If culture and travel is your thing then there's no better way to see a country than by actually travelling through it to get to your next destination. But, we're not talking flying across a continent no, we're talking motorbike rides.
Thrill seekers everywhere list riding motorbikes as a lifelong wish, something to be done at least once before they die. There's no denying the freedom felt whilst riding your bike through a hot climate and feeling the wind through your hair.
So let's take a look at the top ten motorbike rides to do before you die.
1. Author Lois Price loves bike riding so much she wrote a book called 'Red Tape and White Knuckles'. The book chronicles her motorbike adventure as she rode her bike across the Sahara desert. No easy feat when your bike slides across the sand dunes and you face constant harsh weather conditions. This bike adventure is not for the faint hearted as the author tells us, if your bike breaks down in the desert you can't just call a mechanic for a quick fix as she had to push her bike for miles across the desert before she met some locals who would help her.
However, the plus side is knowing that if you can manoeuvre your bike across this tricky terrain, whilst camping overnight under the stars and braving the sandstorms, this is one bike ride you won't forget in a hurry.
2. Now whilst reading about someone else's adventure is all very well and good, there comes a time when you simply have to put your helmet on and quite frankly, get cracking with that motorbike adventure.
One of the most beautiful, scenic, yet tricky routes to ride through is the big outdoors of Alaska. Whilst most bike companies will tell you that the route through Alaska will take a week, sometimes it's simply better to have more time just to take in all that Alaska has to offer.
This route normally begins on the San Francisco highway then moves along to the Alaskan Canada highway. Once you leave this route you will eventually come to the Tongas National Forest which is the largest forest covering most of Southern Alaska.
Here you will be surrounded by nature seeing, eagles, bears, spawning salmon, and the breath-taking sights of "wild" Alaska. If you fancy it you can take a sled-dog ride on a glacier, hike boardwalk trails, fish in streams or ocean, or just simply sit back and relax at a remote cabin before your biking adventure begins the next day again.
While the road conditions are better than you might expect, the weather conditions can be treacherous for inexperienced riders One day can be sunny and have dry roads, while the next day can have torrential rain and wet icy roads. It's important to pack thermal clothing and ensure that you're comfortable riding on gravel road beds as the majority of roads are being repaired due to the weather conditions.
If you're keen for adventure then this trip is a must for those who don't mind those chilly nights.
3. Now, if destinations closer to home are what you're after then there's no better place to thrill seek than the great outdoors of well, Britain. The Lake District offers some fantastic twists and sharp bends for the more experienced biker who really enjoys the thrill that the tricky roads have to offer. The best part about riding through the Lake District is that there are so many different views in terms of where you park your bike. One minute you're on top of the highest point looking down and appreciating the views, the next, you're in a small valley, resting by a peaceful lake.
The Lake District is fantastic in the summer time when the roads are dry and conditions are safe but be warned that icy or wet roads are hazardous for less experienced bikers. The best part is that this region combines the best parts of England and Scotland and the people in this region are accommodating to bikers from all around. There's even a local hotel that is run by four bikers so what better way than to relax surrounded by people who are passionate about the same thing you're passionate about!
4. Now if staying home isn't your idea of a holiday, then not to worry, as Cannes is just close enough for you to get your bike over there, but long enough for you to travel in style across the French Riviera. Let's face it, the French Riviera is home to the beautiful people, beautiful scenery and amazing roads that are perfect for biking. The best thing about Cannes is that it is separated into a modern part and the old town. If biking in the modern part of the city is what you're after then look no further than the famous Croisette where you can easily move in and out of the cars with your bike whilst seeing the port and deciding whether you want to go to nearby Antibes or Nice. Both places offer exciting trails to go along whilst taking in the French views or relaxing with some French cuisine.
If the old part of Cannes is what you're looking for, then look no further than Le Suquet which boasts the narrow streets which bikers can easily manoeuvre along whilst enjoying the small cafes and tourist shops up until the highest vantage point is reached. The view from the top is truly spectacular and not to be missed.
5. Now, riding you bike through Alaskan roads or French Rivieras is spectacular, but the advantage of these places is that most people will inevitably speak English. What happens when you go to the remotest of places where no one speaks English? Well South America has some truly exceptional roads for bikers, but the language barrier might simply make for a better adventure unless you're fluent in Spanish or Portuguese.
Now Argentina is an amazing country with various flat and mountainous areas to be explored via motorbike. The country is rich in colour, culture, music and culinary delights with Argentineans keen to show off their culture to tourists. For more information, take a look at the online Argentina travel guide, covering hotels, restaurants, bars, Argentina vacatios, ski Argentina, Iguazu Waterfalls.
In terms of terrain, the weather is generally speaking hot hot hot so dry dusty roads are what's mostly in store for bikers. Many tour operators offer biking rides starting from Buenos Aires, moving to Argentina and stopping at Santiago de Chile so it's worth taking a look at what's on offer before settling on one route only. There is a lot of history to be explored and don't forget so many cultures have passed through South America, you will be spoilt for choice seeing things ranging from the ancient Jesuit ruins, to Eva Peron's grave.
6. Now we all know that The Lord of the Rings films were filmed here due to the amazing lush greenery and jaw dropping landscapes, but just how good are the roads in New Zealand for biking adventures? Well the answer is, truly amazing.
The Kiwis are a friendly bunch of people who are keen to show you the glaciers, the mountains, the glacial lakes and rugged but beautiful coastlines.
Bikers be warned, whatever time of the year you're travelling through New Zealand, be prepared for a cold snap. These can happen at any time of the year without warning so it's always best to pack some thermal gloves and vests to avoid feeling the bitter cold. One of the best bike rides would be tour take the tour of Taranaki. Taranaki covers about 500kms of tracks, back country roads and occasionally state highways.
There is nothing quite like the great outdoors so get a sense of the real New Zealand and watching the sunset from the view above Christchurch is a must for any biker as is the road to Mount Cook.
7. Now, the United States has one thing that many countries don't have, and that is that the terrain from one side of the country to the other is completely different, which is why the country itself boast some amazing places for bike riding. Tail of the Dragon is considered one of the most famous roads in America amongst bikers and with these stats it's no wonder it's famous. The road itself is just 11 miles long but has an incredible 318 curves along the way. It's located in North Carolina and has as well as these curves some prowlers along the way. Bikers have reported amongst other animals, bears, turkeys, deer and wild boars, not to mention the fact that trees surrounding the roads have fallen in bad weather conditions. If you're looking for a little excitement then this one has to be high up there on that list.
8. If the land of the cowboys is what you're looking for then look no further than Texas. The mountainous rocky roads are ideal for that tricky manoeuvring. Many roads are straight and sweeping leading you to great canyons in the middle of nowhere and others are challenging as they swiftly curve around hills and mountains.
The landscape itself is very dry and expect to discover some little treasures in the Lone Star state, there are some excellent antique shops, beautiful unspoilt rivers, and the area boasts caverns and waterfalls. Such unspoilt beauty can make the burliest of bikers feels small when sitting on the top of the hillside looking down and seeing the magnificent views.
Be warned, this is often a lonely bike ride as there aren't many people just wandering around. Gas has been sold to bikers from a man selling it by the side of the road in plastic bottles!
9. The Everglades in Florida are once again an example of how one country can have many different biking terrains. The difference between this route and many others in the states is that this route offers one same stretch of straight road. That's right you heard me, not a bend in sight. To the thrill seekers amongst you, you may be wondering why it's in this list at all. But the fact that it's so straight and perfect means that bikers can simply indulge in the fantastic surrounding scenery and nature that Florida has to offer. Along the way you are free to stop off and explore Key Largo and Windley Key both excellent spots to try your hand at fishing or reef exploration. Further down the road you'll find nature trails and can drive across the famous Seven Mile Bridge which is the longest segmented bridge in the world, where the landscape can only be described as tropical. Florida itself is cosmopolitan and there is a vast array of restaurants and accommodation with plenty of history and wildlife to explore.
Remember speedsters, the speed limits are low and there is no overtaking on US Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West so smile and enjoy the slow relaxing ride.
10. Switzerland is home of the Alps and therefore, some of the most daring bikers choose to ride across these picturesque mountains seeing not only excellent views but experiencing the twists and turns that the Alps have to offer.
Bikers must be experienced to ride in the Swiss Alps and must have the ability to ride tight turns as some of the terrain is highly tricky. The up side is that you will experience, crystal clear lakes nestled within these extraordinary valleys, ancient villages and ride through windy roads to see some of the famous Swiss towns such as, Davos, Luzern, and Zürich.
The most important thing to remember for all of these destinations is that biking memories are great, but photos to show your friends back home are even better. So take a lightweight camera to share your experiences on your biking adventures.
If you've got anymore to add to the list, let me know in the comments below.