6 scenic biking festivals around the world
Hop on your bicycle and grab your passport for these events.
Bicycling is the quintessential outdoor sport, and some decent scenery while doing it only helps to heighten the experience. These six bicycling festivals take this concept to heart, organizing events that celebrate the sport with a nod and a wink to the wondrous locations in which they're set.
Snow Bike Festival; Gstaad, Switzerland
This is Europe's first winter festival of Fat Biking – bikes with large tires specially made to handle rough, off-road terrain. Organizers picked a pretty nice place to hold it. Gstaad was once referred to as a "Paradise" by Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews, and we think she was on to something. Located in a valley surrounded by the Alps, its beauty attracts winter fun seekers the world over.
Rotorua Bike Festival; Rotorua, New Zealand
Every February – which is summer here – mountain bikers descend on this lakeside city to celebrate its world famous mountain bike trail network in the Whakarewarewa Forest. The city itself is touted as being something quite unique, with geysers of steaming water shooting from the ground, pools of boiling mud and geothermal pools. Such an otherworldly environment makes for a beautiful stage on which to celebrate the bike.
Jerusalem Biking Festival; Jerusalem, Israel
There are few backdrops in the world better fit for a bike festival than Jerusalem. On the one hand the hilly terrain and high altitude offers challenging climbs and ensures temperatures remain mild, while on the other hand the lush greenery and historic city scenery dazzles the eye. In May 2015 more than 5,000 people took part in the two rides – a 20 km route and 40 km route – that comprise this festival.
Victoria International Biking Festival; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Known as the "Garden City," Victoria is Canada’s mildest and sunniest urban area – no wonder it's become the country's cycling capital. Well, that, and they take their cycling very seriously here, so much so that the "festival" is actually a year-long calendar of events that never really stops. And once you get on the road, it doesn't seem like the pretty scenery does either.
Sedona Mountain Bike Festival; Sedona, Arizona
Sedona has one of the most beautiful biking backdrops in the world. (Photo: Hermosa Tours/Flickr)
The gorgeous red sandstone formations encircling the city of Sedona rise out of the ground like flames and have been attracting people to this city for decades. Mountain bike enthusiasts attending this three-day festival get to enjoy this freakishly beautiful scenery and the more than 200 miles of trails, not to mention bike demos, shuttled rides, a beer garden and lots of live music.
L'Eroica; Tuscany, Italy
Now in its 20th year, L'Eroica – "The Heroic" in English – was meant as a celebration of Italy's bicycling history, with founder Giancarlo Bocci deeming any bike made after 1987 unsuitable for participation. It just so happened he also arranged that it take place in one of the most beautiful countrysides you could ever lay eyes on in Tuscany, Italy. Today it features multiple races and transpires over a period of days in October. It's become such a hit that L'Eroica-branded events now take place all over the world.
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