Our second Gravel Bike Experience has come to an end. Throughout three days we guided our group on regional rides far away from the busy trafficked roads and introduced them to the splendor of South Tyrol in autumn.
Led by our own Mario Kummer and Elena Valentini, the group discovered gravel trails around Bolzano that led them up the majestic mountains surrounding this South Tyrolean city and offered them breathtaking views in the clear, crisp autumn air.
Read Mario’s highlights of this second edition, and don’t miss the GPS tracks of this year’s gravel routes which are available at the end of the Mario’s review.
On day one, after welcoming the guests, we went for a comfortable ride through the Montiggl Forest, which is right on our doorstep. The ride gave everyone a good overview of the area.
This gravel trail leads to a surprising view of two pristine lakes surrounded by woods. The descent to the main lake is an exciting challenge that offers some real fun and tests your technical skills!
A major challenge was presented the next day when we faced the Oclini Pass.
A moderate incline following the old railway line to Cavalese was the perfect warm up. Ahead were the steep trails to the the top of the pass.
Thanks to the right gears and tires, there was nothing to stop us from climbing to 2,000 meters and the top of the pass. It was pure exhilaration!
With the snow line close by, we had an amazing view of the fantastical formations for which the Dolomites are so famous.
Having accomplished this feat, we allowed ourselves to enjoy the descent. Dinner by the lake was a hearty “Törggelen“, a typical autumn meal that includes local specialities, regional wines and roasted chestnuts, was the perfect way to regenerate and boost our energy levels for the next day.
On day three we took the cable car from Burgstall to Verano, this saved us from about 1,000 meters of altitude and allowed us to start the difficult climb up to the Stone Cairns with energy and elan.
Being up at these altitudes felt like being on top of the world. With a 360 degree view, the whole world was at our feet. For me, this was the highlight. The amazing views, the perfect weather, the special atmosphere, the fun group: it couldn’t have gotten any better. A quick descent took us back to Bolzano via San Genesio. From there, we headed back to Caldaro along the old railway line.
Despite the intense effort needed to complete this tour, everyone had a smile on their face at the end of the day – satisfaction ruled!