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Written by
George Hudson
George Hudson

Celebrating the Bicycle: 4 Cycling Holidays for 2017

2017 marks the bicentenary of the bike and here at Macs Adventure we'll always be grateful to the innovator who came up with the earliest incarnation of the bicycle. More recently, bicycles are getting comfier, Ebikes are readily available and cycling holidays are growing in popularity. We have built a range of itineraries for those looking for an adventure on two wheels, from leisurely peddles along Europe's most picturesque waterways to those routes designed for the cycling fanatics looking to eat up the road. 
First, a bit about the bike.

The Birth of the Bicycle

In 1816 a massive volcanic eruption in present day Indonesia led to dense clouds of ash and sulphur rich gasses rising high into the earth's atmosphere. This volcanic debris circled the globe and had a disastrous effect on the climate of much of the northern hemisphere. The failure of crops led to a drop in the numbers of farm animals, such as horses, due to a lack of food which not only had an effect on farming but also on transport. Karl Drais began thinking of alternative forms of personal transport and in 1817 Drais introduced the Laufmaschine or 'running machine' to the people of Mannheim. The introduction of the running machine was the beginning of a journey in personal transport that would lead to what we now know as the bicycle. Thanks Karl! [caption id="attachment_22005" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Karl Drais's Laufmaschine Karl Drais's Laufmaschine[/caption] 20 year later a Scotsman, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, after seeing someone using a similar contraption to the running machine decided to modify it by adding peddles allowing the rider to keep their feet off the ground, hence the first pedal bicycle. The following give an indication of the various types of cycling tours we offer.

1. Italy Bike & Boat: Mantova to Venice

Grade: Easy This 7 night Bike and Boat tour is the perfect introduction to cycling in Italy and is most suited to beginners. Bike and Boat tours are an increasingly popular format that allow a lot of ground to be covered. The boat is moored at night and sets sail after breakfast catching up with cyclists in the afternoon. The cycling follows flat tarmac paths along rivers, canals and quiet country roads. Spend time in Venice, Mantova and Ferrara - each jewels of the Italian Renaissance. Choose to cycle with a guide or go self-guided on this cultural tour that brings together cycling, cuisine and sightseeing. [caption id="attachment_22006" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Santa Maria della Salute from the Grand Canal Santa Maria della Salute from the Grand Canal[/caption]

2. Cycling Stockholm's Archipelago

Grade: Easy to Moderate Just outside the centre of the charming city of Stockholm, you will find its sprawling archipelago: over 24,000 islands stretching far out into the Baltic Sea. This tour is perfect for those looking for relaxed cycling which includes the chance to explore remote beaches, tranquil forests, idyllic islands and the fashionable city of Stockholm. This tour which gives a true Scandi experience is available from mid-June to mid-August. [caption id="attachment_22007" align="aligncenter" width="900"]A boat cruises between Sweden's archipelago The perfect getaway for those looking for a relaxed active holiday.[/caption]

3. Cycling Around the Cape of Corsica

Grade: Moderate Available from April to October this cycling tour explores the wild and beautiful Cape of Corsica on the north of the island. Exploring the rugged Corsican landscapes on challenging routes that involve a lot of climbs and descents. Taking the elevation gains into account, the default daily distances are small however the tour has various options allowing routes to be extended. Cycling inland takes you through quaint villages and gives the chance to meet proud locals. The friendly and welcoming accommodations are just one more reason to get on your bike and explore this fabulous island. [caption id="attachment_22008" align="aligncenter" width="900"]The charming port of Erbalunga The charming port of Erbalunga[/caption]

4. Road Cycling: Mont Ventoux

Grade: Moderate to Strenuous A legendary cycle on a piece of road that is Tour de France history. Our Mont Ventoux tour is a hassle free 4 day break, that allows you to focus on the task at hand, tackling the snaking tarmac and 7.5% gradient ahead of you. If you’re short on time but big on road cycling Mont Ventoux is the ideal cycling trip but it is a challenge that requires experienced road cycling legs to tackle long sustained climbs and descents. If you’ve ridden Alpine conditions before, have a good level of road cycling fitness and are looking for a challenging short break with your club or fellow enthusiasts this is the definitive short road bike trip. [caption id="attachment_21696" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Mont Ventoux Cycle high on Mont Ventoux.[/caption]
To discuss our range of cycling holidays, including bringing your own bike on one of our tours, contact a member of the team on [email protected]. If you would like to receive more travel tips and advice, including the best of our blog, sign up for our newsletter
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