Imagine beautiful gravel siwtchbacks in front of a stunning mountain scenary
That was exactly what I saw on a picture posted by band of climbers and why I immediately started searching where this was taken. The picture was showing the Tremalzo Pass, an old military way from WW1 that is totally unpaved and a mountain bike classic. I definitely wanted to go there and the best thing: the train to get me somewhere close to a riding distance only took 4 hours.
I left the train in Bozen at noon and immediatley started riding on the Etschradweg, a perfect bike lane leading me through the wide vinevards of the Trentino until Mezzocorona. The next kilometers where pure climbing, from Spormaggiore to Cavedago to Andalo from where I had a beautiiul gravel descend to the lake Molveno. I followed the main road until I reached Creto, a small town where I had a affordable room with a very good typical dinner. Creto is very close to Storo, my starting point for the climb to the Tremalzo Pass.
The road behind Sternico was closed because of some road works and I had to change to the main road, which was very exhausting. Long tunnels, nearly no space to overpass and a lot of traffic. That was the only downside of the first day.
The climb starting in Storo to the top is 22,9 km long with an ascend of 1400m at about 6% in average. The whole way is paved. Only the last 1,6 km to the tunnel are gravel. I started very early and only had little traffic until the final climb to the top. The view from the top is amazing and the whole magic of the Tremalzo starts with its famous tunnel through the top leading you on the old street.
The descend was a bit challenging as I had no suspension, and only 35″ tires. But the whole scenery you experience alongside the way is totally worth the shred.
Out of time issues I didn’t do the famous Ponale road and choose to do a little sprint on the main street until Garda. Departing from Garda you can ride on the Mori – Torbole Bikelane and afterwards continue on the Etschradweg again. I cycled until Trento from where I took the train back to Rosenheim. It was a bit tricky to book the train on demand, as the italian train officers only can book italian trains. So I had some luck with the ÖBB hotline and booked the rest of the ticked with them. Better book your ticket in advance.
Es geht wieder los! Während die gesamte MTB Welt gespannt nach Utah schaut und darauf wartet, dass die Rampage beginnt, könnt ihr die Wartezeit prima mit einem kleinen Voting überbrücken! Gesucht wird wie in den Jahren zuvor das beste Fahrradblog. Wir sind erneut nominiert – und ihr könnt was gewinnen. Deine Stimme für Mountoria.de beim [...]
Kurz und gut: Season 2, Folge 44 von Nate Hills #followcamfriday: Diesmal in Nelson, BC auf dem Powerslave Trail. Sechs Minuten MTB-Spaß in 4K. Nate folgt diesmal Will Cadham. Während der Trail ganz human anfängt, dürft ihr euch ab ca. Hälfte des Videos auf einige Stellen freuen, die es in sich haben. Das Video ist [...]
Dobar dan and Hvala –
a tour of unexpected highlights
In this summer I planned to head deeper south into the balkans, starting close to the end of my last years bikepacking trip. From Zagreb deeper into Croatia, going straight through Bosnia and criss crossing Montenegro, until the finishline in Tirana, Albania. My daily stages carried me through remote roads alongside old railways, past countless impressive ruins, across abondened roads that slowly are reclaimed by nature, from the inner land to the coast and back again, up a lot of serpentines and through the biggest variety of biodiversity I could imagine so far.
This is a shortened overview of my experiences throughout the 12 days. I will try to go in details in single posts the upcoming weeks about the highlights, as for now this would blow the whole thing.
The Tour – Even more beauty behind every curve
The tour led me through 4 countries and over 1300k with 17000m of climbing. At the beginning I cycled down the Sava River which has some ambitions for an upcoming cycle path and growing tourism with small roads alongside the river and beautiful scenery. Afterwards I drove straight to Sarajevo which was the hardest part because of much traffic and no suitable alternatives. From Sarajevo I cycled into the Durmitor National Parc, headed on to the Tara bridge and back again and afterwards to Podgorica, the capitol of Montenegro. In Durmitor I definetly lost my heart. Afterwards I went to the Bay of Kotor with its outstanding serpentines and continued in a zig zag from coastline to inner land and back again until reaching Tirana.
I did the mapping online with “komoot”, based on their suggestion combined with a lot of online research. Maybe not enough, as I got escorted out of a military zone in Albania by a not to amused soldier. Maybe I’ve not been the first one. As a backup I had an offline map on my mobile and a printed map of the balkans for a rough overview, that I didn’t need once.
Streets – On road, off road, repeat
I planned the tour precisely and built it around some highlights that I read about and definitely wanted to go. Already after the first 30k I had to adapt the route and it became a line that I tried to cycle as close as possible. I mainly tried to take small paved roads and every now and than had gravel roads or small trails. Sometimes a roadbike would have been nice and sometimes a mountainbike, so I was totally happy with my weapon of choice. A gravel bike with 35-622 tires and a nice geometry between speed and comfort. Every now and than you´ll see signs of landmines warning you of leaving the track your currently on. About 80% I’ve been riding on traffic-free forgotten tarmac roads, 10% on gravel roads and 10% on high traffic main roads with no other alternative.
In conclusion I slept in a variety of places: I had some hostel, some wild camping, some campsites, some small huts and a closed guestroom. I hadnt booked anything in advance, because I didnt really know how far I will go each day. I had some rough distance goals for each day and had a look in advance if there is anything around to sleep, just in case. Overall I didnt want to spend much time on this and didnt want to be forced to stop because of an accomodation. I had my camping kit with me, but left the warm sleeping bag at home and decided to go with a light summer bag. The whole tour would easy be possible without a tent, but for me that’s always a good feeling having it with me and being able to stay anywhere I want.
Eat, eat, eat – the carrot principle
I tried to keep the engine running all the time and fueled it constantly. As i made the mistake of not eating enough on earlier tours, I hamstered food 24/7 in my backpack and kept going like a donkey behind the carrot, always ready to eat. So every time and everywhere that I felt like some food would be nice – I was prepared. I never had the problem of not finding some food. Next to the usual petrol stations and restaurants, there are tiny super markets and bakeries even in the smallest villages waiting for you with some fresh bureks. Additional to the stores where you can get water, there were plenty of springs to refill your bottles.
Die RAW 100 Serie hat ja schon einige Perlen hervorgebracht. Hier ist die Neuste. Ein Fest für Puristen. Die Puristen unter euch werden sich freuen. Denn was sich hier „100 Seconds of Ultimate Flow“ nennt, ist genau das. Nichts anderes. Pure Bikefreuden. Brendan Howey – spätestens seit heute auch Brendan Flowey genannt – braucht man [...]