What’s the most amazing place you’ve ever ridden? If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be? We’ve put together a list of the ten most amazing places on earth, ten places to ride before you die.
1. Foothills of Everest, Tibet/Nepal
For the ultimate in bragging rights, riding the foothills of Everest has got to be number one in the list. The first recorded conquest of Everest was in 1953 by New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, and in 2002 Marco Siffredi was the first to snowboard down Everest, but as far as we know no one has ever mountain boarded down, on or, near the highest mountain in the world.
2. Mount Etna, Italy
As one of the most active volcanoes on earth, Mount Etna is a pretty extreme ride. Currently standing 3,329 metres (10,922 ft) high, the summit height changes with each eruption and is 21 metres (69 ft) lower now than it was in 1981.
3. Vredefort Crater, South Africa
Two billion years ago a meteorite 10km in diameter hit the earth about 100km southwest of Johannesburg, creating the largest impact crater on earth. Two billion years later we could ride the Vredefort Crater’s granite hills with its abandoned gold mining tracks and exposed ridges.
4. Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert in northern Chile, is 3,200 m (10,670 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 181,300 square km (72,500 square miles). It is the driest place on earth so if you’re thinking of riding the stony hills, volcanic rocks and sand dunes, don’t forget to take a drink.
5. Dead Sea Valley, Israel
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at 1, 312 feet below sea level, and the valleys leading down to the Dead Sea give us some real nice lines to explore. And after a hard days riding you can relax and float in the Dead Sea.
6. Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Canada.
With over 250km of lift-serviced trails, Whistler has something for everyone; Gentle banked cruisers, tight and twisty single track, steep rock faces, gnarly root strewn lines, and drop offs. The Bike Park also has 2 skill centres, a jump park, drop off park, and the Boneyard Slopestyle Park if you get bored of the downhill runs (as if you could!).
7. Mount Cook, New Zealand.
At 3,755 m (12,319 ft) tall, Aoraki/Mount Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand and since New Zealand is an “adrenalin junkie’s utopia” and the “adventure capital of the world” it had to be included on the list. If you’re really extreme you could get a helicopter to the top of Mount Cook, snowboard the top section, swap your snowboard for a mountain board half way down, and ride the rest of the mountain on wheels.
And whilst you’re in New Zealand, head over to Dunedin and ride Baldwin Street, which has a gradient of 1 in 2.66, or 38%, making it the steepest road in the world.
8. Slickrock, Moab, Utah, USA
Slickrock is perhaps the most popular mountain bike trail in the world, boasting over 100,000 visitors per year. Slickrock’s undulating sandstone hills of give bikers and mountain boarders plenty of bowls, jumps, steep drop-offs, half pipes and sandy bottoms to ride. But be warned, “This trail is VERY difficult and dangerous. Do not ride alone, but do not bring along you family, your girlfriend, or anyone that you love.” Good advice from a mountain bike website.
9. Great Wall of China
The 6,700km (4,163 mile) Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus. The Great Wall saw some four-wheel action in August 2008 when Danny Way jumped over it, but no one has ever ridden the length of it on a mountain board. It might not be the most exciting ride, especially after four thousand miles but it has some of the greatest stair sets ever.
10. The North Yungas Road, Bolivia
The North Yungas Road (also called Grove’s Road, Coroico Road, Camino de las Yungas, El Camino de la Muerte, Road of Death, and Death Road) is number ten in our list of places to ride before you die because this one has a pretty good chance of actually killing you. The 64 kilometre (40 mile) stretch of continuous downhill riding from La Paz to Coroico is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 was christened the “world’s most dangerous road”.
If you do ride any of these places, let us know…