Short Way Round: Potential Cycle Routes
Road trips have become an increasingly popular holiday choice in recent years no doubt thanks to the popularity of television programmes Long Way Round with Hollywood star Ewan McGregor and of course Top Gear. This is despite the rising cost of fuel which has already forced approximately 65% of motorists to alter their driving habits according to MoneySupermarket.
However, the portfolio of road-trip television programmes is about to get one more high profile member with the news that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are currently working on a new television programme which will see Karl Pilkington travel around on a bike with ‘Life’s Too Short’ star Warwick Davis.
The programme which is believed will be titled ‘Short Way Round’ will be a follow up to ‘An Idiot Abroad’ which saw Pilkington visit some of the world’s most famous destinations in its first series, and complete some of the most common activities featured on the bucket list in its second.
We therefore take a look at some of the locations which Pilkington and Davis could choose to travel to on their upcoming travels:
1. La Route Verte- Canada
La Route Verte, which translates as Green Route, is a new 4,000 kilometre bike path which goes right across the province of Quebec in Canada from east to west. It has been designed to make sure that cyclists using it get to see some of the best natural wonders that the region has to offer including the St. Lawrence River and to the other extreme, slightly more mountainous regions such as the Laurentides.
Canadian culture can also be taken in with the path going through the centre of Montreal, one of the most vibrant and colourful cities in the country. Surely Ricky and Steve could find something interesting for Karl to do here?
2. Land’s End to John O’Groats- Great Britain
Karl and Warwick might be given something slightly closer to home by traversing right across the UK from Land’s End in Cornwall all the way to John O’Groat in Caithness, Scotland; a trip of roughly 1,450 kilometres.
The record time set by two men on a Tandem Bicycle is 2 days, 2 hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds by Pete Swindon and John Withers in 1966. However, speed is unlikely to be this pair’s strength.
Given Karl’s fascination with Monkey’s, they could always make a slight diversion to Monkey Forest in Staffordshire, where visitors are allowed to interact with the 140 monkeys that live in total freedom in the area.
3. Munda Biddi Trail- Australia
Munda Biddi translates simply as “path through the forest”; but being written in the Noongar Aboriginal language makes it sounds so much more exotic.
Running for about 900 kilometres, the trail runs through the ‘Jarrah Forest’ in Western Australia where riders may encounter the local wildlife such as Wallaby’s and Kangaroo’s. We all know how much Karl enjoys interacting with animals.
The trail is run by the not-for-profit organisation “Munda Biddi Trail Foundation’. Despite recently securing money to extend the route to 1,100 kilometres from the Australian government, the organisation is still in much need of the publicity and subsequent funding that a Pilkington visit would no doubt attract.
4. Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City- Vietnam
This 1,200 kilometre journey is challenging in more ways than one. Not only would cyclists have to deal with the difficult varying terrain in the region, but they would also have to cope with the extreme weather conditions.
These factors are most in evidence at Hai Van Pass which was the historical area of division between the Kingdoms Champa and Dai Viet. It has also been an area of strategic importance for the Vietnam army, who have used it to protect themselves from any army coming from the north.
However, it is not only the winding and steep route which makes it a challenge for riders, as it is also famous for the extreme temperatures, with the North often proving to be wet and cold and the South the area on the south of the pass being the complete opposite. Just imagine how happy it would make Karl.
Its name also refers to the notorious mist which rises from the sea in the region. The poor visibility which this creates is known to have resulted in at least two serious rail accidents and one air crash.
5. Ruta Austral- Chile
The Ruta Austral runs for approximately 1,300 kilometers south from central Chile through to Northern Patagonia.
It was designed under the orders of then Chilean President Augusto Pinochet so as to connect communities in more remote locations who were disconnected from the mainland. Work was completed by the Chilean army; with more than 10,000 of them losing their lives during the construction during the 1970s.
This southern area of the country is characterised by extreme landscape such as forests and mountains, as well as extreme weather conditions; particularly in the winter months.