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

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!

 

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!

 

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!