The World’s 12 Most Grueling and Insane Endurance Races The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now Photo by zychIt could be said that hardcore adventure travelers suffer from a type of sickness — a psychosis, even. Adrenaline junkies seek to scare the hell out themselves on a regular basis. Mountain climbers need to scale ever-higher, ever-more-dangerous rock faces. Hardcore cyclists are always looking for the hardest, most punishing trails to ride. On that note, here are three of the world’s most bucket-list-worthy cycling trips to complete before you die.For Nature-Lovers: Trotternish Ridge on Scotland’s Isle of SkyePhoto by Zoltan GaborYou don’t really need another reason to visit Scotland, but, if you’re a cyclist, here’s one more. Beginning and ending at the town of Portree on the Isle of Skye, a 50-mile loop traverses some of the country’s most breathtaking landscape. The deceptively simple trek takes riders around the towering ridgeline that cuts the center of the Trotternish peninsula, passing two iconic landmarks: the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr (pictured above). In just a few hours, the scenery evolves from dark volcanic rock to idyllic pastures to the edge of the Atlantic. It isn’t Europe’s most difficult cycling trip, but it’s certainly one of the prettiest. There’s a reason Ridley Scott chose to film his otherworldly Prometheus here.For Endurance Riders: India’s Leh-Manali HighwayThe Ladakh region of northern India is one of the most vast, most rugged, most remote regions in the country. Set among the cloud-swept peaks of the Himalayas, the views (and the ride itself) are literally breathtaking. The Leh-Manali Highway crosses the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates, a highly active geological area wrought with frequent tremors and, increasingly, earthquakes. For most of its near-300-mile stretch, the road is treacherous, bordering on impassable. It’s often ranked among the world’s deadliest roads. Chaotic weather, spotty or no pavement, brutal cold, sky-high altitude, and minimal civilization make for a difficult trip even in a car or truck. However, all of this attracts cyclists from around the world.For Masochists: Triple-Pass in the Italian Alps and the DolomitesPhoto by welcomiaSpanning the Dolomites and the Italian Alps are three of Europe’s most brutal and beautiful mountain passes. An impossibly long series of switchbacks climb the Mortirolo, the Gavia, and Stelvio (pictured above) passes near the border of Switzerland and Italy. It’s the sort of place that seems purpose-built for car commercials. Indeed, we ranked the Stelvio pass among our world’s best drives worth flying for. For anyone seeking a serious two-wheel challenge, there’s perhaps no better place anywhere on the continent. The Giro d’Italia (Italy’s Tour de France) first popularized the triple-pass route as a worthy cyclist destination in the mid-1900s. Adventurous bikers can start in the tiny Alpine village of Bormio in northern Italy. From there, all three passes are directly accessible. 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The Quietest and Loneliest Roads in America Get to Know Alto Adige, the Northern Italian Wine Region Editors’ Recommendations
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The fifth Implementation Follow-up Commission (IFC) wrapped up in Doha, Qatar, on 9 April to review the progress made so far in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).“We are on the right track and peace is the solution,” said the Chairperson for the Implementation Follow-up Commission (IFC), Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud, who is also the deputy Prime Minister of the State of Qatar and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs.On 14 July 2011, the Sudanese Government – which has been fighting rebel groups in Darfur since 2003 – signed the DDPD with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), and more recently with the Justice and Equality Movement led by Mohamed Bashar (JEM-Bashar). The agreement focuses on seven areas: human rights; power-sharing; wealth-sharing; justice and reconciliation; compensation of refugees and internally displaced persons; ceasefire and security arrangements; and internal dialogue and consultation.It is overseen by a follow-up committee that includes Mohamed Ibn Chambas – the head of the joint African Union-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and Joint Chief Mediator for the AU and UN – and representatives of the AU, the Sudanese Government, armed movements, the Qatari Government mediation and other organizations and governments. The committee meets regularly to review the progress made so far in implementing the DDPD.During the latest meeting, representatives from more than 15 countries acknowledged the continued cooperation between the Government of Sudan and the LJM, and reaffirmed the international community’s support to the DDPD as the only framework for peace in Darfur. “The DDPD has greatly contributed to the decline in levels of violence and to bringing security that large parts of Darfur are enjoying today,” said IFC Chairperson Al Mahmoud, speaking to the media after the meeting.“It is crucial to preserve and build on the various accomplishments made so far to achieve a sustainable peace in the region,” he added. He called on the hold-out movements to walk in the footsteps of the Justice and Equality Movement-Sudan (JEM-Sudan) and join the peace process on the basis of the DDPD. The meeting came one day after a pledging conference which organizers had hoped would raise $7.2 billion to cover reconstruction and development of Darfur over a six-year period. Meanwhile, thousands of civilians are seeking protection, many of them with their livestock, near joint AU-UN peacekeeping teams in Muhajeria and Labado, East Darfur State, after attacks and “possible air strikes” on the towns. UNAMID has condemned the 6 April attacks. The peacekeeping mission is working with UN agencies to ascertain the best means of supporting aid delivery to the population, particularly the civilians concentrated around the team site.