Taiwan KOM Cycle Challenge 2019: There’s Still Time to Enter!

Listed as one of the World’s Top 10 Hardest Road Cycling Races, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is a one-day, 105km cycling event that will take you to the Taroko National Park on the east coast of Taiwan. Organised by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and the Taiwan Cycling Federation, this spectacular sportive starts at sea level and winds its way through the Taroko Gorge to Taiwan’s highest passable mountain road – the Wuling Pass, and on to the summit at 3,275 metres above sea level.

Cycling Federation Taiwan

Image rights: Taiwan Cycling Federation

The Taiwan KOM Challenge has an average gradient of 7%, which over 105km doesn’t sound too bad… Until you read that the average gradient on the last 8km is 17% to 27%! It goes up, and up, and then up again, and so it’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but if you are looking for an end-of-season cycling challenge, this could be the tour for you!

The Taiwan KOM Challenge 2019 is due to take place on Friday, 25th October, and so there is still plenty of time to organise your trip to Taiwan for the event. Flights are very reasonable from the UK and mainland Europe, with return tickets from London to Taipei costing as little as £365 per person, and from Frankfurt to Taipei for just £390 roundtrip.

Packages for the Taiwan KOM Cycling Challenge, including 7 night’s accommodation with half-board, all transfers, a sightseeing tour of Taipei, two pre-race training rides, an optional post-race ride, and guaranteed entry into the Taiwan KOM Challenge with welcome party, lunch, souvenir t-shirt, backpack, water bottle, farewell dinner, and much more, costs just £1250.00, and so it really is a bargain trip for anyone who wants to go cycling in Asia.

If you love the idea of participating in the Taiwan KOM Cycle Challenge, but your travel partner is not so keen, they can take advantage of the KOM Spectator Tour Package. On race day, they will be transported to the top of the pass, where they will be able to watch the entire race, and to make them feel part of the gang, they will also get a KOM Shirt, a Race Handbook, Lunch, and access to the Farewell Dinner.

This really is one of the toughest sportives in the world, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s some quotes from previous participants:

“The Taiwan KOM Challenge is one of the most unforgiving and brutal hill climb events in the world, situated in the most impossibly beautiful and stunning picture-postcard location imaginable. Sharpen up those hill climbing legs — this needs to be on your bucket list.” – Andy Van Bergen, Cycling Tips

“The Taiwan KOM is a bucket-list item. It was for me, now checked off, and it should be for you. A riding trip here is more rewarding than an outing to Alpe d’Huez, and certainly more difficult. It’s more adventurous than anything in the Dolomites, more rugged than the Pyrenees. I implore you: Make a week of it.” Caley Fretz, VeloNews

2016 Winner Emma Pooley described the Taiwan KOM Challenge as, “ the hardest day she has ever had on a bicycle”.

If that doesn’t want to make you do it in October 2019, we don’t know what will!

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Bali Cycling Holidays: Great Value Multi-Day Tours for Road Biker

One of the best ways to explore a new country is to do so on two wheels, and if you are a road cycling fan looking for a new destination, the Indonesian island of Bali could be the perfect choice for your next road cycling holiday.

Bali Cycling Trips

A tropical island in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali is well-known for its ancient temples, iconic rice paddies, beautiful beaches, and delicious food, but it remains relatively unknown on the international cycling scene. But that’s all set to change.

Bali is positively booming at the moment when it comes to road cycling holidays, and with well-priced hotels, super-cheap dining options, and a vast selection of traffic-free cycling routes, it is the perfect cycling holiday destination for bikers on a budget.

During your Bali cycling trip, you’ll have the opportunity to explore both forested volcanic mountains and beautiful coastlines as you uncover areas such as Ubud, Tanah Lot, Besakih, Amed, Kintamani, Amed, Pupuan, Sidemen, and the UNESCO heritage site of Jatiluwih on an unforgettable journey on two wheels.

There’s plenty of elevation in this part of the world, and so if climbing is your thing, numerous road cycling challenges are waiting for you in Bali. You can cycle anything from 35km to 250km per day, but even on the shorter rides, you are still looking at around 300m – 500m climbing, so it’s the perfect warm-up destination for those who are training for a cycling tour in the Alps such as the Öztaler Cycle Marathon in Austria.

Besides great cycling routes, Bali homes amazing beach resorts where you can relax and unwind after a hard week in the saddle. Add warm sunshine and even warmer Balinese hospitality to the mix, and we think you’ve found the world’s most beautiful cycling destination!

Cycling Trips Bali

 

Cycling Garden Route South Africa: Strava Stats

If you love the idea of Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa but are worried about the distance, the terrain, and the speed you’ll be expected to ride, then keep reading…! Here you’ll find original STRAVA STATS from a ‘real’ garden route cycling holiday that took place earlier this year in the run-up to the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Cycling South Africa’s Garden Route is a lifelong dream for many international cyclists, and rightly so. It is a spectacular 750km stretch from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, and it highlights some of the most beautiful areas of the Western Cape – which are often overlooked by travellers driving the garden route or taking a small group escorted tour.

While the full Garden Route Cycling Tour is a demanding trip, it is suitable for all ages, and with the average age group for this South African Cycling Holiday being 40 – 70 years old, there are no limits. If you feel comfortable cycling on open roads and covering around 100km per day in the saddle, you will easily manage the trip, and there’s always a support vehicle behind for you to jump on if you need a rest.

The support vehicle stays with the group the whole time, so you can take a break if you are feeling too hot or too tired and re-join the group whenever you feel ready. It’s not a stressful tour – so don’t let the distance put you off!

Here’s what you can expect during your Garden Route Cycling Holiday. Please note these are guide stats, and so they are slightly faster than the group average:

Day 1: Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay

Distance: 111.47km

Moving Time: 4:51:48

Elevation: 1,260m

Average Speed: 22.9km/h

 

Day 2: Jeffrey’s Bay to Nature’s Valley

Distance: 113.56km

Moving Time: 4:31:46

Elevation: 1,204m

Average Speed: 25.1km/h

 

Day 3: Nature’s Valley to Brenton-on-Sea

Distance: 77.99km

Moving Time: 3:20:28

Elevation: 973m

Average Speed: 23.3km/h

 

Day 4: Brenton-on-Sea to Oudtshoorn (1-hour bus transfer)

Distance: 82.63km

Moving Time: 3:24:46

Elevation: 1,613m

Average Speed: 24.2km/h

 

Day 5: Oudtshoorn to Swellendam

Distance: 124.90km

Moving Time: 4:51:46

Elevation: 1,722m

Average Speed: 25.7km/h

 

Day 6: Swellendam to Hermanus (1-hour bus transfer)

Distance: 98.25km

Moving Time: 4:20:15

Elevation: 1,393m

Average Speed: 22.7km/h

 

Day 7: Hermanus – Gordons Bay (transfer to Cape Town)

Distance: 83.36km

Moving Time: 3:07:03

Elevation: 752m

Average Speed: 24.1km/h

 

Some bus transfers are included to avoid narrow roads and roadworks, and to limit the number of kilometres travelled each day, but apart from that, it will just be you, two wheels, beautiful scenery, and a bunch of likeminded individuals. Cycling the Garden Route is every bit as spectacular as you imagine it to be – so why not head on down to South Africa this winter and find out what all the fuss is about!

Cycle the Garden Route December 2019 – Fixed Departure

Garden Route Training Camp February 2020 – Including Guaranteed Entry Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020

Cycle Sweden’s Vätternrundan 2020: Registration Open Today!

If you think you have to wait until October to register for the Vätternrundan 2020, think again! Entries for Sweden’s most iconic cycle tour open today, and if you want to secure your spot on this 300km extravaganza around Lake Vättern, now is the perfect time to head on over to the official vatternrundan.se website, set up an account, and register your interest for next year.

cycle vatternrundan 2020

Image courtesy: http://www.vatternrundan.se

Listed as “The World’s Largest Recreational Bike Ride” the Vatternrundan is a one-day, 300km event that attracts thousands of cyclists from all over the world. Starting and finishing the city of Motala, whose population triples in size over race week, it is a long but rewarding ride along the shores of one of Sweden’s most beautiful lakes. You’ll have the opportunity to see both sunset and sunrise as you ride through the night on this spectacular cycling sportive, but you shouldn’t hang around for too long, there are cut-off points to meet, and you need to be on time if you are to cover the whole 300km!

The Vätternrundan Cycle Tour has come a long way since the inaugural ride in 1966, when just over 300 participants turned up. Today, more than 23,000 cyclists from 50 different nations line up for the event, and as such, the demand for entries is high. In 2016, entries sold out in just over a minute, and while things seemed to have calmed down slightly, the event sells out fast year after year.

If you love the idea of cycling in Sweden next year but feel a 300km ride is out of your comfort zone, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several other options available. There’s the Halvvätten 150km ride for men and women, the Tjejvätten 100km ride for women only, the Vätternrundan 100km that allows participants to use e-bikes, the MTB Vättern for hardcore Mountain Bikers, and finally, the Mini Vättern for all the mini riders out there – just for kids.

Overall, Sweden’s Vatternrundan Cycle Tour attracts 37,000 participants, and you have the opportunity to be one of them in 2020! As a WACE (World Association of Cycling Events) sportive, the Vätternrundan lines up as one of the five most prestigious mass-participation cycling events in the world alongside the Prudential RideLondon, the Gran Fondo Campagnolo, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour New York, and the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour in South Africa, which remains the world’s largest timed cycle event.

What WACE event will you be participating in in 2020? Drop us a line and let us know!

Morten On Tour: Cycle Across America Part V

Well, he did it! Morten finally completed the Fast America Ride on 30th May 2019, which saw him cycle some 5,554km from California to Massachusetts in just 33 days (30 days riding).

Here’s his Strava Stats since we last caught up:

Day 31: Cycling Liverpool NY – Amsterdam NY

Distance: 191.50km

Elevation: 1,093m

Moving Time: 8:26:47

Day 32: Cycling Amsterdam NY – Keene NH – 3 State Day

Distance: 202.91km

Elevation: 2,507m

Moving Time: 8:24:51

Day 33: Cycling Keene NH – Salisbury Beach Massachusetts – Mission Completed!

Distance: 173.58km

Elevation: 1,753m

Moving Time: 7:00:00

Here’s a few words from the man himself:

29th May 2019: Yesterday was really a tough day, it was cold and raining cats and dogs all day and the headwind was brutal. I did not think it was possible to get so wet. Today coming into Keene, New Hampshire better, it was cloudy with less wind even though distance was quite long (202km). Tomorrow is the last day – my legs will be grateful for that 🙂

30th May 2019: Yep. Did it!!

Everyone at Bicycle Beyond would like to congratulate Morten on his amazing accomplishment, and we look forward to hearing all about it next time we meet up!

cycling holidays america

What’s next for us? We’ll, we’re Cycling Pico de Veleta in Granada, Spain at the end of July, the Ötztal Radmarathon in Austria in September, and Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa in December. Next year, we’ve got the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020 and a brand-new cycling holiday in Patagonia – so why not join us!

Morten On Tour: Cycle Across America Part IIII

Since we last caught-up with Morten, he’s cycled through Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the State of New York, and he’s fast approaching the end of his Fast Ride America adventure. But he’s not quite there yet!

cycling holidays bicycle beyond

During the past 9 days, he’s experienced changeable weather conditions, blustery headwinds, and more than a few over-friendly dogs, but he and his team mates remain in good spirits as they continue making their way east to their final destination Massachusetts.

Yesterday, Morten and a fellow rider decided to add another 65km to their journey with a detour to Canada to see Niagara Falls, where he managed to take the magnificent photos below. Here’s his Strava stats since we last caught up:

Day 20: Quincy IL – Springfield IL

Distance: 170.65km

Elevation: 794m

Moving Time: 5:36:50

Day 21: Springfield IL – Rest Day

Distance: 34.20km

Elevation: 160m

Moving Time: 1:34:02

Day 22: Springfield IL – Tuscola IL

Distance: 125.69km

Elevation: 387m

Moving Time: 3:48:20

Day 23: Tuscola IL – Lebanon IN

Distance: 192.56km

Elevation: 659m

Moving Time: 6:25:56

Day 24: Lebanon IN – Richmond IN

Distance: 179.18km

Elevation: 720m

Moving Time: 7:44:55

Day 25: Richmond IN – Marysville OH

Distance: 168.52km

Elevation: 781m

Moving Time: 5:49:18

Day 26: Marysville OH – Wooster OH

Distance: 165.63km

Elevation: 1,519m

Moving Time: 5:32:35

Day 27: Wooster OH – Warren OH

Distance: 153.70km

Elevation: 1,096m

Moving Time: 5:56:19

Day 28: Warren OH – Dunkirk NY – 3 State Day with Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York!

Distance: 222.75km

Elevation: 942m

Moving Time: 7:14:04

Day 29: Dunkirk NY – Batavia NY – Via Niagara Falls

Distance: 197.42km

Elevation: 804m

Moving Time: 7:27:01

Day 30: Batavia NY – Liverpool NY

Distance: 199.06km

Elevation: 1,466m

Moving Time: 7:00:18

Here are a few words from the man himself:

26th May 2019: Day 28 done now. Did 222km today, left Ohio in the morning, had lunch in Pennsylvania, and finished the day in the state of New York. Last 3-days have been great. Ohio is great for biking and weather has been nice with 20 – 25 degrees and less wind. Only 5 days to go now. Tomorrow I will take a detour, adding 65km to the route to visit Canada and Niagara Falls. It’s so close, I cannot miss this opportunity!

cycling holidays bicycle beyond

With just three days to go, we cannot wait to see Morten cross the finish line after what we’re sure has been a cycling holiday of a lifetime! Check back soon to find out how the last 3-days went!  Good luck Morten and cycle safe!

 

Morten on Tour: Cycle Across America Part III

They do say that time flies when you are having fun, but we can hardly believe it’s 10-days since we last caught up with Morten who is, as we type, cycling his way from California to Massachusetts on the Fast Ride America.

cycling across america

Since we last blogged, he has cycled through Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois, and passed the official half-way mark, but despite already cycling 2,000 miles (3,218km), he still has a long way to go!

The past 10-days have been pretty full-on with no rest days. The weather has been ‘interesting’ to say the least, with 5 degree temperatures, scattered showers, and strong headwinds, but fortunately, the group managed to stay behind the tornado that threatened their two-wheeled journey.

Since arriving in Kansas, our very own Wizard of Oz (or should that be Norge!) has been blessed with blue skies and 25 degrees, so here’s hoping the good weather will last.  Here’s Morten Strava Stats from Day 10:

Day 10: Las Vegas NM – Tucumari NM

Distance: 176.24m

Elevation: 1160m

Moving Time: 6:55:34

 

Day 11: Tucumari NM – Dalhart TX

Distance: 155.10km

Elevation: 678m

Moving Time: 6:14:01

 

Day 12: Dalhart TX – Liberal KS (3 State Day)

Distance: 180.28km

Elevation: 368m

Moving Time: 8:07:00

 

Day 13: Liberal KS – Dodge City KS

Distance: 133.56km

Elevation: 338m

Moving Time: 4:43:00

 

Day 14: Dodge City KS – Great Bend KS

Distance: 147.75km

Elevation: 119m

Moving Time: 4:51:40

 

Day 15: Great Bend KS – Abilene KS

Distance: 204.84km

Elevation: 389m

Moving Time: 7:14:54

 

Day 16: Abilene KS – Topeka KS

Distance: 172.87km

Elevation: 1,419m

Moving Time: 6:35:18

 

Day 17: Topeka KS – Cameron MO

Distance: 188.97km

Elevation: 1,884m

Moving Time: 6:47:25

 

Day 18: Cameron MO – Kirksville MO

Distance: 191.90km

Elevation: 2,186m

Moving Time: 7:30:42

 

Day 19: Kirksville MO – Quincy IL

Distance: 145.49km

Elevation: 1,615m

Moving Time: 5:11:31

 

Here’s a few lines from the man himself:

 

8th May: We arrived in Tucumari close to the Texas border after a relatively easy 177km ride with headwinds all the way. Tornados are forecast for the coming days, although it looks as though we’ll be just behind them. We will see tomorrow!

 

9th May: We arrived in Texas today. Another day with strong headwinds, and colder than previous days. Tomorrow will be much the same, but I’m glad we missed the weather on the picture below!

cycling across america

 

11th May: We left Dodge City this morning, an old cowboy town famous for its cattle farms. We passed Kinsley in Kansas, which is midway USA, and enjoyed warmer temperatures with little wind. Kansas is flat – we climbed just 119m over 148km – you won’t find that in Norway!

 

15th May: After leaving Topeka at 7am this morning, we reached the Fast America half-way point. First half done!

 

17th May: After a few very warm days in Missouri, we crossed the Mississippi River to Quincy Illinois. Lots of rolling hills in Missouri, so challenging but very pretty.

 

Today, Morten is cycling from Quincy to Springfield in Illinois, where he will enjoy a well-deserved rest today tomorrow! We’ll catch up again soon, but in the meantime, here’s some pics:

cycling across america