The world's ultimate cycling trips revealed in new book

Writer Andrew Bain discovered cycling on a 14-month, 20,000-kilometre bike trip around Australia and he went on to pedal across large parts of Europe, Asia, North America and New Zealand including five months towing his children across Europe in trailers.

"I've pedalled tens of thousands of kilometres across large portions of the world, absorbing the planet and its magic in ways that simply aren't possible cocooned inside a motorised vehicle," he writes in his new book Ultimate Cycling Trips World.

"But it's also true, as in all facets of life, that some bike rides are simply better than others, carrying you to places where wonder trumps weariness, into the lives of towns and villages, or down roads and tracks that flow as naturally as streams."

His experience and those of other cyclists in the book features 35 handpicked destinations for the best slow travel on two wheels here and overseas.

Akin to naming a favourite child Bain singles out the Old Ghost Road in New Zealand as a particular favourite.

"People tend to think of mountain biking as being about quick squirts of energy and adrenaline, but this 85 kilometre crossing of the mountains behind Buller Gorge is the longest stretch of singletrack in the country and shows that mountain biking too can have a sense of journey."

Manali to Leh (India) is another firm favourite, crossing four of the world's highest road passes to enter the high desert of Ladakh - tough but immensely rewarding and spectacular.

He says the range of rides in the book is a top-to-tail of options across the world and while experienced cycle tourers might be drawn to its crossing of the Himalayas or a lap of Peru's Huascaran mountain, there's plenty in the book to appeal to newcomers.

"Even if you've never cycle toured, the likes of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, Prince Edward Island, England's Coast to Coast and the Bavarian Beer Route are well within your reach."

Recommended rides include maps, suggested itineraries, best time to ride and the all important degree of difficulty from easy (flat terrain, short daily distances) to hard (steep climbs and descents)

Featured pedallers include Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and Guiness World Record holder for cycling from Alaska to Argentina and Australian explorer Kate Leeming who was the first person ever to cycle the 1600 kilometres of Namibia's harsh coastline.

Ultimate Cycling Trips World (Hardie Grant Travel, RRP $39.99)

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