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With the opening of the first phase of an ambitious new “bike autobahn” in Germany, Isabelle Lui looks at some of the World’s best routes for fans of two-Wheel power.
The recently opened 10km bike trail between Mühlheim and Essen is part of a planned 100-kilometre Radschnellweg, or bicycle fast lane, through Germany’s Ruhr Valley. At four metres wide, this cyclist- friendly trail takes in the rural bliss of the Main River and uses overpasses, disused railway lines and bridges to ensure a safe cycle experience. www.germany.info
Test yourself on the 1,000km Munda Biddi Trail, which runs from Mundaring to Albany through the euca- lyptus trees of southwest Australia. On this challenging route you can immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty as you pass through the Jarrah Forest, and along the spectacular coastline of William Bay National Park and Waterfall Beach before you reach Albany, the adven- ture hub of the southern state. www.mundabiddi.org.au
The Route Des Grandes Alpes, a 1,000km alpine route running from Lake Geneva, through the French Alps, and down to the Mediterranean was made popular
by the Tour de France, which passes along the route. Kick off at Thonon-les-Bains and enjoy the scenic beauty of the lakelands before climbing the Alps on an itinerary packed with towering waterfalls and plummeting gorges. Finish off at garden-filled Menton, in southeast France. www.moveyouralps.com
Despite its 5,000km length, even beginners can tackle Canada’s La Route Verte, also known as the Green Route, a well sign-posted trail that crosses Quebec east to west. The longest cycling route in North America, the Green Route affords travellers abundant sea and mountain views, from the beautiful riverside village of Kamouraska to the waterfront towns along the Saint Lawrence River. www.routeverte.com
Take a journey from active Mount Ruapehu, in the cen- tral North Island, to the river town of Whanganui on the Mountains to Sea cycling route, part of the 2,500km New Zealand Cycle Trail. Capture the alpine beauty of the Tongariro National Park, and the native forests of southern Taranaki as you make for the Tasman Sea. http://nzcycletrail.com