How to Group Cycle Like a Pro

Group Cycling Around the World

If you ever get tired of your neighborhood peloton, you might consider taking your cycling skills on the road. Whether you want to climb the Himalayas, pedal your way through a wine tour or see Europe from the back of a touring bike, the world is your cycling oyster.

Triathletes get many opportunities to use their passports. Large, annual triathlons such as the Ironman can be found throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Usually, if a city is hosting a triathlon, there's a good bet it's in a picturesque location. Before you enter one of those, however, you'll want to brush up on your marathon and open water swimming skills.

Of course, if a competitive sprint isn't your idea of a relaxing holiday, consider calling up a travel agent to sign up for one of many "cycle vacations." Cycle-friendly tours are available almost everywhere, but Europe, with its small size and bike-friendly cities, is a cycle tourist mecca. And considering the small size of most European cars, by riding a bike you'll also be giving yourself a lot more headroom. Cruise the streets of Amsterdam (where bicycles represent 40 per cent of all traffic), pedal the back roads of Switzerland, or, if you're looking to flavor your European cycling tour with a bit of recent history, you can also check out the Iron Curtain Trail -- a 4,225-mile (6,800-kilometer) cycling trail that traces the former dividing line between Western Europe and the Communist Bloc [source: Hammer]. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, cyclists shelled out more than $10,000 for a commemorative Iron Curtain cycle tour.

To capture the charm of European villages without having to ship your bike overseas, you could also just spend your summer riding through the cycle-friendly Canadian province of Quebec. In Japan, the country's relatively small size allows you to take in a host of sites in just a few days of cycling -- you can also take bicycles on many of the country's bullet trains. Islands -- be it the San Juan Islands of Washington State or even New Zealand's south island -- are usually extremely cycling-friendly thanks to calmer traffic and more scenic roads.

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