The Tour de Tuli takes cyclists through parts of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, traveling along elephant trails and past all kinds of wildlife. A photo of the event features cyclists passing a giraffe. A difficulty rating calls the route “extreme — and even tougher if you encounter charging elephants.” It is a six-day bike safari covering roughly 200 miles. And it is exactly the type of trip you expect in a book entitled “Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die.”
While bucket-list books inevitably encourage debate about what makes the cut and what doesn’t, “Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die” negotiates its varied terrain skillfully. Author Chris Santella asked cycling experts for suggestions, yielding some unexpected destinations and routes with various degrees of difficulty. That said, the book is best used as a starting point, an introduction to the many cycling tours out there. For some cyclists, it may open up new areas for exploration — the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada; the rice fields of Bali; or the roads from Hanoi to Angkor Wat. Or, it may confirm the appeal of certain destinations like California’s wine country or western Ireland or Majorca, Spain, where many professional cyclists train.