In fall, more and more riders are using their time to regenerate from an active road season by varying their rides and trying some different terrains to test their shape. For a change of pace in fall, we suggest switching to a gravel bike, at least once in awhile, to keep your body and mind active and fresh.
Bolzano is the perfect area to properly test this new type of bike, and the surroundings offer plenty of different routes. The route that we suggest leads to a natural park famous for its unique fauna and flora.
Starting from Bolzano, the ride takes you on an old railroad track has been turned into a lovely bike path leading to Caldaro Lake, surrounded by vineyards, the view is simply amazing. Continuing on, you reach the town of Ora where a gradient 4 climb takes you through the “la vecia ferrovia de la Val di Fiemme” forest on an old railway path which leads to the Fiemme valley.
When you reach the small town of Fontanefredde, just few kilometres before the San Lugano pass, a right turn in direction Trodena brings you to the Monte Corno national park.
In Trodena you are faced with the last two kilometers of the climb which, with an average gradient of more than 10%, is quite challenging. Your hard work pays off – at 1,781 meters you have a beautiful view of South Tyrol from the top of Monte Corno!
The 12 kilometer descent is technical with some single-tracks. Once again in the valley, you ride through the impressive medieval city of Egna before cycling along the apple orchards on your way back to Caldaro lake. This is an ideal ride that allows you to train while enjoying the beauty of the region without annoying car traffic.
Don’t forget to stop for a coffee and try the ‘Kastanien Herz’ (chestnut heart) a sweet autumn specialty in South Tyrol!
Now the climb begins, 26 kilometers with 48 hairpins. The first 8km have a gradient of 5%, but after the Solda junction, the climb gets harder with an average gradient of 8-9%. During the last 8km you can already see the top and that goal, along with the idea of the lovely cakes waiting for you at Rifugio Perego at the peak, keep you going! The descent on the Umbrail pass to Val Mustair on the Swiss side leads you back to the border of Italy at Tubre and then takes you through the beautiful medieval town of Glorenza, completely surrounded by fortified walls.
The last 50km are blessedly on roads with a slight descent that bring you back to Merano where you can rest and contemplate your epic day on the bike!
For the GPX file click here