The World Together

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Hey!

 

So like me, you're probably wondering, "Is this really happening?" A totally surreal and scary situation for the world to be in. But the price of losing our freedom for a few weeks or maybe months pales into insignificance if it helps save lives.

 

Every year I'm lucky enough to travel to a crazy number of places, hunting for epic rides and to capture epic images. I wanted to share some of these adventures. To help us all remember that is temporary and to get us planning our next adventures with our friends.

 

At the bottom, there is a download link for you to save these images for your desktop, Instagram, whatever! They're all yours (personal use only) and I'll be uploading more every week.

Take care, keep well. We are stronger together. The world together.

 

Daniel. 

A​ place where one of the worlds' first recordings of mankind was found (3.2 million years old) and in the northern region of Tigray, incredible

switchbacks and roads can be found. Miles and miles of glorious tarmac which would put most European countries to shame.  If you're into gravel then you're going to be in heaven too. But my favourite part? The people. Genuine warmth and generosity where many have little to give. 

 

Ethiopia

A​ place where one of the world's first recordings of humankind was found (3.2 million years old) and in the northern region of Tigray, incredible

switchbacks and roads can be found. Miles and miles of glorious tarmac which would put most European countries to shame.  If you're into gravel then you're going to be in heaven too. But my favourite part? The people. Genuine warmth and generosity where many have little to give. 

 

Pic Du Midi

You've conquered the almighty Col Du Tourmalet but there is an unmarked un-paved rocky road which will take you even higher. Gravel heaven with multiple unguarded switchbacks with drops of hundreds of meters, 2 tunnels carved through the rock, incredible views of the Tourmalet and this stunning alpine lake. By the end, you will have climbed an additional 700 vertical meters on gradients ramping over 20%. This really is the jewel of the Tourmalet and not to be missed.

 

Luz Ardiden

Another Tour de France battleground situated in the French Pyrenees. It has a huge history, in particular in 1985 between Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault. With Jamie, Kitt and Carali we climbed 1010m at an average gradient of 8%. The finish is at the ski station at 1720m above sea level. It's not the prettiest of finishes, but the climb! So pretty.

 

The Great Wall of China

Is this my greatest ever ride? Maybe.

 

It started with me hunting for the Great Wall, as I flew over Beijing, China and unless you know exactly where to find it,  you can't see it. A myth that you can see it from space and it is not one continuous wall. A series of fortifications to protect individual states and the majority is in disrepair. 

 

It's minus 12 degrees celsius (10F) and the mission started in Beijing with Serk Cycling and Subhance. A 3-hour drive to a place where we thought we could ride on it. Few have ever ridden on it and information was scarce. Two hours of scrambling up and over rocky terrain to then see the wall meandering for miles and miles over mountains. Nothing can prepare you for that, and incredible feat of human engineering where thousands worked together to build it. Incredible to see, and to ride on it? Magical.

Short video below

The Squad

One of my favourite shots of 2019 and shortlisted for the Mark Gunter photography prize.

Road markings, synonymous with the Tour De France. Le Col Du Tourmalet, synonymous with the Tour De France. A moment, A squad… they had to be captured before mother nature erased them into history.

Oman

My favourite adventure yet.

With my wife, we flew to the relative unknown to go ride in the Al Hajar mountains, a remote mountainous region to the west of Muscat the capital. Forming our route google earth satellite images we rode over mountains and down wadis to areas which looked untouched for thousands of years.  With just the occasional goat herder contouring the land, there was a sense of vulnerability as we were a long way from help. An incredible adventure which if you're into gravel biking you have to do.

Valle Nevado

Just on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile. This is one of the world's greatest climbs you haven't heard of.

Many talk about the Stelvio, and you'll see a shot of it after this, but nothing can prepare you for the grandeur of the Valle Nevado and if you were to play top trumps, no climb on the planet could outdo this climb. 58 switchbacks, 3 valleys and depending on where you start over 3000 vertical meters of climbing to get to the Valle Nevado ski resort.

I took this shot riding with Chilean friends, as we rode the climb for Strava's "Must Do Rides" series. Together we started, together we rode, together we finished.

The Stelvio Pass

This climb​ needs no introduction. The most googled cycling climb on the planet.

Constructed in 1825 at the direction of Austria’s Franz Joseph I, who wanted a more direct route from Vienna to Milan. There are 48 joyous switchbacks and 1848m of climbing to get from Prato Allo Stelvio in the northeast to the summit. If you fancy a real challenge,  rip the descent to Bormio then climb back up and over to enjoy the 48 switchbacks on the way down. Mandatory pizza after.

South Africa

Riding midway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, it's day 6 of the Rainmaker Rollercoaster. The title is fitting and the gravel is glorious. Miles of rolling hills, mountainous passes and the occasional loose ostrich to cautiously ride past. With the seasons being inverse if you live in the Northern Hemisphere a great place to go to soak up some sunshine!

BAAM

Bike against a mountain. An early ride to conquer a summit high in the South American Andes. That feeling when the sun comes up and hits your face, your soul is warmed. The early start and those slightly chilly miles made all the worthwhile when you get to enjoy views like these. 

Images

(personal use only)

Watch this space. Each week I'll be adding more images and adventures. Click to follow me Instagram where I'll be announcing new free downloads.

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7 years in the British Special Forces, he delivered the world's highest video broadcast to the BBC Newschannel, raced for Great Britain and currently works with the world's top cycling, outdoor and photographic brands to Find and Capture the most extraordinary places on Earth.

A Content Creator, A Story Teller and an Adventurer.

ABOUT DANIEL HUGHES

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