Want to combine your passions for fitness and adventure? Strap on a bike helmet and see the world.
While urban cyclists will find plenty of hustle and bustle to get their hearts pumping on their daily commutes, sometimes there’s nothing like trading the smog, traffic and obstacles of city streets for something a little more scenic.
Enter Black Tomato, a travel company that masterminds awe-inspiring adventures in unusual, up-and-coming and remote destinations all over the world. Though they offer a variety of escapes, the ones likeliest to give you a workout involve cycling.
The health benefits of cycling are expansive. At its least challenging, it’s one of the easiest low-impact ways to exercise. At more advanced levels, cycling builds strength, muscle tone and stamina, while reducing stress and improving coordination, cardiovascular fitness and heart health. Plus — when you can manage to get on a bike outside of the spinning studio — it’s an exciting way to shed a few pounds while taking in the great outdoors.
Some of Black Tomato’s most extraordinary experiences include expeditions like their Cycle Safari Botswana on the Mashatu Game Reserve, located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana (one of the largest such reserves in all of sub-Saharan Africa). On this journey, experienced rangers accompany cyclists as they make their way through ancient elephant paths still traveled by the reserve’s over 1,000 elephants — known as the “Giants of Mashatu.” While this trusted trail tends to steer clear of lions and leopards, you can add a “game drive” to your adventure in search of more dangerous creatures.
For something a bit closer to home, Cycle Around Cuba offers a ride through the culture-rich Caribbean island that includes time exploring the 16th-century architecture of Havana, breezy coastal views of Varadero, and the challenging option of exploring the Sierra Maestra mountain trails. And when you need to refuel after all that pedalling, you can enjoy vibrant al fresco salsa bars and zesty Cuban-Creole style dinners.
Meanwhile, Heli-Bike New Zealand’s Peaks and Volcanoes offers the unique opportunity for adventure-seekers to have a helicopter pick them up and drop them off at the peak of their choosing — from volcanic craters to mountain ranges — and freewheel it from there. For example, you could visit the mountains of Wanaka, located on South Island. Its Minaret Station (reachable only by helicopter) is a luxury lodge at a height of 7,000 feet, letting you cycle with stunning views straight out of The Lord of the Rings.
Additional Black Tomato adventures include cycling into Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, biking along the world’s highest motorable road in the Indian Himalayas, or heading their handlebars over the Dolomites, a beautiful region of the Alps in the South Tyrol section of Italy. For more info about these and other adventures, visit blacktomato.com.
Last modified: June 22, 2017