I was researching for an upcoming cycling trip this week when it occured to me that Victoria has some amazing places to ride. From East Gippsland to the Victorian Alps, there’s no shortage of breathtaking ride loops that one can enjoy. For instance, within close distance to Bright (3.5hrs from Melbourne) lies 4 formidable climbs (Mt. Hotham, Falls Creek, Mt. Buffalo & Tawonga Gap) that will challenge a cyclist just as much as any of the Cols in Europe.
Despite this I couldn’t help but think of other places and countries that cater for the perfect ride experience. Here is my top 10 list.
10. Mendoza, Argentina
Never in Australia could you get away with riding without a helmet from winery to winery whilst tasting some of the world’s best wines. In Mendoza, one can hire a bike and ride along a 12km stretch that houses some of Argentina’s most famous wine houses.
9. Coroico, Bolivia
Otherwise known as, ‘Death Road’. The ride begins at wind-swept La Cumbre (4,700m) where you can see views of a number of snow-covered peaks, including Huayna Potosí (6,088m). From here you descend rapidly down a twisting road among mountain peaks, cliff edges, grazing alpacas and tiny villages.
8. Quilotoa, Ecuador
Riding through rural villages in Ecuador is a surreal experience. I took this photo of an American couple, Gabe and Christina, whilst we rode together in Ecuador.
7. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
A sea of salt as far as the eye can see. It’s a stunning landscape and amazing place to ride.
6. Bariloche, Argentina
Whilst the single track trails are recommended over riding on the road (The famous Circuito Chico loop is somewhat disappointing)- the views from the top of Mount Catedral are breathtaking.
5. Yuncaypata, Peru
Excellent single track with extremely technical sections winding through remote villages made this a fast/fun ride.
4. San Pedro de Atacama Desert, Chile
Riding in the middle of nowhere can be an amazing experience.
3. Col du Tourmalet, France
A Classic must do ride that winds through the ski village of Barege.
2. Mont Ventoux, France
One of the most satisfying rides I’ve ever done.
1. Paris Roubaix, France
What makes some rides even more memorable is when you get to share the moment.
Thinking of another? Would love to hear about your favourite rides/places.