A Cyclist’s Paradise?
“Smooth, open roads. Stunning scenery. English road signs. An ingrained cycling culture. Stellar road safety.”
Do we have your attention yet?
I was lying in bed, flipping through a magazine when I paused over a two-page colour advertisement. Graphically, it was terrible – I had flipped past it at least three times previously. But once I stopped to read the copy I was dumbfounded. So much so that I had to read it out loud to Mary.
I have reproduced (without permission) selected sections below.
“Experience cyclists looking for a high-altitude challenge can find it on one of the three ... highways that traverse the Central Mountain Range … Experienced cyclists can ascend twice from opposite directions in a gruelling five-day tour … With slope gradients of up to 26%, only the fittest need apply ...
“For regular cycling enthusiasts, there are more manageable rides along coastal highways. With almost 1,200 km of coastline around bustling cities, sleep hamlets and gorgeous palm-line beaches, there are numerous ways in which to enjoy the seaside on two wheels …
“All along the way, cyclists enjoy remarkable road infrastructure. Many roads … have a dedicated lane to two-wheelers as well as a paved shoulder. But it is away from the main roads – where thousands of kilometers of paths have been built – that families truly appreciate the wonders of cycling in … bike rentals are ubiquitous … it is easy for parents to find bikes with child seats …
“Above all, though, what makes … a true biker’s paradise is the country’s commitment to cycling – by the government which has invested heavily in the sport, and by the people, whose warm hospitality ensures that no matter where you are … a helping hand is always a tiny pedal away.”
As I say, I was dumbfounded. Does this make you want to head there and hit the road? What a great promotion for tourism, for fitness. What a statement about the economic value of a widespread cycling culture.
Any guesses as to where it is?
Here’s a hint: It’s not in Europe. It’s certainly not Canada, nor anywhere else in North America. You can rule out Africa. And Antarctica. There – that’s enough hints.
Okay, one more. The country is home to a major bicycle manufacturer (it says so in the ad). Okay, now that’s enough.