Where to ride in 2024: Our Recommendations
As Christmas approaches and we all get busy in the usual preparations, it’s often nice to look ahead to cycling trips and travels in the New Year. Yes, once Christmas has come and gone, having a holiday planned, can brighten those remaining cold winter days before spring and summer returns. As a global cycling brand, with over 40 years of cycling experience around the world, we wanted to give you a few of our own ideas for great cycling adventures in 2024. From the famous L’Ardéchoise in France, to a cycling adventure in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, we’ve got some great options for you to take a look at, helping you to ride into new adventures in 2024 – with Lake cycling shoes looking after those all-important feet!
Head for Flanders & the Spring Classics!
Did you know that you can ride the same courses as the world’s top pros, on 3 of the Spring Classics – absolutely, you can! Yes, from early April onwards, 3 of the world’s best one-day races will be opening the cycling season, and you can be there to watch... and to take on the challenge yourself. Let’s get you started with our 3 favourites then – and you’ll need some great cycling shoes 😉.
We’re taking you on a tour of northern France and Flanders on these 3 epic events, starting your cycling holiday travels in beautiful Paris, before you cycle out to the famous velodrome at Roubaix. The cobbled classic stages await you on Saturday the 8th of April, before you attempt some form of recovery and watch the pro riders tackle the ‘Hell of the North’ and the Arenburg Trench on the Sunday. You’ll then have six days to recover your legs, as you travel into the Netherlands for the next of the 3 events.
Amstel Gold Race
Founded in 1966, the Amstel Gold Race is the only Classic in the Netherlands, our home here at Lake, and it starts of the three Ardennes Classics, tough and brutal races for everyone. The race takes place in the southern Limburg province and is filled with lung-busting climbs that come and go all day long, providing an epic test of cycling power and endurance. The route includes legendary climbs like the 7.9% Kruisberg, with sections rising to 14.8%; the Fromberg, which hits highs of 8.5%; and the truly awesome Eyserbosweg, with a heart-stopping high of 17.4%! The event is open to you guys, the grassroots riders on the Saturday, and you can recover and watch the main event on the Sunday!
La Doyenne (“The Old Lady”)
Our final recommended sportive for you in Flanders is a true classic, in every sense, and a week after the Amstel. If you have any strength left, you can travel into Belgium for the challenge of Liege-Bastogne-Liege - often regarded as the hardest of the spring classics. The race first took place in 1892, making it the oldest of the five Monuments in the cycling calendar and it’s warmly known as La Doyenne (“The Old Lady”).
The hilly route weaves through the Ardennes region of Belgium, beginning and ending in Liege - obviously. It’s probably the toughest of all the spring classics, so if you do ride this, prepare well and get in those winter miles, wearing Lake cycling shoes of course! With long hills, steep ascents and frequent changes of gradient, this is one seriously painful race. Killer climbs include the 2.3kmkm Stockeu at 9.9%; the 3.6km Haute-Levée at 5.7%; the 2km Cote de La Redoute at 8.8%; and the 1.4km Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons which hits highs of 11%.
If you complete this trilogy of cycling terror, you’ll ride with pride forever and be able to say that you’ve cycled the classics of Flanders. Imagine the stories that you and your cycling friends can create.
Image by Scott Cornish
A Cycling Extravaganza in France
L’Ardéchoise celebrates its 30th anniversary event in 2024 and is the biggest participation cycling event in France. Between the 12th and 15th of June, you can choose from a variety of distances, and join thousands of other cyclists as you ride through 187 decorated villages, in the rolling hills and valleys of the beautiful and historical Ardeche Region of France. L'Ardéchoise, the world’s greatest cycle race is open to all: sportsmen, tourists or trekkers. Several loops start from St Félicien and wind through the superb wild landscapes of the Ardèche.
The events have some changes for 2024, making it accessible for even more cyclists. Many new features will be on offer: new 2-day and 3-day road routes, new Gravel circuits, opening to mountain bikes, changes to the start procedure, etc. And, best of all, there’ll be a party at every village crossing, with shows, entertainment, fancy dress and tastings... An unforgettable atmosphere!
Time for the Trilogy of the Trails
Hidden away in Europe’s last great wilderness, the Carpathian Mountains provide some of the best off-road cycling in the world – and it’s starting to show, as Romanian riders take their rightful place within the elite group of the worlds finest offroad riders. Former Olympian, mountain bike rider and current national team manager, Tudor Oprea has been developing the Triada race series for many years. This year it’s going to be different, and very special, as the series opens up to 3 bike styles: gravel bikes, E-Bikes and mountain bikes, all challenging themselves within the forested mountains of transfixing Transylvania.
The main event is at Paltinis, near historic Sibiu, in late June, and coincides with the world-renowned Sibiu FITS Arts Festival. With some of the most natural trails in Europe to test yourself on, this is an event not to miss for off-road adventure seekers. Details are on the Triada MTB website, so get booked in!
Life means Venture!
The great American climber and explorer, John Houston once said that ‘Life means venture. To live is to risk,’ and he was right – with the best kit of course 😉. Here at Lake, we produce the best cycling shoes in the world, so that you can truly test yourself in perfect harmony with the bike and the world around you. There are 86400 seconds in each day, and they’re all yours to use, as you explore this amazing and quite beautiful world of ours on 2-wheels. Why not take your cycling to the next stage in 2024, and create memories to last a lifetime, by taking part in one of our suggested ride events – or simply create your own.
As you sit down with your families and friends this Christmas, celebrate life and celebrate that you have the freedom to ride in uninterrupted circumstances. Hopefully, you can celebrate your health and the freedom to take to the roads and trails where you live, returning each day to the warmth of your family. Yes, the most precious gift this Christmas will be time, so make the most of it in 2024, as we wish you a truly wonderful Christmas, from all of us here at Lake – the best cycling shoes in the world!