Pedaling through time, journeying back to epochs past – there is an uncanny beauty in traversing the historic landscapes of the world on a bicycle. For those who love to soak up history and culture while feeling the wind in their hair, here are five cycling routes that serve as gateways to the annals of time.
1. Via Appia, Italy
We start our list with the Via Appia, one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient Republic. This route will take you past haunting ruins, catacombs, and ancient villas, a living testament to Rome’s imperial past.
2. The Berlin Wall Trail, Germany
Next up is the Berlin Wall Trail, a stark reminder of the Cold War era. Spanning approximately 160 kilometers, it traces the path of the former GDR border fortifications encircling West Berlin.
3. The Lewis and Clark Trail, USA
Bike through the pages of American history on the Lewis and Clark Trail. This route follows the footsteps of the famous expedition, offering glimpses of the American West’s beautiful and uncharted wilderness.
4. The Shimanami Kaido, Japan
Crossing the Seto Inland Sea from mainland Japan to the island of Shikoku, the Shimanami Kaido takes cyclists on a picturesque journey through small fishing villages and past centuries-old temples.
5. The Battlefields of Flanders, Belgium
Last but certainly not least, the Battlefields of Flanders offer a somber ride through the areas that saw heavy combat during World War I. Museums, cemeteries, and preserved trenches along the route provide a profound context to the region’s tragic past.
Q: What type of bike is best for these routes? A: A touring or hybrid bike is often best for these routes, offering comfort for long distances and the versatility to handle different terrains.
Q: Are these routes suitable for beginners? A: Most of these routes are suitable for riders of all levels. However, some, like the Lewis and Clark trail, may require a higher fitness level due to their length and terrain.
Q: How can I prepare for these historical routes? A: Research each route beforehand to know what to expect. Pack appropriately, considering weather, terrain, and the availability of food and water stops. Most importantly, take the time to learn about the history of the places you’re visiting to enrich your experience.
Cycling is not just a great way to stay fit; it’s also a unique way to delve into the world’s history. Whether you’re exploring the ancient roads of Rome or tracing the history of the Berlin Wall, these cycle routes offer a journey through time that is as enriching as it is exhilarating.