Cycling on rise: around the world, two wheels are being shed

In Canada and in Europe, according to the Toronto Sun, cyclists are seeing more bike paths built. New attractions and offers are being designed to appeal to cyclists, and challenging routes are gaining popularity. In honor of Toronto Bike Month, which runs until June 25, the Sun has offered a few ideas for pedal-pushers around the world.

La Route Verte (the Green Route) is the longest ride in America. At more than 2,500 miles, it crosses Quebec both north-to-south and east-to-west. Take on this challenge, and you’ll pass through 320 cities and towns on bike paths and quiet roads, enjoying attractions like the Laurentian Mountains and St. Lawrence River from a new perspective. Accommodations along the way with “bienvenue cyclists!” signs will be ready for you, including bike tools and a safe place to lock up your ride.

Also in Canada, the Toronto-Niagara Bike Train is a new program to help cyclists get out to the Niagara Region. Some VIA Rail Canada trains are now equipped with bike racks to make transport exponentially easier.

In Trondheim, Norway, look for the world’s first bike lift. If you prefer not to blast your quads attacking a hill steep enough to have a name (Bbrubakken), take advantage of the Bicycle Lift Trampe. Using an electronic key card (buy or rent), you gain access to the easiest way up.

Wanna Ride in the Tour de France?

Unless you are willing to dedicate your life to either training or discovering undetectable performance-enhancing drugs, chances are you won’t be competing for that yellow jersey. Maybe you could get a job as one of those guys who rides on the back of a motorcycle with a camera. Or you could just travel to France during the race and take in the proceedings through a haze of wine and cheese.

But there is another option. A tour operator called Ciclismo Classico will run an 8-day bicycle tour that follows the exact route of a portion of the Le Tour ’09. Before you go searching the internet for any chemicals that can help you on the trip, you should know that the 8-days are designed for casual enthusiasts; the kind of people who are comfortable in the saddle of a bike, but who lack the huge legs and emaciated upper bodies of top cyclists. The average day will mean a 50-mile pedal, roughly half of what the pro riders complete. In addition to that, those on the trip will get to watch some of the actual race.

via Wandalust