Cycling holiday destinations for 2013
Advertising feature in association with Evans Cycles
The Olympics inspired us all in many ways. With more people taking to tennis after a certain Centre Court showdown and many of us enjoying more time in the pool, the intended legacy of a sporting nation looks set to continue for at least the next few years. But with Sir Bradley's superhuman strengths in July and August there is one sport that stands out from the crowd; cycling.
If you were one of those who grabbed their bike helmets and took to two wheels following the Games and have maintained your commitment throughout winter (understandable if it may have waned slightly in the face of this snow), you're hopefully thinking about combining your new passion with your summer holiday. Here are our favourite destinations, perfect for exactly that (whether road or mountain biking).
Scotland is perfect for mountain biking. In many spots there's nothing but you and the wilderness, and while this is great to really feel at one with nature, it makes visiting your local cycle shop before you go even more important - you don't want to head out on your adventure without being fully prepared.
The Hebrides offer so much for mountain biking enthusiasts. You'll see otters on the edge of lochs and golden eagles swooping overhead; as well as the chance to test your skills on a variety of different islands.
While this may not be the ideal spot for a summer holiday with it being the rainy season, if you're looking to get away early this year or the coming autumn, Vietnam is the perfect place. Many may opt for a motorbike or moped, but that shouldn't put you off. Tackling the roads from Hanoi, through to Ho Chi Minh City (the entire length of the country), you'll find local flavour, inspiring culture and breathtaking scenery. They'll also be some time for relaxing on the beach. Perfect.
When looking for cycling holidays in Europe, the more traditional destinations of Tuscany or France may spring to mind; but those who look a little further afield to Poland will be pleasantly rewarded. Poland's rolling green landscapes, cliff-cut paths and quaint villages make it the perfect haven for cyclists. The mountain river Bialka is the ideal place to begin your adventure.
Tenerife caters for all levels of cycling ability, with roads that vary from sea level up to 2,500 metres, as well as mountain passes, forests and the moon-like volcanic landscape of the Teide National Park. Wiggo spent a few weeks on this Canary Island enduring some intensive training in the summer heat; although the autumn and winter months might be a more preferable time for us mere mortals to tackle its varying landscapes.
This is America's answer to the Lake District, so we're sure that you can image just how good the cycling is. One particular route will see you collect your bikes at Henniker on the banks of the Contoocook River before heading out on two wheels to drink in the fantastic scenery and enjoy the scattered villages along the way. It's picture postcard perfect.
Where will your two wheels take you?