Top bike rides of the world
What makes a good mountain bike trail? This question has been posed by course designers since the birth of the sport, and each year there are new courses designed for international competitions, including the mountain biking World Cup and World Championships.
Mountain bike courses are tailored to different disciplines, like Cross Country (XC) or Downhill (DH) events. To ride DH courses you need a mountain bike that can stand up to the hard jolts and landings that are hit at high speeds. You should also wear extra protective clothing and protective pads.
XC courses are more accessible to mountain bike enthusiasts of all skill levels. A good mix of singletrack, climbs and descents makes up an enjoyable mountain bike trail.
The UK has excellent mountain bike trails dotted across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A quick ferry ride can get you into Europe where you can further explore great MTB trails.
To give you an idea of the countries that have mountain bike routes worth visiting, here is a list of countries hosting World Cup mountain bike events in 2011.
MTB World Cup venues 2011
- South Africa (Pietermaritzburg)
- England (Dalby Forest, Yorkshire)
- Germany (Offenberg)
- Scotland (Fort William)
- Austria (Leogang)
- Canada (Mont Sainte Anne)
- USA (Windham)
- France (La Bresse)
- Czech Republic (Nove Mesto Na Morave)
- Italy (Val di Sole)
- Switzerland (Champéry)
These venues will all have specially designed courses for the events, but you can be sure that there will be a mountain biking mad buzz going on in the vicinity of the event for some time before and after the event. Usually a world cup event leads to the creation or improvement of trails for the public to explore, so you could be in for a treat if you visit any of these locations on a mountain biking holiday.
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