Thirsty Souls

Thirsty Souls: Epic Bike Routes

This week we're thirsty for a place to spin our wheels.  Ditch pencil-pushing for pedal-pushing on one of these dream routes.

1. Black Canyon Mountain Bike Trail, Arizona

This 80 mile trail sets a feelgood tone by beginning at Arizona's Carefree Highway. The route is still occasionally used to drive livestock, so be patient with the sheep as they pass. Better yet, use the flock as an excuse to rest your legs or snap a selfie to document your progress.

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2. Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

This hilly region of New Zealand boasts peaks of volcanic origins and plenty of options for adventure. The Otago Central Rail Trail is entirely off-road (no competing traffic!) and can be accessed by cyclists year round. Curl, skate, and sled in Naseby (known as the "ice capital" of New Zealand), go wine tasting in Cromwell, or get captivated by Victorian architecture in Dunedin.

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3. Cape Breton Island, Canada

Lonely Planet ranks Cape Breton as "one of the world's top cycling destinations."  Choose Cabot Trail if steep climbs and electrifying descents are your thing; cruise the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail if you prefer to lay low on a flatter route.

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4. Van Gogh-Roosegaarde Bike Path, Netherlands

Artist Daan Roosegaarde has honored Eindhoven's most famous resident (Vincent Van Gogh) with a blue and green glowing bike path. This half-mile lane is illuminated by solar-powered LED lights that give riders the opportunity to wander over a Starry Night.  This has "first date" written all over it.

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5. Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Stretching from Canada to New Mexico

Begin at the Canadian border and crisscross the Continental Divide 30 times as you follow it all the way to New Mexico. The GMBDR is the world's longest off-pavement bike route.  The Adventure Cycling Association uses seven maps to detail the scope of this massive trail, so bring your A-game; enterprising cyclists need strength and stamina to complete this epic odyssey.

A photo posted by Justin Bill (@justin.bill) on

6. Coastal Trail, Marin Headlands, California

The California Coastal Trail follows the Pacific coastline for 1,200 miles - from Mexico to Oregon.  The Presido segment of the trail includes Baker Beach, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands. Be sure to check out the Golden Gate Overlook for an exceptional view of San Francisco's most iconic landmark.

7. High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The High Atlas range stretches through central Morocco from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Moroccan-Algerian border in the east.  Get an unrivaled taste of North Africa by exploring 30-45 miles of Berber country a day.

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@drinkcaliwater

We keep you hydrated so you can stay in high gear.

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Where do you ride?  Share your route on social media with #thirstysouls.