From mountain-lined road climbs in Italy to gravel trails in Michigan, man and nature have combined to create some pretty incredible rides for cyclists. Whether you’re looking for a quick spin or a grueling 200 mile race, Outside Online has you covered with the best bike rides for casual and competitive cyclists alike.
The Swiss Epic – Graubünden, Switzerland
Switzerland is a major destination these days for the world’s top mountain bikers. The Swiss epic, a 155-mile, five-day race, will take cyclists through the southeast region of the country in what the pros often name among the hardest of all the mountain-bike stage races. This year’s race begins on August 20, but Outside Online encourages less experienced riders to use the race trail as a guide for tackling the route at their own pace.
The Whole Enchilada – Moab, Utah
This trail may have the best name on the list, but that’s not the only reason it scored a spot. This 35-mile ride boasts an 8,000-vertical-foot descent, beginning in the La Sal mountains and spanning a wide variety of scenery before ending beside the Colorado River. But this single-track ride isn’t all breezy sight-seeing. You’ll be taking a 1,500 foot climb, which takes some serious bike-handling energy.
Vuelta al Cotopaxi – Cotopaxi, Ecuador
If you’re up for a challenge, the Vuelta al Cotopaxi serves up one of the most grueling mountain-bike races in the world. This cross-country singletrack race is so hard, most humans could never safely finish it in a day, according to Outside Online. Despite the seemingly backbreaking conditions, this race remains hugely popular, and this year’s round of cyclists will take off on November 9. If you’re not up for the race, still consider checking out this legendary trail for some great bikepacking.
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