Cycling, holidays and my city


Seeing a city from handlebar height is a great way to get to know a place. When you cycle you feel more connected than when you fly by on a freeway or hurtle around on a bus and Vanessa Christie explains why it’s not only her favorite way to get around, but a way of life…

“When going on holiday to a new city, I can’t help but find myself observing how people move around the city; on foot, on buses, scooters, mopeds, rickshaws, jitneys, shuttles, metros and…on bike. I love to ride public transit, from buses to metros and especially bikes and bikeshares. It’s almost a strange litmus test to determine if I could live there. Could this be my home? Could I cycle here? How happy are they going wherever they’re going?

During and after college, I found myself living in Amsterdam, Chile and all over Canada. I also ventured on solo journeys to India, Thailand, Hong Kong and South and Central America. My time in Amsterdam, over 7 years ago, was really the moment when the paradigm shifted in my mind: bicycles can change everything. The Netherlands and Denmark are renowned for their biking infrastructure with Copenhagen and Amsterdam retaining the reputation for most cycle-friendly cities in the world. These cities have changed my perspective on how the people in a city can truly thrive…with bicycles.

In my current home of San Francisco, biking is my main mode of transportation. Whatever it is I do, whether it be commuting, running errands, brunching, coffee-ing I do it by bike. I’ve also started utilizing the new Bay Area’s bikeshare program when I need a spare two wheels.

I’m also super spoiled to work for Timbuk2 Designs, a San Francisco company whose roots are deeply embedded in the cycling community. With its 25 year heritage of creating quality messenger bags, we live, breath and talk about biking as a lifestyle choice.

We’re pumped to be partnering with Intrepid Travel this November on a super rad, are-they-for-real month-long contest that includes two of our favorite things: traveling and riding bikes. It’s seriously, a holiday of a lifetime – touring for 2 weeks on the Best of France holiday.

Until then, as an amuse bouche, here is a small, but ever-growing ode to the bicycle from some of our favorite locations we’ve travelled to recently. See you on the bike!”

Cargo bikes in Monte Verde, Costa Rica
Cargo bike in Monte Verde, cycle Costa Rica

Beach cruisers in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
cycle on the beach in Costa Rica

Boozy bike near Solvang, California
boozy cycle in California

Coconut delivery in Kailua, Hawaii
coconut delivery by cycle in Hawaii

National Cycle Network Wayfinders in Belfast, Ireland
National Cycle Network Wayfinders in Belfast, Ireland

Doors in Belfast, Ireland
cycle along the footpath in Belfast, Ireland

Super hot Peugeot locked up in Belfast, Ireland
cycle in Belfast, Ireland

Blue bike art in Belfast, Ireland
Blue cycle art in Belfast, Ireland

Vanessa Christie and her beloved bike, photo by Nick Hormuth
Vanessa Christie and her beloved cycle

Photos: © Vanessa Christie

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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I completely agree with this post. Spain is the country with the best places for cycling holidays.

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