The world’s riskiest routes: Extreme mountain biking

September 15, 2016

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First of all if you’re going to attempt any of these listed routes you must be an experienced rider. Not one of these trying trails are for beginners. In fact you’d have to be completely off the ‘wacky’ chart to even attempt them.

But if you’re going to go ahead and try a bike route for the beyond serious rider- make sure you’ve got the right equipment. A serviced bike that can take the terrain; check the tread on your tires, test the breaks. Invest in top quality riding gear, including a sturdy helmet- go for brands like Bernard or Jaggad as they offer practicality and comfort. If you’re going somewhere sunny be sure to pack your Oakley Sunglasses. You’ll definitely be grateful for their tried and tested technology when you’re riding across mountain ridges.

There’s endless dirt tracks and established routes for cyclists all over the world. But which one are the most dangerous?

The Death Road, Bolivia

This trail is world famous. It has not only features in magazines but also TV programmes. Beginning 15,400 feet, Bolivia’s North Yungus Road attracts thousands of thrill-seeking tourists. 40 miles long, rider can enjoy views of the rolling Amazon rainforest. However, for most riders, their attention is fixated on the sheer drop that is just centimetres away as the route uses a single-lane road. The track down the mountainside is also a used transport link meaning that cyclists even have to contend with vehicles sharing their very narrow road. Once riders hit flatter ground they contents with dry, dusty paths where the protection of their Oakley Sunglasses are extremely welcome. It is estimated that around 300 people each year lose their life trying to finish this route.

Cliffs of Insanity, Ireland

Riders must be advanced to get to the end of this route (and even then there’s no guarantee). In County Claire the Cliffs of Insanity tower above the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Boasting life-ending drops of 600-700 feet cyclists navigate their way down 5 miles worth of exposed track. With some parts of the track just inches wide, the jagged rocks that decorate the coastline and the ferocious sea look even more threatening- especially with a bit of Irish wind and rain thrown in for good measure.

Porcupine Rim, Utah

Eight gruelling miles of dust, crumbling sand and exposed cliffs- not to mention two-foot gaps. The Porcupine Rim provides breath-taking views of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. Geared to challenge the most technical of riders this route would take anybody’s heart stop still. The desert terrain means that your Oakley’s will become your favourite accessory, shielding you from the sun’s unrelenting glare and keeping the sand away from your eyes. Of course with temperatures reaching 38 degrees hydration is a must.

The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Ok, so it is expected that a trek along the side of the world’s 10 highest mountain is going to be difficult. But this ride truly tests even the most experienced riders. Descending into one of the deepest canyons in Nepal the route offers a multitude of landscapes, from the tropical rainforests, fields, wooded alpines and deserts. It really is a once in a life time experience.

Alp d’Huez, France

Host to the Megavalanche- the longest downhill race in the world this popular ski resort attracts thousands of adrenaline junkies every year. Aside from their annual downhill race, they boast over 80 miles of downhill bike routes. The unpredictable weather always poses a challenge for riders. There’s potential for snow, a guaranteed rocky terrain and a 2500m vertical drop. Of course, riders can also enjoy beautiful views of snowy mountain sides.

Many people enjoy pushing their minds and bodies to the absolute limit by completing a gruelling mountain biking challenge. Whilst the adrenaline rush is out of this world, riders must take up the challenge sensibly! If you’re going to do it, it’s perhaps not the wisest idea to go all on your own. Even if you can’t persuade an equally thrill-seeking friend to join you, many of these routes now have specialised companies that lead the routes. Providing transport to the start of the trail and even sending a highly experienced guide to go along with you, companies such as these have additional knowledge of the route that can minimise the chance of any fatal injuries…Happy riding- and don’t forget your Oakley glasses!

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