Doomsday Bicycle Tour Lets You Ride To The End Of The World

Tour d'Afrique's Doomsday Tour of La Ruta Maya What do you want to be doing when the world ends in December? If your answer is exploring Mayan temples ruins, gazing upon volcanoes and waterfalls, and basking in Central America‘s warm autumn sun all from the seat of your mountain bike, then Tour d’Afrique has a pretty epic tour for you to consider.

Tour d’Afrique’s Doomsday Ride is a 2,300-kilometer (1,429-mile) transcontinental bike expedition along the “Ruta Maya” timed to coincide with the end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar. The trek begins in San Jose, Costa Rica, on November 17, 2012, and follows a winding, but well-scouted, route through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. It concludes at the Lamani Mayan Temple outside of Belize City, Belize, on December 21, 2012 – the supposed date of the apocalypse.

Along the way, participants will get to check out Mayan ruins at Tikal and Copan; the great colonial architecture in the city of Granada, Nicaragua’s erstwhile capital; and villages, markets, rainforests, volcanoes, crater lakes and many other slices of life and nature off of the tourist track. If you can’t take off for the full five weeks of the expedition, Tour d’Afrique offers three shorter sections that average between 10 days and two weeks.

To learn more about the tour, the route, rates and schedules, check out Tour d’Afrique’s La Ruta Maya – the Doomsday Ride Blog.

Travel company to host third annual cycling film festival

A cycling film festival  that could earn you a free trip!Ciclismo Classico, an adventure travel company that specializes in bike tours, has put out a call for entries for their third annual film festival to be held later this spring. The event gives aspiring filmmakers the chance to show off their skills, while also earning them an opportunity to win a cycling trip of their choice.

The event, which is the only film fest in the U.S. dedicated solely to bike travel, will take place May 17th in the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA. The evening will feature some of the best short, independent films that highlight the joy and adventure of two-wheeled travel, whether that’s around the block or around the globe. The only stipulations are that the film must be between 3 minutes and one hour in length and focuses exclusively on cycling travel.

The entry fee for the competition is just $25, although entries received before February 1st receive a $5 early-bird discount. All submissions are due by March 1st and the selection committee will notify the filmmakers of their inclusion in the festival by early April. The ultimate winner, which will be selected by a grand jury on the night of the festival, will receive a Ciclismo Classico cycling tour valued at $2600. An additional winner will be awarded at the event based on an audience vote as well.

Whether you’re an amateur who enjoys making your own movies, or the next Spielberg looking for your big break, this is a great opportunity. Not only do you have the chance to screen your short film in front of a live audience (other than your mom!), but you could also go home with a free trip too.

New Book celebrates 10 years of the Tour d’Afrique

The Tour d'Afrique celebrates ten yearsThe Tour d’Afrique is a legendary cycling event that runs from Cairo to Cape Town on an annual basis. Covering more than 7500 miles, and requiring four months to complete, the Tour is a popular “bucket list” item for adventure travelers and cyclists the world over. This year, the Tour d’Afrique commemorates its tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, the company behind the epic event has released a fantastic coffee table book entitled 10: Celebrating Ten Years of the Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race and Expedition.

The book begins with a forward written by Tour founder Henry Gold. A decade ago, when he first pitched the idea of a bike ride across Africa, Gold was met with skepticism to say the least. Many thought that it simply wasn’t possible for an event like this one to exist and he was regularly told he was crazy for even considering it. Ten year later, Gold has turned his idea into a yearly event, and his adventure travel company produces similar cycling tours in a host of other locations across the globe.

10 is filled with stories from the road, as riders share tales, quotes, and anecdotes of their own experiences from the Tour. For some, it was a life altering experience for others an adventure of a lifetime, but no one who has taken part in the journey has come away unchanged. Their words are likely to inspire readers to want to join Tour as well, and even if you haven’t been on a bike in years, you may find yourself dreaming of pedaling under African skies. The book doesn’t try to hide the challenges of the ride, which range from oppressive heat to unexpected downpours, not to mention ever changing road conditions, but the amazing beauty of Africa and the camaraderie that is formed amongst the riders, will have a universal appeal all the same.

If the words of the riders don’t inspire you than perhaps the amazing photographs contained in this book will. 10 is a visual love letter to cycling, adventure travel, and most importantly, Africa itself. The 252 page volume is packed with breathtaking images that have been compiled over the past decade and capture the spirit of the Tour very well. Not only do those photos show the day-to-day experiences of the ride, but they also manage to convey a sense of wonder at the countries and environments that the riders pass through, as well as the people that live there.

If you have a cyclist or adventure traveler on your holiday shopping list, than this book is sure to be a hit. Just be warned, after reading it, they may feel compelled to join the ride themselves. Africa is most definitely calling.

International Mountain Bicycling Association launches “Destinations” program

The International Mountain Bicycling Association Destinations program is for travelers looking for toursThe International Mountain Bicycling Association has announced the launch of Destinations, a new program designed to help mountain biking enthusiasts discover places to ride across the globe. The new initiative helps travelers connect with tour operators, bike rental companies, lodges, and more.

The IMBA hopes that Destinations will become a popular resource for mountain bikers and has built a host of tools to help them research their next escape. Not only do they provide a comprehensive list of bike parks and resorts, they also offer information on local bike shops just in case the need for repairs or new gear should arise. IMBA members also gain access to discounted rates on rental cars, airline tickets, and bike shipments.

Riders looking to book a mountain biking tour are in luck as well. The IMBA website lists more than 70 tours in the U.S., Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and more. Examples include multiday rides along the Tsali Trail in North Carolina and the Alps and Adriatic of Slovenia, amongst many more. All tours booked from the site generate funds for the association, which go directly towards their work in building and maintaining mountain bike trails.

Experienced mountain bikers will also want to checkout the IMBA’s list of Epics, truly great trails, usually found on public lands. These are truly some of the best rides found anywhere, and usually in some amazingly scenic places.

For cyclists, both road and mountain, the IMBA website is a great resource for planning a trip for finding an amazing tour. Be sure to hit it up before setting off on your next cycling adventure.

[Photo credit: IMBA]

Take a cycling holiday through Australia’s state of Victoria

Cycling across the state of Victoria in AustraliaFollowing the big win by Aussie Cadel Evans in the Tour de France this year, it is safe to say that cycling fever has hit Down Under. But Australia has had a long tradition of cycling that dates back to well before Evans’ breakout performance at Le Tour. For example, the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride, is a nine-day biking holiday that is entering its 28th year.

This November, Victoria is expected to play host to more than 4000 riders when the event gets underway. The ride begins in the town of Swan Hill on the 26th of that month and continues along the Murry River, passing through historic gold towns, before eventually finishing in Castlemaine. With eight days of riding, plus one rest day, the riders will cover a total of 590km (367 miles) as they pass through some of the most scenic landscapes that Victoria has to offer. Along the way, they’ll get a true taste of Australian culture and a healthy sampling of Aussie hospitality.

Riding an average of 73km (45 miles) per day, the cyclists will have plenty of time to take in the sights and enjoy a leisurely pedal through the countryside. And at the end of the day, they’ll stay in comfortable campsites, where the fun and camaraderie continues over good meals and great conversations about the day’s events.

The entry fee for the nine days of riding and camping is just $935 AUD for adults, $699 AUD for children under 18, and $399 AUD for children under 13. Kids five and under ride for free. That fee gets you a fully catered, tent-based cycling adventure that will allow you to see Australia like you never thought possible. Support services include luggage transportation, massage services, a full medical team and bike repair crew, as well as a licensed cafe that will keep you well fed.

I can’t imagine how much fun the Great Victorian Bike Ride must be. As an avid cyclists, I think it would be a lot of fun to hit the road with more than 4000 other riders on a nice long ride. One of these days I need to get back down to Australia and take part in this event.

[Photo credit: Brien Cohn/Great Victorian Bike Ride]