Biking Adventures Tips

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Great Wall of China Bike Tour

Over 2000 years ago, construction began on what would become the world’s longest wall and considered as one of the seven wonders of the new world. The Great Wall of China is actually made up of a series of walls that were built over the years during several different dynasties. Today the Great Wall of China stretches over 5500 miles and is a destination for millions of tourists every year.

For tourists looking to experience the Great Wall of China in a fun and athletic way, bicycle tours are available. Since the wall is dilapidated and unsafe in many areas, bike riding on the wall itself is not possible. However several tour operators offer a variety of options to ride along the wall for a unique and fun experience.

Tours range from 1 day to a few weeks, and cyclists have their choice of which parts of the wall they would like to visit, as well as which cities to begin and end their tour in. The bike tours take cyclists along parts of the wall and through villages, where they can experience local culture and see famous sights.

The bike tours are considered as moderately challenging, with tours averaging 50 miles a day depending on the tour chosen. Some tours require riders to carry their own luggage.


Haleakala Mountain Bike Ride

For an exciting adventure away from the relaxing Hawaiian vacation resorts, and a great way to enjoy the views Maui has to offer, a bike ride down Haleakala Mountain is the way to go.

Guided tours pick up bikers at resorts and bring them up to the Haleakala (Ha-Lay-Ah-Ka-La) Crater. The summit of the crater is 10, 023 feet above sea level, offering a spectacular view of the island, and three other islands as well on a clear day. Early risers have the choice of arriving at the peak to witness the sunrise, while the more relaxed bikers can begin their adventure at a more reasonable hour. After admiring the view of the crater, riders mount their bikes at 6,500 above sea level and begin the long coast down the mountain.

Bikers can expect to do very little pedaling during the 28-mile ride, as little as 200 yards, making the ride both relaxing and exhilarating. Feel the wind and enjoy the sites and sounds of Maui as the road takes you through spectacular scenery, and some of Maui's quaint small towns. At the end of the road, bikers arrive at a pristine white beach where vans are waiting to take them back to their resorts.

A few helpful tips:

* There are several tour companies offering a variety of biking packages to suit your needs, so be sure to compare prices and packages.
* The weather at the top can be cold and unpredictable, so dress in layers so you can remove clothing as you descend the mountain.
* Enjoy the views, but don't forget to practice bike safety.

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Kelley Diekman