Care2: by Samantha Adams

There’s nothing like jumping on a bicycle, letting the wind flow through your hair and breathing in clean, crisp air while feeling like a kid again. It’s also the most intimate way to experience a new city, allowing you to take in the sights, sounds and smells together with your traveling companion.

There are companies that conduct guided tours throughout most parts of the world that include lodging, dining, bicycles, full van support and regional expertise. Thinking about where you’d like your first trip to be? Here are the 5 best rides for you to consider.

Take advantage of the natural beauty in the United States by enjoying 335 uninterrupted miles on The Great Allegheny Passage, a private bike path. Beginning in Pittsburgh, The Great Allegheny Passage connects with the beautiful C&O Canal Towpath. Together, these paths will take you to the great capital Washington D.C.

Make sure you plan time to stop at the charming city of Rockwood. This trailside community has a small town feel but offers trail services in a big way. B&B’s, a bike shop, small restaurants and camping are all at the trailhead or just in town. The Rockwood Opera House and Mill Shoppes are a must see!

Venture outside the contiguous United States on an Alaskan Adventure. This seven day tour through Alaska Bike Company combines the best of all activities with half days of bicycling an average of 30 miles combined with canoeing, hiking, sea kayaking, a spectacular drive across the Denali Highway and an awesome glacier cruise across Prince William Sound.

Travel even further and check off a dream on my bucket list by completing the Bike Across Italy, Ciclismo Classico. This ten day ride will take you across the legendary heartland of Italy by winding through lush, sweeping countryside and charming medieval villages. Benefits of biking your way across this stunning landscape include burning off all of the delicious food you eat along the way.

Take the route less traveled by choosing the spectacular Baltics Bike Tour, which will take you through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Russia. Stops and sights include churches and monasteries, castles, national parks and forests, a fossil museum, beaches and sand dunes, medieval towns and the summer palace of Peter the Great. It’ll be an international crowd, so the tour is conveniently conducted in both Dutch and English.

Meet me down under on this Australian Voyage. This self-guided trip through Tasmania follows the East Coast of a breathtaking region in Australia. Along the tour you can visit the Nature World Animal Park to take a peek at some Tasmanian devils. Just make sure you pack enough snacks for the long airplane ride to get there.

No matter what ride you choose, don’t forget your helmet!

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