Easy Rider

0904_easyriderCycling past Lake Lugano in Switzerland

Pedalers can plan their own multiday bike trips, thanks to these new trail systems.

About a half hour southwest of Madison, the town of New Glarus is the starting point for the Badger State Trail and the Sugar River Trail, a 63-mile stretch of interconnected bicycle lanes weaving through dairy country. The local tourist office has bike rentals and will arrange luggage transfers ($30) to inns like the bike-themed Earth Rider Hotel (from $80). Each of the B&B's five rooms is named after a Tour de France winner, such as seven-time champ Lance Armstrong. greencounty.org, daily rentals $18.

It's a feat more than 25 years in the making, but the Great Allegheny Passage is nearly complete—to date, 146 miles of train tracks between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Md., have been converted to bike-friendly trails. For cyclists who want to tackle the epic route, which tunnels through Big Savage Mountain in Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Trail Alliance will assist with lodging, shuttle transfers, and rentals (from $15). gaptrail.org.

The Swiss have placed in the top 10 in 18 Tour de France races. To keep the momentum going, the government helped launch the SwitzerlandMobility website with interactive maps and links to train stations across the country where cyclists can rent bikes ($29 per day). Detours along the 5,300 miles of paths include the town of Morcote on Lake Lugano and the village of Epesses, where you can brake for lunch at the 200-year-old Patrick Fonjallaz winery. switzerlandmobility.ch.

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