This trip is based at a beautiful hotel in the classical, well preserved town of Arco near the shores of Lago di Garda in Italy’s Southern Alps. This region is ripe with olive groves, flowers, vineyards, palm trees, leaf strewn Beech forests and cobbled Roman roads. The Pista Romano trip is a technical all-mountain feast: endless courses of big climbs and big descents - and no matter how you devour, you’ll want to come back for more! The rides feature beautiful climbs (paved, doubletrack and singletrack) in quiet country settings, ranging from 10 minutes to two hours; great XC sections; and fantastic descents that can take up to an hour to descend. We are based in the same hotel, so it’s possible to relax for an afternoon if you like, or walk up to the local castle or go shopping. This trip is a fantastic spring training adventure!
Day 1 – Arrive in Milan, transfer to Lago di Garda
Leave your hometown on May 25 and fly to Milan Italy where you'll be greeted by your guides and meet the rest of your group. From Milan, we'll drive towards Verona in the Lombardy region, then head up into the Trentino Alto Adige region and the Southern Alps and the shores of beautiful Lago di Garda. This afternoon we'll set up our bikes at our quaint hotel in the beautiful town of Arco and go for a short spin.
Day 2 – ride Ancient Roman Route
This morning we'll start off with a steep climb on a quiet paved road, then a bike path, to the town of Lappio then onto the town of Santa Barbara. Some of us might opt to take the van part of the way up this climb as it tends to keep going up, and up – through little towns and finally double track and singletrack. When we reach the high alpine there is an old stone hut with a jaw-dropping view of the lake. Here, we'll regroup, relax and have a snack. Then it's a spectacluar traverse across the mountain top, then we dive down the mountain on an initially smooth singletrack that leads into an old cobbled Roman road that is really rough at times. Then we dive all the way down to Arco's main square!
Day 3 – Ride Limone Loop
This morning we'll drive about 30 minutes, through the town of Riva, along the western shore of the lake and up the mountainside from the town of Limone. We'll park the van and climb for an hour on a scenic paved road that switchbacks up a mountainside to an a refugio at a high pass and old gun on display from World War II. After a bite to eat it’s a mellow climb and hike a bike to spectacular singletrack that makes its way back down to the lake shore. This descent requires some walking at times – for eveyone! After beers at the end of the day we'll hop the boat back to Riva and ride home from there.
Day 4 – Ride Monte Baldo
Today we are going to take advantage of the region's only lift. After a sleep in, we'll either ride or drive down to the lakeside town of Malcesine and grab the lift to 1752 meters to the top of Monte Baldo. From the top of the lift we can either come straight back down, or climb an hour to the Bocca del Creer refugio, the real top of the mountain! The views from here are unreal. From here we ride the 651 trail that traverses a high ridge where we can explore WWI bunkers that look down on the lake far, far below. Then it's downhill through the forest on a loose rock ripper. Depending on how where feeling we can stash the van and do two laps on Baldo.
Day 5 – Ride Ville del Monte
This mornign we'll drive 30 minute out of town towards the towering Alps. From a sleapy little town we start climbing, up through a mature oak forest and onto a grassy mountain top with flowers and an alpine wind. This climb is steep at times, get ready! Then it’s a rolling XC ride on doubletrack and singletrack towards San Giovanni Monti and onto the medieval town of Ville del Monte that was built in the year 400. Then its downhill all the way to Riva where we can sip cold beer on a patio in the main square.
Day 6 – Ride Valle Belle Noci
Today we'll drive to the town of Vesio and ride from there. After a 1 hour climb we'll hit a gorgeous ridge with a sweet singletrack on it – up and down for a few hours with tunnels and some exposure. This goes all the way to Valle Belle Noci than loops around to a cool river – perfect for a dip! Then it’s a gravel road cruise back around the mountain and down to Limone where we can grab a gelato and board the ferry back to Riva.
Day 7 – Ride Olive Trail, pack bikes and transfer to Milan
This morning we'll start out with a steep climb out of Arco, through olive groves and onto a paved climb to the town of Padaro and onto a view point and religious cross overlooking the town of Dro far, far below. We're not there yet…we keep climbing on gravel to a hidden singletrack that ducks left and flows all the way back down to Arco. This afternoon we'll pack our bikes and drive to Milan where we stay at a hotel right beside the airport.
Day 8 – Fly home
Depending on departure times, the guides will drive to the airport for the flight home.
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