Cycling is a wonderful way to keep fit. Just some of its benefits include increasing your cardiovascular fitness, strengthening your muscles, and cutting your risk of illnesses such as heart disease and certain cancers.
Cycling also improves mental health, boosts your mood, and gives you an opportunity to get outdoors and explore the world around you in a different way.
In today’s post, we have rounded up some of our favorite cycling routes from all around the world. Hopefully they will inspire you to get out on your bike and start ticking off your own bicycle bucket list.
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (Canada & USA)
Image source: Bikepacking
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is the most important off-road cycling route in North America and one of the most famous in the world. It was first mapped by the Adventure Cycling Association in 1997.
The full route is around 2700 miles long and stretches from Banff in Alberta, Canada to the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, USA. Just some of the incredible things you’ll see along the route include the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming, the Indiana Pass in Colorado (the highest point on the route at 11,910 feet or 3630 meters), and the Chihuahuan Desert.
The record for cycling the entire GDMBR is currently held by British endurance cyclist Mike Hall, who completed the route in 13 days, 22 hours, and 51 minutes in 2016.
Land’s End to John O’Groats (United Kingdom)
Image source: Cycling Weekly
Land’s End to John O’Groats is on the bucket list of many long-distance cyclists in the UK and beyond. Land’s End is located on the tip of south-west England, and the traditional route takes you 1407 kilometers (about 847 miles) to John O’Groats in the far north-east of mainland Scotland.
Along the way, you’ll see some of the most beautiful and varied scenery the UK has to offer, from the wild coastlines of Cornwall, the Dartmoor national park, the Lake District, and the Scottish highlands.
LEJOG, as it’s commonly known, is such a popular route that travel companies offer supported cycling tours which include help with luggage, accommodation, and other practicalities. You can also create your own self-supported trip, if you prefer.
The record for cycling LEJOG on a conventional bicycle is held by Michael Broadwith, who completed it in 43 hours, 25 minutes and 13 seconds in 2018.
Lake Geneva (Switzerland)
Image source: Lake Geneva Switzerland
The Tour du Lac Léman (Cycle Around Lake Geneva) route is a well-signposted route that takes you on a full circuit around Switzerland’s incredible Lake Geneva. As Lake Geneva sits right on the border, you’ll actually cycle through both Switzerland and France in the course of this route.
You’ll enjoy stunning mountain vistas as well as seeing the various picturesque towns that sit alongside the lake. Highlights include the medieval Chateau de Chillon and the many vineyards—this is one of the largest wine-producing regions in Switzerland.
The full circuit around Lake Geneva is about 175km (109 miles) and experienced cyclists can expect it to take around six hours of cycling time. It is a relatively flat route, with only 800m of climbing in total.
The Shimanami Kaido (Japan)
Image source: Japan Guide
The Shimanami Kaido, located across a series of islands on the Hiroshima Prefecture in the west of Japan, is the shortest route on our list at just 64km (40 miles) in total length.
The Shimanami Kaido crosses over six islands via long-reaching bridges and offers fabulous ocean views throughout. The Kosanji Temple and views of the Seto Inland Sea are just two of the highlights you can look forward to.
Experienced cyclists can expect to complete the route in about 4 hours. More leisurely riders, or those stopping to admire the scenery along the way, should allow 10 hours. If you wish, it’s also easy to spread the trip over two days and stay at one of the many local hotels and guesthouses along the route.
Great Ocean Road (Australia)
Image source: Viator
The Great Ocean Road, located along the south west coast of Victoria in Australia, is a wonderful way to see this stunning part of the world. The most common cycling route begins in Torquay and stretches 243km (151 miles) to Warrnambool. If that sounds like too much, it’s easy to cycle a shorter section of the route instead.
The Great Ocean Road is a challenging route, with plenty of inclines and descents as well as road riding. Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of historic towns and villages, wild coastal scenery, and the Twelve Apostles limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell National Park.
Depending on your level of experience and how often you want to stop to admire the scenery, cycling the Great Ocean Road can take up to 10 days.