Cycling boomed during the pandemic, with sales more than doubling and cities throughout Europe, such as Paris and Milan, adding hundreds of miles of bike lanes. Since you’ve surely explored your own backyard by now, here are four styles of bike to test out, each one paired with the perfect far-flung ride.
In the early 1990s, Flyer cofounder and engineer Philippe Kohlbrenner, who faced the daily challenge of climbing the green hills of Central Switzerland’s Emmental, created his first e-bike by attaching a windshield wiper motor and a car battery to a red bicycle. Today, the company, which has developed a pioneering FIT (Flyer Intelligent Technology) optimization system, offers 16 different models.
Starting at Lake Geneva, take Switzerland’s 317-mile 9 Lakes Route, with the goal of reaching St. Gall Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near the harbor town of Rorschach. Visit the fortress of Gruyères, the Benedictine monastery in Einsiedeln, and more than a dozen lakes, including Lucerne, Zürich, and Walen, before recuperating in the 13th-century natural thermal spa at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.Book Your Flight to Switzerland
Italy has always been at the forefront of artisan culture, and the “Made in Italy” label in particular warrants the attention of self-respecting collectors (or at least cyclists who want to look the part). Milan’s Sartori Bikes, which was founded in 1960, produces vintage-style classic and e-bikes that weigh less than a carry-on suitcase and come as fully tailored as a designer Italian suit (think anti-puncture tires and 100 percent leather saddle and handles).
Embark on a popular stage of the Giro d’Italia, from Milan to the Lake District, ending at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio. The leisurely Il Lagone ride, a local favorite, wraps around famously scenic Lake Como. Stop at the 15th-century Hotel Villa Cipressi in Varenna for risotto con filetti di pesce persico, along with a mandatory gelato in the garden.Book Your Flight to Italy
Founded in 1961, Simplon hails from the town of Hard in Vorarlberg, a part of western Austria that borders on Germany, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland and is renowned for its winter ski resorts. During the warmer months, however, it’s also a paradise for cyclists. Each of the company’s handcrafted mountain bikes is custom-fit, so it’s no surprise they’re endorsed by Austria’s top cyclists.
Casual riders can start in the state capital, Bregenz, and follow the shores of Lake Constance and the Rhine River toward the Alps of Vorarlberg. Those looking for a challenge (and panoramic views) should heed local bike expert Philipp Kettner’s recommendation and take the single-track Itonskopf Trail. Either way, celebrate a successful outing at Deuring Schlössle, a castle hotel in Bregenz built in 1580.Book Your Flight to Austria
Custom-Made in America
Untitled Cycles founder Jacqueline Mautner started building bikes in Portland, Oregon, in 2015, applying her background in architecture and design to her custom creations. “I build bikes for riders of all sizes,” she says, “and I see everyone as unique—not only in their proportions but also their personalities, which I reflect in the designs.”
Mautner now lives in Philadelphia, but she still cites Oregon as home to great biking trails long and short. The 134-mile Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway starts at Champoeg State Park and meanders through wine country and past the state capital before ending in Eugene. Portland’s Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, meanwhile, is just 1.5 miles long, but it includes a floating section and views of public artworks and several of the Rose City’s signature bridges.Book Your Flight to Portland