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

Morten on Tour: Cycle Across America Part II

Well, he’s been on the road for 10-days now as he cycles across America, and Morten shows no signs of slowing down. He’s travelled through California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and he’s making his way towards Texas, but our Norwegian cycling buddy has a long way to go until he reaches Massachusetts, 4,200km to go to be precise, and we cannot wait to see what happens next!

Cycling Holidays Bicycle Beyond

We last caught up with Morten in Cottonwood, Arizona, when he was 4 days into is mammoth cycling trip across the US. From there, he headed into the Wild West of New Mexico, where he has visited Gallup, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas (not to be confused with the Las Vegas in Nevada!).

The day starts early when you have to cycle some 200km, and with breakfast at 05h30 and departure at 06h30, there’s not much time for a lie in in the mornings! Since reaching New Mexico, Morten has experienced a few chilly starts with temperatures barely reaching 1°C, but by mid-morning, the sun is shining, the temperatures rise to 27°C, and there’s not a cloud in the sky – so perfect for a day in the saddle!

Here are Morten’s Strava Stats from Day 5:

Day 5: Cottonwood AZ – Winslow AZ

  • Distance: 174.83km
  • Elevation: 1,669m
  • Moving Time: 6:45:11

Day 6: Winslow AZ – Gallup NM

  • Distance: 209.60km
  • Elevation: 990m
  • Moving Time: 7:42:50

Day 7: Gallup NM – Albuquerque NM

  • Distance: 204.97km
  • Elevation: 754m
  • Moving Time: 7:17:11

Day 8: Rest Day in Albuquerque NM (But couldn’t resist a little leg loosener!)

  • Distance: 16.91km
  • Elevation: 104m
  • Moving Time: 51:28

Day 9: Albuquerque NM – Las Vegas NM

  • Distance: 219.82km
  • Elevation: 2572m
  • Moving Time: 8:47:38

cycling holidays bicycle beyond

Here’s a brief update from the man himself:

Day 7: So, we arrived in Albuquerque. It was 1°C and fresh when we started, but we had sunny blue skies all the way and the temperatures soon reached 26°C. Tomorrow is a rest day, so I’m going to have a lazy Sunday morning breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day.

Day 9: We left Albuquerque early this morning and cycled 220km with approximately 2500m climbing. We arrived in Las Vegas (New Mexico, not Nevada) to a sunny and warm 28°C and great weather.

As we speak, Morten is cycling from Las Vegas to Tucumcari (both New Mexico), which will see him cover some 177km and 1,024m elevation. After today, he has another 10 full days in the saddle before he gets his second rest day, although, with his trusty new wheels, we don’t see that being a problem!

You see, when Morten arrived in California, he found that his beloved BMC bike hadn’t travelled quite as well as he did. During transit from Norway, his frame suffered severe damage, and so he needed to get new wheels – and quick!

cycling holidays

With more than 5,400km riding ahead of him, he needed a comfortable bike and decided on the rather splendid specimen above. A TREK Domane with 32mm tyres and disc brakes – no less!  Well, a good bike certainly helps, but it is ultimately the man sitting on it that has to make the wheels go around, and so Morten, pedal strong, stay safe and keep us posted!

cycling across america

Morten on Tour: One Man, One Bike, One Big American Adventure

After recovering from a neck injury that almost put a stop to his two-wheeled adventures, Bicycle Beyond guest Morten Pettersen from Norway decided to follow his lifelong dream and ride across the United States on the Fast America Ride.

Cycling Across America

An annual cycling event that crosses some 15 states from California to Massachusetts, it covers over 5,470 kms in just 33 days with an average of 180 kms per day in the saddle. While not for the faint-hearted, this is certainly a Bucket List dream for many cycling enthusiasts, and we are delighted that Morten has decided to share his journey with us. This is his journey so far..

Day 1: Cycling Costa Mesa to Palm Springs

  • Distance: 188.68km
  • Elevation: 1,296m
  • Moving Time: 7:06:08

Day 2: Cycling Palm Springs to Blythe

  • Distance: 218.58km
  • Elevation: 893m
  • Moving Time: 7:19:01

Day 3: Cycling Blythe to Wickenburg, AZ

  • Distance: 186.38km
  • Elevation: 1,122m
  • Moving Time: 7:20:04

Day 4: Cycling Wickenburg to Cottonwood

  • Distance: 179.85km
  • Elevation: 2,608m
  • Moving Time: 7:45:03

Our dear friend Morten, who prepared for this mighty adventure on our Garden Route Cycle Tour earlier this year, started his adventure on Saturday, 27th April and will complete his mission on Thursday, 30th May. During that time, he’ll be keeping us updated via Strava and SMS messaging, so why not join us as we follow his latest adventures. Here’s how it’s going so far…

Cycling Across America

 “The first 3 days and about 600km are done, so only another 5000km to go before we are on the other side! We have left California now and are in Arizona, a small western town where everyone wears cowboy hats, except us in Lycra! They sure know how to make Tex-Mex here, we had a great dinner (and 3 beers), which was well-deserved after a hard day with a headwind.”

On behalf of everyone at Bicycle Beyond, we’d like to wish Morten a safe, successful, and enjoyable ride across America! Check back soon for more updates!

 

Karoo To Coast: A 100km Mountain Bike Challenge in South Africa

If your idea of the perfect MTB cycling holiday includes beautiful scenery, demanding trails, and getting down and dirty on a ride through the wilderness, the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge could be the perfect tour for your 2019 cycling calendar.

Karoo to Coast Ride
Riders during the 2017 BUCO Karoo 2 Coast MTB race from Uniondale to Knysna – 24 September 2017 | photo by Ewald Sadie

A one-day off road race for MTB enthusiasts, the Karoo to Coast Challenge will take you to the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route, where you will ride from Uniondale to Knysna via the iconic Prince Alfred’s Pass. You’ll cover some 95.95km as you make your way from the quaint country village to the magnificent coastline, ascending 1560m and descending 1815m along the way.

Karoo to Coast MTB holiday South Africa

The Karoo to Coast MTB Challenge is a spectacular ride for off-road cyclists, but it does have its challenges. The event organisers advise that you “train sufficiently” in order to enjoy the experience, and you must meet the cut-off times if you want to avoid being pulled off the trail. As an official premier seeding event for the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour, it is the perfect training ride for those who want to achieve a personal best next March, but spaces are strictly limited, and so you need to act fast if you want to secure your place.

Buco Lions Karoo to Coast MTB Challenge 2019: What You Need to Know

When: Sunday, 22nd September 2019

Where: Uniondale, Western Cape, South Africa

Cost: R630 – This includes dinner in Uniondale on Saturday, 21st September 2019

Spaces: Strictly limited to 4,500 entries, accepted on a first come, first served basis

Organiser: The Lions Clubs of Knysna and Uniondale

Proceeds: All proceeds go to Sightfirst and the South African Guide Dog Association  

September is a wonderful time of the year to visit South Africa, and with less tourists in town to push up the prices, you can enjoy discounted hotel rates, crowd-free sights, and the beautiful Garden Route in all its glory.

Entries are already open for the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge 2019, but they won’t last for long! So, why not book yours now, and support the Lions and their chosen organisations while doing something that you love.

Cycling Sierra Nevada: Last Call for Granada 2019

Spring has sprung, summer is just around the corner, and if you are looking for an exciting cycling challenge in 2019, Granada in Spain’s Andalusian region could be the perfect choice for next cycling holiday.

Home to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and the mighty Pico de Veleta, one of Europe’s greatest cycling challenges, Granada is a fabulous destination for a summer cycling camp, and with more than a few challenging routes to keep you on your toes (quite literally), it is the perfect base for La Vuelta fans who dream of following in the footsteps, or should that be cycle tracks, of their cycling heroes.

cycling holidays granada pico de veleta

Image rights: Alhambra.org

While Granada is still relatively new in the world of road cycling, it is growing in popularity year after year. The roads are good in this part of the world, the hotels are surprisingly cycle-friendly, and with an average of 320-days sunshine per year, you are all but guaranteed a warm ride. It really is the perfect spot for a spring, summer, or autumn cycling holiday, but you may want to avoid the end of August when the roads are congested, the sightseeing attractions are overcrowded, and the daytime temperatures rarely fall below 40° degrees Celsius!

Granada is often referred to as the ‘Land of a Thousand Castles’ and you only have to take a look at the scenic landscapes to understand why. This picturesque city homes some of the most magnificent palaces and fortresses, not to mention the Alhambra, and so there is much to see on your cycling adventure.

road cycling holidays spain

In addition to cycling up Pico de Veleta, which will see you climbing some 2,700metres over 42km with an average gradient of 6%, you will have the opportunity to cycle around Lake Bermejales and down to the coastline of Costa Tropical, and so you can easily spend 4 or 5 days here without getting bored.

After all that cycling, you can indulge at one of the many tapas bars in the city, quench your thirst with an ice-cold Cerveza, and immerse yourself in local culture with a flamenco show at the Alhambra. In this part of the world, there’s no such thing as an early night, so cycle all day, party all night, and enjoy the very best of what España has to offer on a Granada Road Cycling Holiday of a lifetime.

Stellenbosch Cycle Tour 2020 – So Much More than a Cape Town Cycle Tour Seeding Event!

When Cape Town was announced as the World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination at the World Travel Awards in December 2018, I don’t think any of us were surprised. It homes some of the most iconic events in the sporting calendar, and while the Cape Town Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans Marathon get the international acclaim that they deserve, there are many other events happening in the Western Cape that have not captured a worldwide audience…yet!

Stellenbosch Cycle Tour 2020

One such event would have to be the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour. A fabulous 102km race throughout the Western Cape Winelands, it is a spectacular ride, and if you have already done the Cape Town Cycle Tour (previously the Cape Argus) and you fancy something a little bit different, this should be your number #1 choice.

The Stellenbosch Cycle Tour is an official seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2020, and so it is the perfect training ride for internationals who intend to participate both events. In 2019, the tour got a new date (pushed back from December to January) and a new location, starting and finishing at the Val De Vie Estate, which is a short drive from Stellenbosch centre. While the route remained largely unchanged this year, the event organisers switched it around somewhat so that Helshoogte Pass, the only real climb of the race, came at the 70km mark, rather than right at the beginning as it was in previous years, to spice things up a bit!

On Sunday, 20th January 2019, the Bicycle Beyond Team lined up for the Stellenbosch Cycle Tour for the very first time, and it did not disappoint! The weather was beautiful, the route was challenging but very doable, and the scenery and camaraderie were simply amazing. While it’s not as big as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, it is just as enjoyable, and if you are looking to start your 2020 cycling season in style, this is definitely one for the Bucket List.

Here’s what our Stellenbosch Cycle Tour looked like…

Cycling the Garden Route South Africa: December 2019

Cycling the Garden Route in South Africa is a dream for many international cyclists, and rightly so. It is undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful stretches in the world to discover on two wheels, and if you are up for the +/- 750km challenge, why not plan your winter cycling holiday now and book your spot on the 06.12.2019 departure!

The beginning of December is the perfect time of the year to visit South Africa, with plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures, and less tourists than in February and March when thousands of international road cyclists head down to participate in the world-famous Cape Town Cycle Tour. Flights are well-priced at that time of the year too, and so if you want to extend your 2019 cycling season, this is the perfect way to do it.

Cycling the Garden Route is a demanding trip, especially if you intend to cycle the full route from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, but it offers untold rewards. The scenery is spectacular, the roads are surprisingly well-maintained (well, most of them!), and there are some fabulous accommodation choices.

You’ll start each day with a delicious breakfast before jumping into the saddle. You can expect to cover some 100km each day, stopping at various lookout points along the way. A sumptuous picnic will be enjoyed on route, and you’ll have time at leisure in the afternoon to enjoy the facilities on offer at each high-end hotel before regrouping for a 3-course dinner.

Garden Route Road Cycling Tour: Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Port Elizabeth
  • Day 2: Port Elizabeth / Build Bikes / Short Spin to Test the Legs
  • Day 3: Cycle from Port Elizabeth to Jeffrey’s Bay
  • Day 4: Cycle from Jeffrey’s Bay to The Crags (Plettenberg Bay)
  • Day 5: Cycle from The Crags to Brenton-on-Sea
  • Day 6: Cycle from Brenton-on-Sea to Oudtshoorn
  • Day 7: Cycle from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam
  • Day 8: Cycle from Swellendam to Hermanus
  • Day 9: Cycle from Hermanus to Cape Town
  • Day 10: Free Day Cape Town
  • Day 11: Departure

Some short bus transfers are included to keep the average daily distance to around 100km, and the group is followed by a support vehicle at all times.

If this sounds like your perfect cycling holiday, find out more, and cycle South Africa’s Garden Route in December 2019!

 

Cycling Grossglockner: Austria’s Highest Alpine Road

So, you’ve done France, conquered Italy, and cycled your way around Spain – what next? Well, it might be time to head to the land of Alpine Adventures and book your 2019 cycling holiday to Austria!

While most people think of Austria as a skiing destination, it is one of the best cycling destinations in Europe. The roads are immaculate, the drivers are courteous, and there are more mountain passes that you can count. The weather in this part of the world is surprisingly good from May through to October with summer temperatures exceeding the 30°C mark, the air is pure, the landscapes are breath-taking, and the food is, well, it’s like it was made for cyclists with decadent cakes, delicious Käsespätzle (cheesy pasta type dish), and coffee… lots of coffee.

In the mountainous state of Vorarlberg in western Austria, there are endless cycling possibilities for those who love a challenge, and once a year, you can compete with other climbing aficionados in the Arlberg Giro in St. Anton, a fabulous one-day sportive that tackles 2,500m elevation over just 150km.

Austria is also home to the Ötztaler Radmarathon, which is often described as the most challenging one-day sportive in Europe. Taking place in Sölden each year, this gruelling race includes 3 knee-trembling passes and covers 5,500m elevation over 238km, so it’s not for everyone, but such is the demand that you can only enter by ballot, and just 4,000 out of some 15,000 entrants get a place each year.

Finally, we come to Grossglockner – Austria’s highest mountain. The most magnificent adventure for keen cyclists, it features a pristine alpine road that winds its way up and up to the snow-capped peak. You really need to do this between July and September if you are to at least try and avoid snow on the way up, but if you are blessed with sunshine, you may just think you have died and gone to cycling heaven.

The ascent it tough, but the descent was made for daredevils, and with a clear view of the road below, you can really unleash your inner speed devil and break your own Strava speed records.  The Bicycle Beyond Team will be Cycling Grossglockner again in 2019 and you are invited to join us – click here to find out more!

What To Pack for a Road Cycling Holiday

There is perhaps nothing more exciting that an overseas cycling holiday, particularly during the winter months when cycling is mostly limited to spinning classes and rollers here in the northern hemisphere, but if you want to avoid costly baggage fees and paying more than you should to take your beloved bike and cycling gear with you, you need to master the art of packing light.

Cape Town Cycle Tour 2019

Cycling holidays are now more popular than golfing holidays, and fortunately, airlines have taken note. You can now take you bike on almost every flight providing it meets the airline’s size and weight requirements, and you can do this either as part of your checked baggage allowance, or for an additional fee.

While these additional fees will not add a huge amount to the overall cost of your cycling holiday, you’re looking at a minimum of £120 roundtrip, and you can buy more than a few energy gels, protein bars, and chamois creams for that kind of money!

To save money on your cycling holiday, you need to know what to pack and how to pack it, and so here are a few tips for your next overseas cycling adventure:

  1. Invest in the lightest bike bag or box you can find. Hard shell cases do provide a greater level or protection, but they often weigh over 10kg, and leave very little room for anything other than your bike. Scicon and EVOC Bags are exceptionally lightweight, easy to pack, and they leave plenty of space for your cycling kit – and so they can save money in the long run.
  2. Book your flight with an airline that allows you to transport your bike as your checked luggage allowance. For long-haul flights, British Airways is a good choice as they have a checked allowance of 23kg. Providing you have a lightweight bike bag or box, there’s no reason why you cannot pack your bike, helmet, shoes, and 4 or 5 lycra outfits and still stay within your 23kg limit, leaving you hand luggage allowance free for everything else.
  3. Some airlines, such as KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, and Turkish Airlines all charge a fee for transporting bikes, but they have an increased allowance of up to 30kg. Even the old stinge-bags at Ryanair follow this rule, and with 30kg at your fingertips, you can easily pack your bike and all your cycling gear for a 2 week cycling holiday.
  4. Pack for the type of cycling holiday you are going to take. If you are cycling out and back to the same hotel each day, then 2 or 3 outfits will see you through a weeklong trip. You can easily rinse out shorts and jerseys in the evening and leave them to dry the following day, so you’ll always be fresh and ready for the day ahead. If you are constantly on the move, such as a Garden Route Cycling Holiday from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town in South Africa, then you will need to pack a clean set of cycling clothes for every day of your itinerary. It may sound excessive, but no one wants to cycle next to whiffy armpits, so be kind to yourself those around you by changing daily!
  5. In the evenings, you only likely to wear your casual clothes for a few hours, so take plenty of mix and match items that you can wear more than once. As most cycling holidays take you to warmer climates, shorts and t-shirts are fine, but always take a fleece or jacket – just in case!
  6. Unless you heading to a remote cycling destination such as the Peruvian Andes, the mountains of Lesotho, or far south Patagonia where cycling supplies are limited, avoid taking gels, energy bars, electrolytes and an excessive amount of spare inner tubes with you. They will all add to your checked baggage allowance, and you can buy them on site.
  7. That said, don’t forget to take important things such as specialist tools and components that are not widely available in other parts of the world.
  8. Finally, whatever you do, do not pack CO2 canisters. You’re likely to get arrested for trying to blow up the plane, and if they somehow manage to pass through the airport security systems, they could explode in your bike bag and cause all kinds of damage.

The key to packing for a cycling holiday is limiting it to the essentials. Most cycling gear can be washed and dried in an hour, so you can always ask the hotel to wash your clothes if you get stuck. But try to keep it light so the only thing you have to worry about is cycling from A to B, oh yes, and not being the last up the hill!