ride the countryside, enjoying a slower pace of life as you learn about the magic of Vietnam.  Enjoy stunning vistas of  rice paddies, emerald jungles and white beaches – visit ancient sites and cycle with the locals.  The experience is high on my list!

Photo credit: Green Trail Tours

CyclingTips offered some great tips for those doing it unsupported.

3.  Cycling Holiday in New Zealand

Cycling New Zealand – can you imagine anything more idyllic than a cruising the South Island by bike?  Touring the North Island is also becoming a popular choice.  How ever to decide – better do both.  The landscape and open roads, beautiful towns and a stop in the adventure capital of Queenstown – so many great places for riding.  New Zealand lends itself quite well to the independent cycling tour.  When living in Australia, many of my cycling friends would pack up and do a 2 week cycling vacation in New Zealand – I just never got the chance to go…

There are many web resources available for cycling New Zealand.  BackpackerBoard has a great piece about New Zealand cycle touring.  Lonely Planet is another great resource to check it out.

4.  Cycling Holiday in The Netherlands

photo credit: Freedom Treks

The home of cycling – The Netherlands – how can I not include the Dutch countryside on my list? The Dutch lowlands are touted as a cycling paradise – what a unique way to see the Dutch countryside and experience cycling nirvana.  Five  reasons to cycle in Holland – I couldn’t agree more.  Imagine all the great photo ops for a spring cycling vacation in Holland – the tulip fields and all their glorious colour!

5.  Grand Tour – Cycle Australia – Sydney to Sydney

road bikes, cycle tour, Australia

Definitely my dream trip.  I envision a 12 month trek, interspersed with experiencing the beauty of Australia as I go.  Certainly one of the most challenging of endeavours as the distance, climate and terrain all play a significant factor.  There will be days of stunning beauty, like the above picture – taken as we cycled the Great Ocean Road.  I am sure there will be long, tough days as the cycling route covers the Nullarbor and other remote regions scattered throughout Australia.  While I have done many trips alone – this will not be one of them!  When this dream finally happens, I am sure it will be the most rewarding – the experience, like when I cycled across Canada, will stay with me forever.

What is your dream cycling vacation hotspot?  Do you dream of a grand tour or cycling through the vineyards?  Groupo relaxo as you experience the culture of the region, stopping for coffee and sea side lunches, or pelting out the miles in training camp style?  Flat lands or climbing mountains?  Perhaps a cycling trip around the world?  Cycle touring or vacations on bikes are becoming more and more popular.  I certainly noticed on my last cycling vacation to Mallorca (trip #5) that there were greater numbers of cyclists out, and it thrills me to say that there are more and more women out each year – bicycle holidays are becoming a growing trend.  The Age – an Australian paper, had a very interesting article in their sports section – City Slickers – looking at the trend of travelling by bike.

A google search for “cycle touring” resulted in over 3 million hits, bicycle holidays nearly 23 million!  Whatever your dreams, whatever your goals – keep the rubber side down and enjoy the ride!

I am passionate about travel and cycling.  If you are too – please share!  The Twitter and Facebook buttons are happy to help!  We love comments too!  What amazing cycling destinations have you cycled through?

About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


34 thoughts on “Bucket List #3: Cycling Destinations

  1. I’ve cycled from Amsterdam to Den Helder and on to Texel Vlieland and Tershelling and back to Amsterdam during summer 2008. It was an amazing trip!

    Posted by apoetsjournal | May 18, 2012, 12:30 pm
  2. Hope to read of your dreams realised very soon. Having done Canterbury – Rome, and the Camino de Santiago, I now dream of Rome to Jerusalem….watch this space!

    Posted by Frank Burns | May 18, 2012, 1:16 pm
    • Rome to Jerusalem sounds pretty cool! Will that be by bike or by foot? I am hoping to walk the Camino de Santiago in the near future – the question will be – cycling in Italy or hiking the Camino – which will come first? I will watch your space – ditto for over here!

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 18, 2012, 4:00 pm
  3. I actually wonder how on earth you manage to find the funds to travel so extensively. Do you camp alot or work at various spots to earn money?

    We’ve done several self-loaded cycling trips. Just myself and dearie. Longest was 1,100 km. in Maritime provinces. Now I’m running out of space with this form. Must be the browser.

    Posted by Jean | May 18, 2012, 2:29 pm
    • Travel has always been a priority for me. I have always maximized on my holidays, minimized on my spending and squeezed in as much as possible! The trip across Canada cost more than I expected – it cut down on other things I had planned to do (I wanted to go hiking in the Atlas Mountains – that had to be postponed). When I went across Canada, my house was rented out. That helped as my mortgage was being paid by someone else. There are times when the books don’t entirely balance – but my philosophy has always been that I have a cushion of cash – once I hit that number – travel stops! I have only borrowed off my credit card once! Credit card debt is a nasty spiral – once you start paying interest – well, it is taking money away from travel. Don’t spend it if it isn’t there!

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 18, 2012, 4:05 pm
  4. While I’ve been ALL over the U.S. (in my trucking days),and visited a few other countries (in my ARMY days),I’ve yet to travel anywhere to bike*,you give me MUCH food for thought,my friend 🙂

    The DC

    *I did carry a bike with me when driving 18 wheelers all over,and have ridden in most of the states I’ve been through (I’ve been through all the lower 48 save 2)

    Posted by DisabledCyclist | May 18, 2012, 2:56 pm
    • Cycle touring is such an amazing way to see the world! I have known a few truck drivers that brought their bikes with them! I generally bring mine with me when I am travelling for work (if I can). Even if I only get out for an hour – it is a great way to finish off the day. Glad to have given your food for thought – it is yours to enjoy now! Happy rolling.

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 18, 2012, 4:08 pm
      • Ever think of adding a folding bike to your quiver? I sure wish I’d had one when trucking (my mtn bike always took one whole bunk in the back-way too pricey to hang off the cab for thieves),something to think about,it’d make it easier to take a bike with you on the times you normally couldn’t have maybe 🙂

        Posted by DisabledCyclist | May 18, 2012, 6:53 pm
      • I have a friend that travels with his Bike Friday when travelling for work and he loves it.
        Often, the opportunity to bike while at conferences is limited to non-existant – the meetings start with breakfast at 7am and often run to 5 or 6, with an hour (or less) before the evening program begins! I usually pack my shoes for those meetings and hope to go for a run or walk – and even that rarely happens! When I am away on my own, I always drive – bringing my bike or kayak is not a problem! Your idea is a good one DC – it would facilitate bringing the bike – if only it would create more hours in the day too!

        Posted by Anita Mac | May 19, 2012, 9:52 am
  5. Cycling in the Netherlands would be AWESOME!!! Have a Great Weekend:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | May 18, 2012, 9:23 pm
  6. Yay for New Zealand! What a fabulous choice if I do say so myself. I think you will find it rather stunning.

    Posted by miramiandmog | May 19, 2012, 2:00 am
    • I can only imagine! I have had the privilege of visiting NZ on a number of occasions – loved it! Have yet to take the bike – all my trips have been work related. I did rent a car and drive around Queenstown and down to Milford one time – fell in love with the area and am so glad I took the time before the meeting started! Loved it!

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 19, 2012, 9:55 am
  7. You are one busy lady… Kudos! 🙂

    Posted by eof737 | May 20, 2012, 10:17 pm
  8. Try cycling around Iceland (did that 2 years ago..), no traffic except around Reykjavik, awesome scenery…
    Cycling around Corsica this coming August.
    Dreams: London to Sydney and Cairo to Cape Town, but Italy or Oz sound cool too! Let me know when… I may join you!

    Posted by Javier Telletxea | May 24, 2012, 8:34 am
    • Very cool. I would love to go to Iceland. Cycling would be awesome. Cycling in Corsica sounds brilliant. Still finalizing next tour details – will certainly have info up about when I do! A week of cycling in Italy has been on my mind, although I would prefer 2!

      Posted by Anita Mac | May 24, 2012, 11:08 am
      • Iceland: windy ++, we were unlucky enough to get head winds (strong…) most days while cycling on the south (having said that, most folks, unlike us, were cycling counterclockwise so take that on mind if you get to go…)
        Corsica: I’ll try to stretch it to 3 weeks in August… really looking forward to it!
        Australia: lived in South Australia & the Northern Territory for 3 years. Itching for an excuse – any excuse – to go back.
        Touring the Basque country (north Spain – south west France) next week for 2 weeks…

        Posted by Javier Telletxea | May 27, 2012, 12:06 pm
      • Oh wow – sounds like you are in for a few fantastic weeks in Basque country! I love cycling in Spain – although I must admit, I have only cycled in Mallorca – it is a cyclist paradise!

        Posted by Anita Mac | May 28, 2012, 8:54 am
  9. Thanks for liking my “Inside” post.
    We’ve done a few self guided cycling tours– hope you’re getting to some of the places you mention!

    Posted by cyclingrandma | July 26, 2012, 3:22 pm
  10. My cycle tours in Chiapas along the Mexico/Guatemala border and another in Myanmar were epic. Go to Myanmar- NOW (http://wp.me/p2qivy-1q).

    Posted by Mike Knoche | November 26, 2012, 11:44 am
  11. Enjoy my story about cycling in Holland: http://www.gonomad.com/bicycle-tours/1006/holland-bike.html. I also recommend cycling tours with Bike Beyond Boundaries (http://bikebeyondboundaries.com/biking-tours), an American tour operator that has graciously sponsored me as a journalist on cycling tours in Egypt, South Africa and Colonial Mexico).

    Posted by WordGeisha | December 1, 2012, 2:36 am
    • Very cool. I have not heard of Bike Beyond Boundaries…a tour through South Africa would be pretty amazing. Colonial Mexico sounds great as well. Off the beaten beach track and into something with a little more history and culture I imagine.

      Posted by Anita Mac | December 1, 2012, 9:46 am
  12. Italy looks incredible. I’m so itchy at the mo to get out on my wheels again for an extended trip. I read that some of the great walks in NZ have opened their trails to tour bikes.

    Posted by Tracey | March 24, 2013, 10:12 pm
  13. Have you ever done the Camino de Santiago? A great trip across Northern Spain and very well worth it. You meet some amazing people and see some fantastic scenery.

    Posted by James | April 17, 2013, 11:23 am
  14. My cycling bucket list trip is Norway via Eastern Europe to Istanbul; one day it’ll happen.

    Posted by Leigh McAdam (@hikebiketravel) | August 25, 2013, 7:48 am


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