I’ve always had a massive passion for motorbikes. I haven’t ever lived in a perfect place to ride one, first growing up in London and then moving to Brighton. However riding a bike is one of the best things to do while travelling the world. Grab your passport, get on your motorbike and set off for an adventure in 2016 at any of these ten best places to ride in the world. I’ve been discussing some recommendations with motorbike helmets suppliers, Lids Direct who had some great input.
1) USA: Route 66
It’s not possible to write about the world’s best biker destinations without giving a shout-out to the legendary Route 66. Also known as the Mother Road, this route takes you 3,939 km cross-country through the very heart of the USA from California to Illinois. It’s quite simply a must. I actually first went on Route 66 5 years ago on a road trip, but we saw endless amounts of bikes going past us, as I looked out in complete jealousy!
2) Germany: Nurburgring
Get off the beaten track and onto the race one! Dubbed as ‘The Green Hell’ by Jackie Stewart, Nurburgring is a challenging yet thrilling ride. With nothing but bends, straights and one-way traffic around the 15-mile course, you’re free to open the throttle and set your own lap times. Celebratory fizz is not provided, take your own.
Image by jo3hug
3) Italy: Stelvio Pass
This truly breathtaking route from Stilfs to Bormio through the Italian Alps takes you along one of the highest paved routes in Europe and every single one of the 47 miles and 78 hairpin bends provides an absolute feast for the eyes and buzz for the biking soul. If you find yourself over there, you should also check out my list of things to do in Italy
Image by absoluteczech
4) Italy: Amalfi Coast
This stretch of the Italian coast is relatively short at just 25 miles but there’s plenty to explore in the region and a motorbike is hands-down, the best way to see it.
Cruise past or call into the quaint villages that cling to the mountains of the shoreline, take a detour to Pompeii, see the waterfalls of Valle delle Ferriere or just enjoy a refreshing dip in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Image by Peter
5) New Zealand: South Island Highways
Saddle up for a trip into Hobbit territory and explore New Zealand’s South Island via it’s circuitous highways.
There’s so many things to see and do here that you could ride around the island for a few days or a few months and never get bored. There’s no traffic, just an abundance of glaciers, mountains, forests, wineries, fjords, lakes, party-towns and Maori villages that are within easy reach on a motorbike; this could be the one trip you never want to end.
Image by Angus MacRae
6)Romania: Transfagarasan Highway
Ranked by Top Gear as the ‘The World’s Best Road’, this mountain pass takes you up and over the Transylvanian Alps more than 150km from Bucharest to Cartisoara. With a satisfying mix of open straights and hairpin turns, you’ll cruise past alpine meadows, through gorges and tunnels and over viaducts and dams right up to the peak at 2134 meters where you can take a break to soak up the spectacular views.
Image by Serge Bystro
7) China: Guoliang Tunnel
If you’re a skilled biker who loves adrenalin-inducing rides then this route through the Taihang Mountains of China offers a totally unique experience.
This 1200m long tunnel is just 5m high and 4m wide. Hand-carved by locals into the face of the mountain itself, it has an uneven road surface, blind bends and a sequence of “windows” that reveal perilous drops which make it an intensely thrilling journey.
Image by FANG Chen
8) USA: Overseas Highway
Looking for a sun-drenched, laid-back motorbiking trip? Then the Overseas Highway in Florida is ideal. Taking you from Miami on the mainland, this route extends for 113-miles out over the Florida Straits, connecting the region’s islands all the way to Key West. Wear sunscreen.
Image by Milan Boers
9) South Africa: Garden Route
The Garden Route marks out one of the most scenic stretches of South Africa’s coastline. Although it runs primarily from Plettenberg Bay to Mossel Bay, it’s well worth extending the ride into Cape Town.
The journey can be completed in one day but the route is littered with detours to lagoons, beaches, forests, vineyards and rural towns; you could even hop off your bike and onto an ostrich in Ooutsdhorn!, before arriving in Cape Town to crack a Windhoek Lager and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
Image by Christopher Griner
10) Nova Scotia: The Cabot Trail
Just you, your bike and the long, winding open road. That’s what the Cabot Trail is all about. This circular route of Cape Breton Island is made up of more than 185 miles of coastal highway and is a relatively easy ride in a sparsely-populated, naturally beautiful part of the world. Apart from the scenery you could spot humpback whales out to sea, bald eagles overhead or bears – watch out for the bears.
Image by Andrea Schaffer
Plan your 2016 biking adventures now. It’s easy enough to ride your motorbike into mainland Europe or take it on a ferry a little further afield but for far-flung destinations, it’s simpler to hire a local bike. Just take your own helmet and safety gear with you. I recently purchased an open face helmet and gloves from Lids Direct, which motivated this article.