Dolomites.

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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Vagabond
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by Vagabond

Hello gang,

I'll be heading up to the Dolomites for the first time in early September. I'm going to spend a week at Lago di Garda first then head up. I'm looking for information from people who have ridden up there. Favorite rides/loops, favorite town you've stayed in, how did you get there, etc. I'm partial to public tansportation and not renting cars and I'm leaning towards staying at La Perla in Corvara. Tell me all about your trips and what you recommend.

Thanks.
Colnago e Campagnolo

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MayhemSWE
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by MayhemSWE

I rode the Maratona back in July. Definitely check out the full route if your legs are up for it, if not it can easily be broken down in smaller loops as well. The Sellaronda loop is a good first test!

by Weenie


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micky
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by micky

If you're staying at Lake of Garda you could as well do the full loop of the lake, there's plenty of riders these days both locals and tourists on holidays so you won't be alone for long, especially if it's on weekends.
There's the usual "Giro della Valle" on the est side of the lake which you might find on strava because I dont remember exactly the whole route; it's one of the most common rides for locals.

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MayhemSWE
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by MayhemSWE

No idea what kind of terrain you're used to, how strong you are or which cadence your legs prefer but… Absolutely do not be ashamed to gear down for this trip.

Personally I am not particularly strong (FTP ~230 W), a bit overweight (75 kg) and feel most at home at higher cadences (90-100 rpm). Before my trip I put on compact 50-34T rings up front with an 11-34T cassette on the back and still wouldn't mind another low gear or two when climbing Passo Giau! (9.9 km at 9.3% average gradient)

eins4eins
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by eins4eins

Torbole in the north of lake garda is one of my favorite places in the world for cycling. go there every year and it still amazes me. the town of torbole is rather small, but its all about sports. windsurfing, sailing and cycling. great infrastructure with many bike shops, shuttle services and bike paths.
there are almost no flat routes, but the mountains left and right are just awesome. Monte baldo, monte velo, monte bondone, monte altissimo.
mountains are not as high, as in the dolomites, but the climbing is still serious. for example the ascend from Avio to the rifugio graziano on top of monte baldo is almost 20km long and you gain almost 1500 metres in altitude. if you want to kill your legs, look for the punta veleno. starts near Sommavilla and averages 13% over 8km with many parts being over 20%.

i would avoid riding aroung the lake though. too much traffic and its not that spectacular in my opinion.

Rondje
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by Rondje

How long do you want your rides to be?
I've only stayed in Cortina d'Ampezzo and Canazei myself, but I think you can do some great loops from Corvara as it's more centralized.
You got the standard Sella Ronda loop, great views never disappoint. You can also go to the Giau by making a nice ride starting with Falzarego > Colle Santa Luca > Giau and back to Falzarego to and then the long downhill back to Corvara.
A climb I'd say you should definitely ride is Tre Cime di Laveredo. It might be out of reach from Corvara but it's a hard but beautiful climb.
My view from Tre Cime last year (we had the bad luck of getting the first snow in early September)
Image

My experience with the public transport in the Dolomites itself isn't that great. Last year I had an exploding tire at the descent of the Campolongo and had to wait 1 or 2 hours in Arabba for a bus to bring me up the Pordoi.

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jekyll man
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by jekyll man

As others have said, sella ronda loop is great, and the tre cime is well worth attempting. A good ride out and back from Arabba but as Rondje says, maybe a bit far from Corvara.
Giau and also the Fedaia are must do's.

All doable in both directions, and make them very different rides.
Sorry no experience of Garda.
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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

I'll speak up for La Perla in Corvara. Stayed there - fantastic. Food was top notch - as good as I have ever encountered without going 5 star. Great rooms and beds also.

As to roads, along with all that is mentioned above, I'll add the descent of the Passo Rolle into Fiero di Premiero. It just a crazy banked roller coaster ride for 35 km. Serious fun. I did it as part of route that included Passo San Pelegrino (gorgeous river alongside), and another pass I forget. I think we started in Canazei that day.

gearing - haha. If you have a 28 you'll wish you had a 32, and if you have a 32 you'll wish you had a 34. There are just too many spots where it goes above 12% for long stretches that will have you wishing for easier gears. Lots of 15% as well. The last 4 km on Tre Cime is nasty, Zoncolan, Lavaze, etc. Ouch.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

campagowlo
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by campagowlo

Santa Barbara (Monte Velo) and Passo Coe worth a ride. The area north of Torbole (mentioned above) is lovely. Monte Bondone is also amazing.

Vagabond
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Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Thanks guys, keep the tips coming. I'll be traveling solo. I do lots of big climbs and usually ride the Italian and Swiss Alps annually. Campy 11-29 with compact was plenty to get me up the Mortirolo and a few other climbs out of Bormio so that's what I'll be bringing. Wasn't spinning up the Mortirolo but who does other than EPO sauced pros?
Colnago e Campagnolo

MichaelB
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by MichaelB

Spent 5 days in 2016 in Canazei - great spot to access heaps of climbs like Pordoi, Fedaia, Sella Ronda loop tried to do Tre Cime but thunderstorm and common sense paid to that. Did Stelvio/Umbrail (bit of a drive, but great).

Loved every minute of it and could spend months there

Vagabond
Posts: 340
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:08 am
Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Thanks guys. Lots of helpful info. The Umbrail Pass is the most fun I’ve ever had descending. That descent into Switzerland from the Stelvio on that butter smooth banked road is just incredible. A must do for all who like going fast downhill. I have never seen a car the three times I’ve descended it.

I’ll bore you guys with photos in the “on the road today” thread while I’m there.
Colnago e Campagnolo

by Weenie


Rondje
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by Rondje

Have fun, I have a sweet spot for the Dolomites, most beautiful place I've been I think. Plenty of variation in climbing from steep to more rolling climbs. I hope you get better weather then I had when I was there in September last year.

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