Mont Ventoux, Leadville, Moab, Alpe d’Huez – these are the places that make cyclists’ swoon.
For your drooling pleasure, Austin writer and bike racer Ian Dille has compiled “The Cyclist’s Bucket List: A Celebration of 75 Quintessential Cycling Experiences.”
The book (Rodale, $24.99), isn’t just about spectacular places to ride – it includes epic bike shops and events, like the world’s most famous bicycle industry show, the Bicycle Film Festival and the Cyclocross World Championships (don’t utter those words around Zilker Park, please.)
“I wanted it to not be just the most scenic, beautiful rides, but things that are entrenched in the culture of the sport,” says Dille, a former pro cyclist and two-time collegiate cycling All American who now rides for Team Super Squadra.
Two Austin destinations make the book. Terlingua is fast becoming a destination for mountain bikers who like riding through desert scrub and mesas, and the Hotter’N Hell Hundred, a sweaty, windy slog through the plains of the Panhandle, is famous for grueling conditions.
“Obviously (Wichita Falls is) not the most beautiful place to ride a bicycle, but it is one of the quintessential bike experiences to have – there’s nothing else like that in the world,” Dille says of the Hotter’N Hell Hundred.
Flip through the book and you’ll be plotting your next cycling adventure, too, whether it’s the gut-busting Leadville 100, the historic roads of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route or some of the most famous climbs of the Tour de France.
It got Dille thinking. On his must-do list? Mountain biking in the Copper Canyon of Mexico, cruising past the emerald water and sunbleached beaches of the Dalmation Coast of Croatia, and pumping up the stony mountains of Majorca.
Me? I’ve only knocked three off my list – a week-long trip through the San Juan Hut Systems of Colorado, Terlingua, and Haleakala Crater in Hawaii (down instead of up). I’m hoping to rectify that next summer – I’m eyeing the rolling party through Iowa known as RAGBRAI.
The book is available locally at Bicycle Sport Shop and BookPeople, and online via Amazon.