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7 Destinations for Celebrating the Bicycle’s 200th Birthday

Serra da Leba Pass, Angola
7 Destinations for Celebrating the Bicycle’s 200th Birthday
In 1817, inventor Karl Drais created what he called a running machine. Nowadays, we call it by a different name: the bicycle. Of course, the design has improved (a lot), and, since then, it’s become not just a transportation system but also a tool for both athletic and leisure activities. Plus, there’s no doubt that biking around a city or through nature is a great way to see a destination. This year, celebrate the bicycle’s 200th birthday by riding one of these seven incredible biking trails around the world.
By Sarah Purkrabek, AFAR Contributor
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    Serra da Leba Pass, Angola
    Serra da Leba Pass, Angola
    Although the Serra da Leba Pass in Angola is only just over six miles long, it’s a hair-raising ride that intrepid cyclists can’t resist. The view from the top is worth the climb—just steer clear of the road’s treacherous cliffs and ride during the day so you’re easily spotted by passing cars.
  • 2 / 8
    The Friendship Highway, China
    The Friendship Highway, China
    Also known as the China-Nepal Highway, the Friendship Highway connects Tibet to the border between China and Nepal. The whole route is 500 miles long and takes riders through towns and past lakes, rivers, and monasteries.
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    Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver
    Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver
    Vancouver’s Stanley Park Seawall is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront at just over 17 miles. The seawall hugs the English Bay on one side and Stanley Park on the other and is a daily destination for many bikers, joggers, runners, and skaters. Ride part of it on a breweries by bike tour of the city.
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    Yungas Road, Bolivia
    Yungas Road, Bolivia
    Yungas Road’s more well-known moniker is “The Death Road,” thanks to the 15,000-foot drop that exists between the section of cliff the road is built into and the valley floor. It’s a beautiful ride, though, and that plus the adrenaline rush that comes with it draws more than 25,000 mountain bikers annually.
  • 5 / 8
    Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Canada and the United States
    Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Canada and the United States
    The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route runs over 2,700 miles through mountain passes from Banff, Canada, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The scenery is undeniably gorgeous (and it’s easy to see even if you want to hop on for, say, 20 miles instead of 2,000).
  • 6 / 8
    Cuesta del Diablo, Chile
    Cuesta del Diablo, Chile
    This 3.7-mile stretch of Chile’s Carretera Austral Highway is an epic photo opp. The black basalt walls that rise up on one side are part of Cerro Castillo, a nearly 9,000-foot-high rocky peak.
  • 7 / 8
    Puglia, Italy
    Puglia, Italy
    Find Old Italy in Puglia, an unspoiled province filled with long miles of coast, olive trees, and plenty of space for bicyclists. Get some ideas by reading writer Paul Greenberg’s account of biking in Italy's lesser-known region, which ran in the November/December 2015 issue of AFAR, here


    Photo by Michael George
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