So what does that mean for you? For many of us here at Timbuk2, from our retail stores in North America, Korea, Japan, Norway, China, Singapore and Thailand to our office staff here in San Francisco, riding more bikes is high up on our list. So, when we asked our ridiculously travel savvy friends and Bay Area neighbors at Intrepid Travel, what they’d recommend, they sent us their list of the Top 3 Bike Rides of 2015.
Here’s what made the list:
Nicaragua & Costa Rica
Central America is a burgeoning travel destination in general, but cyclists should be particularly excited. The narrow isthmus between Grenada in Nicaragua and Panama City on the east coast of Panama is one of the most spectacular rides we’ve come across, and a refreshing change from the traditional European routes.
You’ll pass through steamy jungle and volcano country in Costa Rica, sleepy coastal stretches near San Juan del Sur and palm-fringed beaches in Bocas del Toro, but it’s the history, culture and friendly locals that really sell the place. Riding along the iconic Panama Canal, kicking back in the hot springs of La Fortuna or chatting to market vendors in Santiago, it’s easy to see why this region is beginning to take off. Explore it >
The Vietnamese discovered long ago the joys of cycling through their own country. That’s why when you fly into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh you see so many of them. But it’s the quiet coastal stretches and rice-paddy adventures between the country’s two major cities that the magic happens.
If you do traverse the country from north to south (easily doable in a couple of weeks) there are a few highlights you shouldn’t miss:
- crossing the famous Hai Van Pass (a gorgeous coastal route through the Annamite Range),
- the valleys and rice fields of Mai Chau just outside Hanoi and
- the gorgeous coastal stretch between Hoi An and Quy Nhon.
You’ll also find banana plantations up and down the country – the perfect roadside snack (hello potassium!). This place was made for cyclists and riding bicycles.
You could spend a sweet three or four weeks cycling all over Turkey, from the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula to the cotton castles of Pamukkale, and come home all the happier for it. But if you’ve only got a few days, and you want to cram a ride into an otherwise packed itinerary, we’d recommend the beachside town of Kas on the country’s southern coast.
This area has it all: gorgeous beaches, a cute white-washed Old Town, sunken cities offshore and seafood to die for. Oh, and some of the best cycling routes in Europe. For mountain bikers there are a variety of forest tracks and old fire trails outside the town itself, and for roadies there are steady climbs and ridiculous views all the way along the coast. A great base for a Turkish cycling adventure.
We’re inspired and hungry for more. Let’s all resolve to ride MORE BIKES and TRAVEL MORE, huzzah! Intrepid Travel offers a range of group cycling trips in 2015, including guided adventures in all the above destinations as well as Cuba, Thailand and more. Get hooked>
Whether your travel includes bikes, buses, ferry’s, planes, cars, lorry’s, elephants, camels, parachutes, or just on your own 2 feet, we have travel companions that will be by your side (or on your back) no matter what. Travel backpacks like the Aviator, soft sided convertible backpack like The Wingman duffel, and the super slick CoPilot rolling suitcase just to get your wheels rolling.
So take 2015 by the handlebars, because HERE. WE. GO!