My gypsy lifestyle has provided me and my family with a lot of different places to call home. Over the past eight years, we’ve lived in four different countries with a duration ranging from two months to three years in any one location. This lifestyle has meant that my 11 year old daughter has already been through 8 different schools (a tough one for a Dad to take, but I know it’s made her a confident and strong young woman). It has provided us with incredible experiences, great friends, and amazing opportunities. Ahhhhh yes….and it has also left me with a heap of great cycling memories.
St. Kitts and Nevis (November, 2002 to September, 2005)
The sister islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, West Indies arguably provide the best cycling available in the Caribbean, and it will always be a place my cycling heart holds dearly. As far as Caribbean roads go, they are awesome…..compared to North American standards, not so much. But as long as you’re okay with not having a shoulder lane, the roads of St. Kitts will give you plenty of great cycling. From the 33 mile perimeter road around the main part of the island to the challenging hills of the Peninsula, incredible riding spreads entirely across this tiny little country…..and no traffic lights to slow you down.
Best of all, St. Kitts and Nevis has a strong cycling organization with several great races throughout the year.
Austin (December, 2005 to July, 2007 and October/November 2009)
What more can I say about Austin, Texas? I love that city and I love the cycling there. It’s without a doubt, the most active cycling place that I’ve ever lived….and I miss it and the people found there every single day. Some of my favorite Austin riding spots include Bee Caves Road, Lost Creek Boulevard, the Dam Loop, and the hills of the outside lying areas.
On a return trip last fall, I was introduced to the Austin Cycle Camp and I just have to say they’re the coolest riding club that I’ve ever met. Great riders, with even greater hearts.
Barbados (January/February 2009)
The scenery and beauty of Barbados, West Indies is hard to beat, and I really love this Caribbean gem. I would say that the road cycling in Barbados is good, but not quite as nice as St. Kitts. The roads are similarly narrow in both places, but Barbados’ increased traffic and speed of the vehicles makes things much more challenging. If it wasn’t for the traffic, it would be a great cycling spot….nicely paved roads and immense terrain to tear up.
It’s still worth a rip or two on your bike….check it out.
Campbell River (August to October, 2007)
Western Canada’s Vancouver Island provides some of the best cycling in the country….road and moutain bike. Campbell River, British Columbia is a coastal city along the east coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a laid back lumber town…and the roads connecting it to the rest of the island are spectacular for road biking. With a choice between the slower moving coastal highway or the speedy inter island highway, there are more than enough options for some great riding. One of the best rides I ever had there was cycling to Mount Washington, and if I would have ended up moving there I would be taking part in the Tour de Rock each year.
I never got around to doing any MTB riding while I was there, but from what I’ve seen and heard….it’s legendary.
Belize (Coming Soon)
As I write this, I’m still not totally sure if we’ll be calling Belize, Central America our temporary or permanent home. We’ll be heading there next winter for anything from three months to infinity. As I continue my journey to the promise land, we’ll see where this gypsy heart grows roots. What I do know is that although I haven’t yet cycled Belize, it’s definitely a great cycling country…..I can’t wait to lay it down on those Central American roads. Watch for me in an upcoming Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic.
If you can’t tell, I love reminiscing on my past cycling experiences. If you’d like to find out more about any of these great locations, please let me know. Please also feel free to share some of your favorite cycling spots…..hit us up right now.