05 October 2022.
Mountain biking, road cycling, bmx and cyclo-cross holiday resort and accommodation information.

Cycling and Mountain Biking Holidays

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Cycling Holidays Overview

The popularity of cycling has exploded in recent years. Many of us now cycle to work and in several of the world’s major cities specialist cycling lanes have become a prominent part of the wider transport network. At weekends and on sunny evenings bike riders hop aboard their two wheeled contraptions and take to the highways, byways, cycleways, forest tracks and canal towpaths in pursuit of pedal powered pleasure and of course to keep fit.

In parallel more people are now taking cycling holidays and consequently the number of destinations offered by cycling holiday specialists has grown. Cycling holidays have always been popular in places like France, Denmark and Holland where quiet country lanes and extensive cycling networks provide a relatively safe and non-taxing riding environment. While more recently Cambodia, Chile, Peru and Vietnam with much less well developed infrastructures and in some areas very few metalled roads have become desired destinations for those seeking a more adventurous annual cycling trip.

Of course cycling can be practised almost anywhere but certain destinations definitely offer advantages. Choosing a cycling holiday really depends on what your group’s specific requirements are. At Devotion2motion.com our aim is to seek out the best places for cycling whether it be downhill mountain biking or cycle touring. We then present as many useful facts as we can gather and compile resort cycling reviews that you can use to help determine which destinations best suit your cycling holiday requirements.

Once you’ve identified a preferred location for the cycling trip you can browse our resort accommodation lists, search for cycle hire outlets and in some cases find reputable cycling holiday travel companies. To book or enquire about the availability of an accommodation or service listed on Devotion2motion.com simply contact the company promoting it using the details provided.

Cycling Holiday Considerations

Choosing where to take a cycling holiday begins with assessing your groups’ likes, dislikes, fitness levels, age range, length of holiday and whether daily alternatives are required. One of the biggest considerations is deciding which type of bike you should use. The advantages of using a mountain bike for instance, means cyclists can cut cross country or ride down the road when they want to. This gives cycle tourers for example, far greater freedom to explore a region when on holiday.

But of course, riding cross-country can prove tough, especially if you’ve got a young family or just aren’t that fit. If the majority of the route is on tarmac with only a couple of short sections of roughish track then a hybrid touring bike is probably a more appropriate option. Hybrid bicycles give the best of both worlds by providing a bit more traction off road without compromising the on road performance too much.

Say you do have a young family, avoiding cycle routes that incorporate busy roads is probably advisable. This may difficult in some countries if you’re touring while in those – like Holland and Denmark – with extensive interlinked cycle networks it probably won’t be an issue. With small children, hilly routes are also worth avoiding.

If it’s a bike touring holiday you might be interested in en route support or luggage transfer. Or what attractions lie along the way. Maps and route signing are also things to consider. As is language – will there be translations or am I equipped to cope with a foreign tongue.

Mountain Biking Holiday Considerations

Mountain biking is a fairly diverse sport. For one there’s downhill mountain biking which quite clearly involves cycling downhill – usually on a narrow trail known as single-track – and as fast as possible. And then there’s freeride which is basically downhill with big jumps and other obstacles added to spice things up. Some freeride tracks however, can run over relatively flat terrain – the rider having to pedal harder to achieve height from jumps.

Essentially though, both disciplines require getting to the top of a trail from where the descent will begin. And because freeride and downhill mountain bikers tend to ride full suspension (full suss) bikes – which are notoriously inefficient for hill climbing and as such drain a rider’s energy – it’s best to be based in a resort with some sort of uplift, either a ski lift or bus service.

Cross country (XC) mountain biking is the traditional form of the sport and requires a mix of fitness and bike handling skill. Those new to the sport – even if fit and experienced road cyclists – can find it pretty demanding at first, especially when cycling over rough ground. But, it doesn’t take long to adjust and lessons are available from most mountain bike centres for those who need them.

Unlike road cycling tours, many mountain biking holidays are resort centred. This may seem obvious in the case of downhill biking but the same is also true for XC cycling. Sure, it’s possible to tour on a mountain bike and yes there are some fantastic adventures available, but many resorts have developed networks of XC mountain bike trails locally and some of these cycling networks are extensive. Also in resorts offering uplift a far greater range of XC routes are opened up. Some of the big alpine resorts boast hundreds of kilometres of interlinked trails supported by efficient lift systems.

If you fancy being based in one resort then consider the number, type, grade and length of trails available and what other facilities it has to offer. If it’s a tour you’re after, then things like baggage transfer are important but also what back up services are available in case someone damages a wheel out on the trail miles from anywhere. Although equipment can break, the hard tail cycles – mountain bikes with front suspension only – used in XC are pretty robust and can get just about anywhere. And although they’re not as comfortable as full suss on rough downhill sections they’re not too bad either. XC mountain biking is pretty unrestrictive and is a great way to explore this world of ours.

A little more obscure and specialist – but impressive when done well – is trials mountain biking. Now most of us are likely to be happy as spectators of this sport and it’s pretty unlikely that anyone would plan an entire holiday around it, but some 14-year-olds might have ambitions to become skilled practitioners – not least to impress their friends. So it might be worth checking if local mountain bike instructors teach such a thing or if the resort you’re hoping to go to has a trials course.

Cycling Holiday Destinations