The best mountain bike trails in the world have their status for good reason. Mountain bikers will tell you that their hobby, sport, passion and obsession, is way much more than just climbing on a bicycle, and going for a scenic meander to the end of the road and back. It’s about the power, the buzz, the thrill and the rush of being in that zone, as you fly down the virtual snaking rollercoaster of a hard core single-track.
Mountain biking is about fun, it’s about keeping fit and it’s about the resplendent scenery that takes you all around the world. And, when you have a few like-minded mates to join you, well it doesn’t get better than that. Off road mountain bike cycling trails engage both the mind and the body on a journey, and almost possesses you as you push yourself harder, and faster to better your previous very best.
Mountain bike riders travel all over the world, hauling their beloved, and uber-pricey wheels with them, to some of the most magical places, and also to some of the best cycling tracks on the planet. Every rider has their favourite - whether is it bicycles, backpacks, cycling trails, biking gloves or destinations, everyone has something to say.
But if you are looking for some of the most incredible, not necessarily the most hard-core or challenging, but some of the best mountain bike trails in the world, here are a few to whet your appetite.
1. Whaka Forest Network Mountain Bike Trail - Rotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua is hailed as being the ultimate off road biker’s paradise in all of New Zealand. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the busy city centre, Whaka is just a vast expanse of wide and unruly forest area, just begging for cyclists to explore. No matter what level of experience, or whether you are cycling as a family or a group of friends, there are tracks that will delight every age group and fitness level. Challenging, accessible and breath taking, there is probably nowhere else in the world with such astounding surroundings.
2. Winterhoek Region – Tulbagh, Western Cape, South Africa
Host to the legendary Cape Epic MTB race in 2011, Tulbagh may be a small historic town, just an hour and a half from the foot of the glorious Table Mountain, but sleepy it is not. With a large local biking community, the residents and visitors, who pour into the region from all over the world, waste no time in getting out into the mountain passes, and enjoying the incredible local riding tracks that are on offer.
The beautiful valley that is surrounded by no less than 3 glorious mountain ranges, offer an eclectic assortment of challenging and easy tracks. The summer months can be swelteringly hot, and the winter months see the mountains full of snow, so you will most definitely need your gloves to keep those hands warm.
3. Crans-montana Mountain Bike Trail - Cran, Switzerland
Crans Montana ski resort was made famous by the James Bond movie – For Your Eyes Only, when it was filmed there. These days it is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground, and home to some of the most coveted riding tracks in the world. Just two hour’s drive outside of Geneva, Crans has a great selection of everything from cross country tracks, downhill trails, the characteristic single track to loads of free ride opportunities, in their beautifully laid out bike park.
For both novice, intermediate and advanced riders, there will be something that will most definitely tickle you pink, with loads of extras for the experienced riders like fly off jumps, switchback sections and an exciting bit of rocky gullies, just to shake things up a bit.