Aussies' favorite bike rides in the world

What do Australians consider the top 10 bike rides in the world?

The Escape.com.au website lists the top 10, with only two in Australia and one in New Zealand. Two rides in the US are listed for cyclists: the week-long RAGBRAI across Iowa and the 1-day Bike New York through the city's 5 boroughs.

In its homeland, the website touts the Great Victorian Bike Ride, left, Nov. 26 to Dec. 4, as one of the best bicycle tours. The 353-mile fully supported ride this year follows the Murray and Yarra rivers to finish in Melbourne.

Another Australian ride, also sponsored by Bicycle Victoria, is the Great West Australian Bike Ride from Albany to Perth. The 512-mile ride passes through forests and wine country from March 19 to April 1.

On New Zealand's north island, there's the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, a one-day, 99-mile bike ride on November 26.

Rounding out the 10:

Tour du Canada: A 4,600-mile ride across Canada from June 24 to September 3, 2006.

Oxfam Challenge: Cycling through China, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam and Cambodia in four sections, beginning October 23 and running through March 15, 2006.

London to Brighton: If you think RAGBRAI's crowded, try this one-day ride with 27,000 participants in the UK on June 18, 2006.

Cape Argus Cycle Tour: Another big one-day bike ride is South Africa's 68-mile race from Cape Town and around the Cape of Good Hope on March 12, 2006. Most riders take it at a leisurely pace.

L'Etape du Tour: Each year, the Tour de France organizers give cyclists a chance to ride a portion that year's toughest stages. In 2005 it was the four climbs of the 110-mile Mourenx to Pau stage. The route for 2006 is expected to be announced Oct. 27.

 


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