If you want to get away from it all and challenge your fitness and your riding ability, then these mountain bike trails offer you the chance to do that in some of the most extreme and beautiful place on earth.
Guest Post, by Andy Morrell
Ravenna Mountain Retreat
The Ravenna Mountain Retreat is one of the foremost tracks in South Africa; it offers riders two challenging downhill routes. As you might expect from the country that brought the world a flame throwing anti-car theft device, this route is pretty extreme. Along the way you’ll be travelling over muddy farm roads, slippery gravel tracks and some fast paced downhill bursts. The scenery is pretty plain and, while the course it’s not that dangerous, you’ll be having too much fun to care.
The Cliffs of Moher, Mountain Bike Trail
Ireland is famous for its slow, relaxed lifestyle – and its heavy drinking. However, you can forget about all of these traits when you take on the Cliffs of Moher. For sheer danger, there is nowhere else like them. They feature 600 foot drops, 4 inch ledges and a few clean air jumps. There are also some pretty spectacular views, if you’re able to see past the thick fog. Think carefully before trying this course: the authorities aren’t always too impressed when people take it on and you certainly won’t be able to get any insurance to cover any accidents.
Dolomite Mountains Mountain Biking
The Dolomite Mountains in Italy offer a cyclist a great ride in some absolutely spectacular settings. With the backdrop of a snow capped mountain range, and huge ice scarred gorges, you have to negotiate mountain goats and rock slides. Despite the stunning surroundings, this trail is brutal, and the switchbacks will catch you out unless you have put the work beforehand to build up your fitness.
Misti Mountain Biking
Your trip to the Misti volcano starts at the bottom, where you’ll be ferried up to the 3,500 metre high checkpoint by car. You can cycle up, but with the terrain and the altitude you won’t have anything left for the way down. Also, going by car allows you to take in the amazing scenery which includes deep valleys and lots of wildlife, like hawks and alpacas. When you reach the checkpoint, the fun really starts, and the course is as challenging as you want it to be. There’s the option to take the more sedate roads but it’s certainly more fun and more of a challenge to take the dirt tracks, where you can really build up a good head of steam.
Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Trail
The bad lands of Colorado are home to the Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Trail, a breath-taking mountain route with some incredible single track downhill sections. The sparse desert land is intimidating enough; however, you also have to contend with sharp turns and some really technical sections near the top. The route also gives you a good look at some amazing rock formations.
About the Author: Andy Morrell is a mountain biking enthusiast who is lucky enough to have sampled some of the worlds best mountain bike tracks.
Image Credit: mariejirousek on Flickr