The cities where you can utilise your pedalling skills for tours and explorations
Ditch the taxis and public transport for a cleaner, greener tour of some of the world’s bike-friendliest cities
Cycling in the Dutch capital is safe and easy, thanks to the extensive network of bike paths and flat landscape. It’s also popular, which equals hectic. But although the main thoroughfares in the city centre are filled with fast, fearless locals, there are plenty of routes for rookie cyclists who can quietly enjoy a quintessential Amsterdam experience. Guided bike tour guides are abundant (Mike’s Bike Tours comes recommended; mikesbiketoursamsterdam.com) but if you’re feeling brave, head to a rental shop and grab a map. Stay in the city centre and meander along canal paths, hopping from Nieuwmarkt Square to the Anne Frank House and charming Jordaan district, or look at bikingamsterdam.com for scenic routes that take you out of town to Muiderslot Castle or the windmills of Zaanse Schans.
If the thought of cycling in one of the world’s most populous bike-infested cities fills you with horror, take heart. There are lots of nice people in Beijing who will take all the stress out of a city bike tour and give you a unique guided experience. Explore the alleyways and courtyards of the hutongs, then take in some of the city’s most iconic sights: the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and more. You’ll even be taken for lunch with the locals at a great neighbourhood restaurant. Look out for the well-regarded Bike Beijing (bikebeijing.com) or Wan Lin Bicycle Tours (wanlinbicycletours.com) – both have decent websites and take online enquiries.
Montreal has been good to its cyclists over the past 20 years, investing in hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes and trails, and an extensive self-serve rental system (montreal.bixi.com). Take the lovely flat path along the Lachine Canal and you’ll be rewarded with pretty parks, the famous Atwater Market and several good restaurants with outdoor terraces. Those with iron thighs should head to the top of leafy Mount Royal for stunning views, or you could just mosey around town. From Chinatown and the Golden Square Mile, head through McGill University campus to the International Quarter and Old Port. See caroulemontreal.com for info and suggested routes.