Not all hard adventure travel must be human-powered. Those looking for a gasoline-fueled adrenaline rush might consider taking a spin around a racetrack in an actual racecar. One company that offers this service is Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, founded in 1998 by Jarrett, the legendary NASCAR driver. Here, amateur speed enthusiasts don actual safety gear and racing suits and get behind the wheel of cars once owned by professional drivers. Expert instructors teach advanced techniques like drafting, passing and finding a line, all at speeds of more than 165 mph (265 kph). Though the company's flagship track is at Talladega, Ala., it operates at about a dozen other racetracks across the country as well, from the Chicagoland Speedway to the Homestead Miami Speedway. Fees are charged by the lap, with four-lap rides running an affordable $195, while longer 60-lap rides, costing up to $3,695, are a good bit pricier.
For a similarly turbo-charged experience, check out Doug Foley's Drag Racing Experience. This company tours to different drag strips across the country, offering its clients the opportunity to drive one of its super-fast cars alone or with a professional driver. These rides cost between $150 and $500, but going from zero to 100 mph (161 kph) in just a few seconds will certainly be one of the greatest thrills of your life.