Exercise & Fitness

Our Favorite Extreme Mountain Biking Locations

Mountain biking is one of these sports that its enthusiasts take to extreme (and often dangerous) levels — and each of the five locations below are certainly places where you can do that. But this is not a post exclusively for aspiring X-Games participants. Each of these five destinations is also a great travel destination even for those with no interest in biking (or mountains). And if you are an uninspiringly average mountain biker, you’ll find cool travel ideas for you too:

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The World’s Tallest Climbing Wall

The real challenge is the overhang, which curved 11 meters out from the base.

For the ultimate wave challenge surfers head to Hawaii. For ultimate mountains hikers head to Nepal. And for the ultimate rock climbing wall? For that one must go to the north of Holland.

It is there, in the city of Groningen, that daring climbers take on The Excalibur at the Bjoeks Klimcentrum.

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Kayaking the Thumb

Ask longtime Michigan residents where in the state they live and chances are that they’ll hold up their right palm and point out their hometown upon it—the shape of a hand held up approximating that of Michigan’s lower peninsula.

Ask an outdoor enthusiast who’s in-the-know where Michigan’s best kayaking trip is and chances are said enthusiast will hold up a right palm and point to its thumb. It is at the thumb where paddlers find the wonderful cliffs and clear waters of Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay.

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Summer Camp—For Adults

Youth, they say, is wasted on the young. And maybe summer camp is too. Twelve-year-olds can’t fully appreciate the joys of carefree days playing volleyball and failing at archery, taking afternoon swim breaks and roasting marshmallows by a fire, raiding rival cabins and sneaking out after curfew for stolen kisses behind the equipment shed.

For those who miss the summer camp of their youth—or missed out on the experience all together—start packing your duffel bags. Club Getaway, a New England resort, and Jetsetter, a flash-deal website with travel bargains, have teamed up on create a summer camp experience; one that’s for adults only.

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Go Skiing (But Not On Snow)

While skiing the dunes, sand will get inside your clothes. And it will go to places you very much would rather it wouldn’t

Ski bums, do not despair when the weather warms at your travel destination. Though the snow may vanish, your opportunity to partake in downhill skiing and boarding needn’t.

Here’s a Spot Cool Stuff look at three non-snow ski surfaces and where to enjoy them:

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Come for the Golf. Stay for North Korea.

Sports have a way of transcending political and cultural differences. The 1995 Rugby World Cup (on which the excellent movie Invictus was based). The 1970s exchange of table tennis players between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The 2005 “Cricket Summit” between India and Pakistan. The North Korean Amateur Open?

That last event hasn’t happened yet. But it will on April 29th, 2011. And if you are anything approximating a decent golfer can participate!

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Lose Weight While Traveling:
Three Fun & Cool Trips

A vacation is a wonderful time to get away from the normal day-to-day. But you needn’t spend it sedentary and immobile, sipping cocktails and grazing at the buffet.

To combat vacation hangover and dreaded weight gain here are three fun trips that will challenge your mind and your body. You’ll return home from each of these trips in better shape than you left.

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Europe’s 6 Best Running Events

You don’t need to be as fast as the Kenians. You don’t need to challenge “Ultramarathon Man” Dean Karnazes on a 100 miles race. Running a marathon or a half marathon or a shorter race is more a personal challenge than a struggle against the clock. And you can enjoy the tourist experience as well, it’s called sightseeing on the run. Crossing the Brandenburg Gate at the Berlin Marathon or entering the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens will leave you breathless (OK, that maybe be the exhaustion) and offers a more vivid memory of the city than thousands of pictures.

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