Top 10 Road Adventures For You To Try

Are you looking for a new adventure on your bike?

Perhaps you want to go on a cross-country road trip but need a location with excellent hiking trails for you to shoot through on your mountain bike.

Well, luckily for you the hardest decision isn’t finding these places but choosing which one to go to as there are hundreds of epic road trips in the USA and even more in other reaches of the world.

In this article, we’re going to be covering the best road trip destinations in the world that you must try! We’ve taken a look at the length of the entire route, the difficulty, as well as any spectacular scenery that you’ll find along your road trip.

If you’re going on a road trip then you may want to keep track of your cycling data with a bike computer. If so, check out our guide on the best budget bike computer.

So, let’s get into the best road trips. We’ll cover everything from quaint towns and sandy beaches to mountain peaks so no matter your preferences there’s going to be a road trip here for you.

1) Pacific Coast Highway

This has always been an incredibly popular road trip route for both motorists and cyclists.

Highway 1 offers spectacular views and challenging climbs with fantastic restaurants, wineries, and many other points of interest. At the heart of it all, you’ll find the San Luis Obispo County section of Highway 1 which is a stretch that fully encapsulates how beautiful the West Coast can be.

This California road trip will set you on a 57-mile journey between Ragged Point and Nipomo. Along the way you’ll be visiting coastal bluffs, gliding beside mountain ranges, as well as passing through beach towns, nature preserves, and vineyards.

The ride can be broken down into a multi-day trip that covers views, wildlife, food, wine, dunes, and beaches en route giving you a diverse experience of the West Coast and its many subcultures.

Now, if you’re an advanced cyclist then you may want to clip in for one or more of the intense routes on Cycle Central Coast and if you’re looking for a challenge then there are a ton of cycling events to take part in.

The beauty of this coastal route is that it allows for a much wider range of cyclists than other road trips. Due to the sheer amount of sights to see and places to visit along this epic route you can take this road trip with your family and travel to the nearest ice cream shop or go all out for the whole stretch if you’re an advanced rider.

There’s something for everyone on the Pacific Coast Highway road trip.

Some places you should definitely consider visiting on your road trip are the Monarch Butterfly Grove and its thousands of gorgeous butterflies. or alternatively, you can take a tour of the historic Piedras Blancas Light Station.

There’s just so much to see and do when you take this road trip, so what are you waiting for? get the car and those bikes ready!

Highlights of Pacific Coast Highway – The Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, McWay Falls, Santa Barbara, Carmel by the Sea, Pfeiffer Beach, and Hearst Castle.

Length – 1,055 km (40-50 days)

Location – State Route 1, California

2) Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States. It’s famed for its scenic beauty and the parkway, which is America’s longest linear park, runs for 754 km through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties.

This road follows from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is arguably the most iconic road in the United States, dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” and is by far the most visited national park in the country.

Its route is relatively easy with it only consisting of one road however, if you’re on this ridgetop highway, you’re going to be climbing or descending with very little flat land present on this road trip.

However, these inclines and declines are rarely steep so you shouldn’t have too much trouble conquering this one. The Blue Ridge Parkway is essentially a national historic landmark for cyclists and motorists.

This has to go on your bucket list.

Highlights of Blue Ridge Parkway – Blue Ridge Mountains, Sherando Lake, Appalachia Winery, Sliding Rock, Asheville Breweries

Length – 754 km (5-10 days)

Location – Virginia, North Carolina

3) Iceland – Ring Road

This journey is one of our favourite road trips but requires a level of fitness that few will have and a willingness to face some potentially challenging weather but oh boy is it worth it.

It throws you right into the spectacular landscapes and provides a unique perspective of Iceland few get to experience as ring road will have you riding around pretty much the entire country.

From Reykjavík, it hugs the South Coast, one of the country’s most diverse and spectacular sightseeing routes, before meandering up the more rural and breathtaking Eastfjords. 

And if you love national parks then you’ll be happy to know that the road then cuts through the dramatic Vatnajökull National Park into the geothermal wonderland of North Iceland.

Two weeks is usually the recommended time but this road trip has been known to be completed in 10 days, it all depends on how much you want to take in and how experienced you are.

This one requires a little preparation and willpower. We’ve all heard about how Iceland is a sublime country with its almost mythical landscapes and Ring Road will surely help you discover the wonder that awaits in this beautiful country.

Highlights of Ring Road – Black Sand Beach situated along the Reynisfjara shore, Akureyri is a famous place in Iceland for whale watching.

Length – 1,322 km (2 weeks)

Location – Route 1, Iceland

 

4) Route 66

Route 66 is one of the most popular road trips in the world which extends from Illinois to California, taking you on an adventurous historic journey through middle America.

The sense of history and tradition that flows out from the classic mid-American towns is the real draw here and it’s one hell of a scenic road trip.

Its 3,940 km interstate highway will take a long time to traverse especially if you’re stopping at all of the famous landmarks.

At the minimum, this road trip can take up to 9 days but for a slow & steady tour, you can span this trip up to an entire month depending on what you want to see or not see.

The iconic “Mother Road” is one of the US Highway System’s original routes, starting in Chicago, passing through Texas hill country, and winding its way across the rest of the country ending at Santa Monica Pier.

Covering eight states, this historic highway is an absolute must for any cyclist that’s looking for the best road trips.

Highlights of Route 66 – Gateway Arch, Leaning Tower of Texas, Blue Hole, Meteor crater, Calico Ghost Town, and Santa Monica Pier

Length – 3,940 km (30 days approx.)

Location – Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California

5) Scotland – North Coast 500

This road trip route is known as Scotland’s answer to route 66. On this trail, you’ll be heading up into the highlands and exploring the stunning features that Scotland has to offer.

From the magnificent drive through Glencoe, to the unbelievable landscapes that are the Isle of Skye, there’s never a dull moment when you’re cycling down this path.

You’ll also be able to take in some coastal scenery as the road passes along the North coast providing some captivating views.

This driving route starts in Inverness and loops around the north coast. Along the way, you’ll discover everything from Iron Age buildings to white sandy beaches, pristine lochs, towering mountains, and long winding roads.

Scotland is a must if you want to experience a unique landscape and push your cycling abilities on new rougher terrain.

Highlights of North Coast 500 – Beauly Priory, Castle of Mey, Smoo Cave, Wildlife, Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the Whaligoe Steps.

Length – 804 km (35-40 hours)

Location – North Coast 500, Scotland

6) Italy – Amalfi Coast

Cycle along the Amalfi Coast and you’ll see some of the most stunning sea cliffs on earth with much of the scenery being used in dozens of films.

The towns and lookouts along the coast are something akin to a fantasy story. The luxurious island of Capri is a sight to behold and well worth a detour if you have the time.

You’ll also see hundreds of yachts sailing along the coast each more stylish than the last, and you’ll gaze in awe at the height of the seacliffs.

The Amalfi Coast is a short but sweet trip that you absolutely have to cycle through.

Highlights of the Amalfi Coast – Positano, Amalfi Town, Ravello, Sorrento, Beaches, Grottos, Capri, Hiking, and Waterfalls. 

Length – 50km (1-2 days)

Location – Amalfi, Salerno, Italy

7) Glacier National Park

This next road trip is much shorter than other trips in the world but it’s one hell of a scenic route and well worth the trek as short as it is.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road is definitely a bucket list activity, especially in the spring, before the road opens to cars.

Going here for a day out in May and June will have you and your family enjoying some of the best sights mother nature has to offer.

It’s an experience we would wish for everyone. But there’s a lot of great biking in the park — it’s not just on Sun Road as almost every major area of Glacier has something that you should go check out on your bike.

Get away from the hustle and bustle of people and check out the beautiful rolling hills and rocky mountains.

This is the best short road trip on this list and takes just two hours approximately to finish on your bike, depending on the route you take, so you can come down to the park for just a few days and get a good look at all of the highlights.

Highlights of Glacier National Park – Bird Woman Falls Overlook, the Weeping Wall, Sun Point, Haystack Falls, and Triple Arches.

Length – 50-115 km (45 mins – 3 hours)

Location – Montana, Rocky Mountains

8) Canada – Cowboy Trail

If you love getting away from it all and having a rip-roaring adventure, the Cowboy Trail is for you. Following the route through Southern Alberta is easy and filled with stuff to see and do

From the lunar landscape of the badlands to where the great plains meet the Rocky Mountains, you’ll be driving through the varied landscapes with each one more astounding than the last.

Stop at Cochrane on the way and listen to some classics at Legacy Guitar and Coffee House. plus, there’s a great variety of restaurants – from cowboy classics to traditional Cajun dishes.

Another place to stop at is the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA), this 4,800-acre wildlife preserve and day-use natural area is brilliant for nature lovers and has all kinds of flora and fauna.

Highlights of the Cowboy Trail – Dinosaur Provincial Park, Crows Nest Pass, Bar U Ranch, Waterton Lakes National Park, Hoodoos of Drumheller

Length – 574 km (1-2 Weeks)

Location – Alberta, Canada

9) Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

For truly unusual and spectacular views, pack up the car and head for the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, connecting California’s Lassen National Park with Crater Lake in Oregon.

The north-to-south route covers about 800 km, tracing along geological formations created by volcanic activity of the Cascade Mountain Range.

The drive ventures through the surreal Shasta Valley and offers gorgeous, undisturbed vistas of Mount Shasta, the second tallest volcano in the country. 

This is a fairly challenging road trip locale and not one for the kids but if you’re looking to push your cycling skills to the next level and really test your mettle then this is one of the greatest scenic byways in the country and definitely worth considering for your next trek.

Highlights of Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway – Petroglyph Point and Mount Shasta

Length – 804 km (7 days approx)

Location – Route 97, California and Route 138/209, Oregon

10) Columbia River Highway

Where do we begin with the historic Columbia River highway?

This is one of North America’s grandest rivers, the Columbia rolls through the Columbia River Gorge, guarded by sheer walls of basalt, with a waterfall and an array of plants, trees, and shrubbery laid out alongside it.

This is one of the USA’s national scenic byways and what it lacks in length it makes up for in tranquility and aesthetic.

The Columbia River Gorge is also the largest and most densely populated, offering the amenities of urban centers close to the wild beauty of the outdoors but not intruding on its serenity.

While it is far from a weeklong road trip and it won’t have you seeing wonders such as the grand canyon, the Columbia River Highway proves for a simple, but an intoxicatingly beautiful day out.

It’s far more zen than other entries on this list with the peaceful landscape allowing you to forget the worries of the real world while you cycle down its paths.

Highlights of Columbia River Highway – Multnomah Falls is probably the best out of the waterfalls but others such as Fairy Falls and Wahkeena Falls are brilliant for hiking.

Length – 119 km (2-3 days)

Location – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Tips For Taking Road Trips On Your Bicycle

Going out on a road trip isn’t something you can do spontaneously, at least not if you want to do it right. Many of the routes on our list take days, weeks, and even months to complete so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you journey out onto the open road.

Here are some tips:

Planning

Planning is everything. You need to know your route first and foremost as this is the primary reason for your road trip in the first place. Ensure you’re not wasting your time going the long way or missing out on key landmarks. You wouldn’t want to get lost in a place you’ve never been to before.

You should also plan things like where to make stops to use services, as well as things like gear and money. If you get a flat tire on a long stretch of desolate road and have no equipment to fix the problem then your risk facing a potentially dangerous situation. If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail.

Time Management

As we mentioned before, some of these road trips can take up to a month to complete so time is of the essence. you want to make sure you’re setting aside enough time to make good progress cycling on your route as well as time to rest and make detours to see the sights.

While the purpose is to go cycling, you’re also going to want to take in the scenery in these astonishing locations so you should think about if you have enough time to see the makes you want to see but still have enough time to meet your target distance for each day.

Pack Essentials

You’re going to be gone for a long time and these environments can be a lot more hostile than riding around town so you’re going to need to have things should the worst-case scenario come to fruition.

Make sure you pack your bike kit and gear to replace or repair anything that may happen to your bike while on the road. We’d recommend spare parts, a bike tool kit, and of course a bike pump for any flats you receive. You may also want extra food and a large, durable water bottle just in case you can’t reach any service stops for a while.

Book In Advance

Always book well in advance of when you plan on taking your road trip. For trips abroad especially, you may need to book months in advance to ensure you can get there for a good time of the year. For example, North Coast 500 in Scotland is not nearly as pleasant in the winter as it is in the Summer.

Many places also have events that take place throughout the year so prices for accommodation may fluctuate. Do your research on where you’re staying and make sure you not only get the bookings but don’t spend a fortune on them.

Music

Cycling for up to 6 hours a day, every day, for a month can seem daunting. And being on the open road with nothing but your thoughts can sound pretty off-putting. Having something to listen to will make those hours and km feel much shorter than they actually are.

Create a playlist of your favorite tracks or download a podcast to listen to. Your body is going to be getting a good workout so why not take advantage of the situation and exercise your mind too with some tunes or talks about topics you’re interested in.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does 100 km on a bike take?

100 km is doable in one day if you’re experienced. If your cycling at 15 km/h, you’ll finish the 100km route in just over six-and-a-half hours theoretically. Even incorporating breaks shouldn’t take your total time over ten hours. The average cycling speed is around 16 km/h so you could easily surpass 100 km in a day if you were trying to.

How long does it take to cycle across America?

A bike ride across America that covered 4,000 total miles would take an average rider at least 61 days to complete but of course, this depends on your speed, riding ability, and how often you stop to take in the scenery.

How far can someone bike in a day?

Typically, an average person can cycle between 90 to 110 Kilometers a day but of course, this varies for everybody depending on stops and riding ability. 

What is a good distance for a beginner cyclist?

A beginner cyclist should aim to cycle 12 kph. The distance traveled will be affected by the surface of the ground, the weather, and the type of bike used but at this speed, you can travel around 80 km in a day. if you’re a beginner then a bike computer may help, these track important data and are a nifty way of setting yourself new goals to beat. Check out our article explaining “what is a bike computer?

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