CYCLING FOR PASSION, CYCLING FOR FUN
Hundreds of kilometres of cycle paths readily accessible to all, thanks to a range of services such as “Bike Buses” and “Bike Trains” and many challenging cycle routes, the stuff of legends. Thanks to its facilities and infrastructure, Trentino attracts all kinds of cyclists and hosts major events on the professional circuit
Eleven cycle paths link the Dolomites to Lake Garda, bringing the delightful natural settings of the mountain valleys that bit closer to the cultivated lands of the Adige valley. There are also 23 uphill climbs that allow cyclists to challenge legendary mountain passes, reaching the very places where the history of cycling has been carved. Furthermore, there are dozens of paths and trails for cross-country and downhill biking. This and much more in Trentino, always at the forefront when it comes to cycling and able to offer, like only a handful of other areas in Europe, a complete range of trails and paths suitable for recreational cycling, bicycle touring and trekking and of course mountain biking.
Thanks to the foresight of the provincial council, that has been investing in this sector for over 20 years, the network of cycle paths today winds its way through the most important and panoramically beautiful areas of Trentino. Over 430 km of well sign-posted paved routes link the glaciers of the Ortler-Cevedale group to the apple orchards of the Val di Non, the Valsugana valley with the province of Vicenza. Wide bicycle lanes follow the rivers Sarca, Chiese, Brenta, Avisio, Noce and Cismon bringing cyclists, accompanied by the gentle beat of the pedals, on the discovery of hidden corners of this territory often overlooked by both drivers and local residents. The backbone of this network, and the longest in Trentino, is a 100 km stretch of cycle path that runs along the Adige valley and links Bolzano to the plain of the Po. All cycle paths are well sign-posted with GPS tracks available for download and are, for the most part, suitable for families. For those who prefer the thrill of the descent, so-called “bici bus” (bike buses) and “bici + treno” (bike + train) services are available. By taking Trento-Malè railway and/or designated coach services it’s possible to reach the Pejo valley (or the Passo del Tonale in the upper Val di Sole) or Carisolo or Madonna di Campiglio in the Val Rendena and then take off downhill back to the point of departure. This is also possible by taking the trains of the Valsugana railway with return trips to Pergine, Levico or Trento.
To complete the offer there are 19 Bike Stops (or “bici grill” in Italian) along the various cycle paths, offering food and refreshments, restrooms, bike rental services and of course direct road access. In the more popular tourist areas, e-bikes are also available for rent. These pedal-assisted electric bicycles are also available in a mountain bike version and open up even the most challenging routes to everyone.
Having said this however, the 23 Great Bicycle Climbs of Trentino are for the most spirited of cyclists. These uphill routes are named after their epic location or their cycling heros: the Trento-Monte Bondone route came to fame with the legendary stage of the Giro d’Italia in 1956 brilliantly won by Charly Gaul and the Campionissimi climb is dedicated to the champions of this land, the Moser family and Gilberto Simoni. Furthermore, the legendary Menadòr climb and a number of Dolomite passes have become part of cycling history as stage finish-lines in the Giro d’Italia.
These long, steep and challenging climbs, although definitely not for everyone, allow cyclists to retrace the routes that have etched their way into the history books of this sport: this is also what Trentino is about. In recent years, designated information signs have been installed along these routes with all the necessary information and now an app is also available.
This summer, hikers and bikers are advised to plan their routes in advance as some trails may be closed due to adverse weather conditions last autumn. Work to restore the forests and trails began immediately, and will continue throughout the summer so signage will indicate any trails that are temporarily closed. Real-time updates on the various trails will be available on the website at www.visittrentino.info/mca or by enquiring at the local APT offices.