Cycling plunges you into local cultures, gets you quickly among beautiful landscapes, and allows you to discover the world at a pace that mixes the slow and the swift – what’s not to love? Cycling for its own sake, regardless of location, can be a joy: the feeling of accomplishment at the top of a tough hill, then the air rushing past as you freewheel back down; lingering gentle rides along riversides, the afternoon sun glowing gold; a long stretch of rural road with no other soul in sight. Wherever you cycle, you feel the land more readily, are more in tune with your surroundings than any journey you ever make on four wheels. But add an exotic location into the mix and you’ve got an adventure. A couple of days exploring Peru’s Sacred Valley by bike is a perfect way to explore one of the world’s truly beautiful landscapes. Cycling between ancient Inca sites and lively villages, stopping here and there on quiet stretches of the Urubamba River to take in views of some of the Andes’ loveliest stretches of snowcapped peaks, is not a mere sightseeing trip, but a proper, immersive experiencing of place and people. And if you’re after romantic rides around old ruins, Sukhothai in Thailand is another great destination. We got up early and cycled around ancient temples a little after dawn, the whole place quiet and still, the graceful old wats sitting amongst peaceful parkland. It’s a fascinating place, and a magical one to have to yourself, and best of all, cycling has got to be the most satisfying way of exploring it. Likewise with Yangshuo. I’m not sure if I’ve ever cycled through more spectacular terrain – the limestone karst scenery has got to be seen to be believed, and you really get an appreciation for the scale of the landscape when you’re cycling there. There are so many other destinations that I want to explore by bike – it’s just the best way to meet locals, find great out of the way places, and appreciate all the must-see sights!