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Our bike tours blog on new and interesting discoveries
We love visiting Bormio with guests to cycle the challenging climbs of the Giro d'Italia ~ the Gavia, Mortirolo and the Stelvio. One spectacular discovery are the now mostly completed and linked cycling paths that stretch all the way from Bormio to the end of Lago di Como to the west and from Prato down the stunningly beautiful Valvenosta to Bolzano to the east. The paths (actually perfectly paved country lanes) are a great way to link the alpine pass roads and avoid the main roads and busy commercial centers. There are small coffee shops and bars along these thoroughfares for lunch stops and a coffee and strudel break in the afternoon. Feel free to contact us for more information on these fun and interesting additions to cycling these environs
An alpine ski town has become a cycling mecca. Just a few years ago, Bormio was a sleepy summer hamlet resting between World Cup ski events. Now the Giro d'Italia has made this alpine village a summer destination for cyclists wanting the challenge of the Giro's famed climbs – the Stelvio, Mortirolo, Gavia and Umbrail. The roads are spectacular, and the alpine peaks, glaciers and forests are breathtaking. July and August are cool respites from hotter temperatures lower down. We like to combine the classic eastern ascent of the Stelvio by first climbing the west side from the village of Bormio to the cut-off / Umbrail pass. The descent into Müstair, Switzerland and the valley ride to the east are quintessentially "Swiss". Perfect road surfaces and picture postcard villages woosh past as you descend to Prato, Italy. You've crossed back into Italy's region of the Sudtirol or Alto Adige. Order a macchiato with a German "bitte" instead of a "per favore" and don't forget to say "danke" as you saddle up for the iconic, and yes, gruelling 1,800 meter ascent of the Stilfserjoch / Stevlio pass. After some snapshots (and, why not, another espresso) an exhilerating 18 km descent through tunnels and switchbacks delivers you into town for an afternoon at the spas, saunas and whirlpools of one of the oldest thermal baths in Europe – Bagni Vecchi – a spectacular old world haven perched on a cliff overlooking the upper Valtellina. Enjoy a massage, some local alpine fare in one of the town's many delicious and inviting restaurants and a good night's sleep. Another climb awaits you tomorrow!
We began Cycleventoux because we love Europe, the outdoors, good food and seemingly endless miles of fantastic roads on which to bike and explore. The lore of cycling is deep here - the cyclists who have raced the Tour de France, The Giro d'Italia and a myriad of "one day classics". Cycling clothing was born here and now such manufacturers as Assos, Rapha and Castelli to name a few make great "kits" with style, attention to detail and quality. We often visit the Assos factory near us with guests to take a tour, shopf for bargains in their seconds room and soak up the panache that this company exudes.
French, British and Italian cycling equipment and it's storied and revered manufacturers, frame builders and component makers are some of the most admired industrial designers and producers of the twentieth century. The history and culture of cycling is deep here. From vintage advertising posters, museums, art and objects, the non-stop media coverage of cycling sporting events places cycling front and center in European society. The bike has often been the only method of transportation for many - the car being a luxury few could afford in the past. This has forged a respect and admiration for this two wheeled mechanical marvel. Europeans live and breathe the bike. We'd like to expand your passion by showing you Europe by bike.
This August we have been exploring deep into the Alta Langhe and the Belbo and Torre Bormida river valleys searching out new routes. I am always struck by how welcoming the people in these remote villages are when we cycle through. We often stop for a chinotto or aranciata soda, sparkling water and espresso and inevitably strike up a conversation with a local who has a suggestion for our day's itinerary – some unique, out of the way deviation that has a spectacular aspect to it. The roads and small and very well maintained. One seldom sees a car and when we traverse more trafficed routes the drivers are respectful and curteous, a testament to the bike's (and cyclists) front and center cultural status here.