Summer In Alta Badia: It’s All About Cycling

Summer In Alta Badia
New for 2019: Dolomites Bike Day becomes the largest of its kind in Europe, with a new, extended course allowing you to pedal along 108 km of traffic-free roads.

Once again this year, there’ll be plenty of events dedicated to cycling enthusiasts, promising lots of fun and excitement in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel, the Dolomites Bike Day and the Sellaronda Bike Day. For those of you who aren’t quite as fit, there’s also E-Bike Sharing available, giving you the chance to enjoy the panoramic views of the Dolomites on a bicycle with assisted pedalling.

Alta Badia (South Tyrolean Dolomites/Italy) – Over recent years, Alta Badia has become a top destination for even the most demanding of cyclists. In fact, this area is situated right in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is therefore the ideal starting point for all cycling tours around the Dolomite mountain passes, all of which can be directly reached by bike. Alta Badia really stands out for its passion for cycling, acting as the perfect setting for some spectacular experiences on two wheels. This area is dotted with stunning routes offering varying levels of difficulty, perfect for both road cycling enthusiasts and lovers of mountain biking. It was right here, among these Dolomite mountain passes, that the queen of cyclosportives was born, back in 1987: the MARATONA DLES DOLOMITES-ENEL. Each year, this event attracts 9,000 cyclists and receives over 30,000 registration requests from all over the world. The theme for the 33rd edition, set to take place on Sunday 7th July, will be “duman”, meaning “tomorrow” in Ladin. This theme will characterise the race, encouraging participants to reflect on something that goes beyond the simple act of pedalling. Thinking about tomorrow is an invitation to question ourselves about the future of the planet, starting from each one of us – what we can do as individuals and as a community to slow down the shameful use of the resources that Mother Nature has so generously been giving us for thousands of years. If ‘tomorrow is uncertain’, as Italian singer Lorenzo il Magnifico sang in his Canzona di Bacco (‘Song of Bacchus’), then it is perfectly legitimate to question ourselves about the future – actually, it’s downright necessary.

As usual, it will be the Dolomite mountain passes that play the leading role in the Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel: Campolongo, Sella, Pordoi, Gardena, Giau, Falzarego and Valparola. The three routes will remain the same, all closed to traffic: the real “Maratona” is 138 km long with a 4,230 m difference in altitude, the “Medium” route is 106 km long with a 3,130 m difference in altitude and the “Sella Ronda” route is 55 km long with a 1,780 m difference in altitude. There is one last chance if you would like to take part, but your name hasn’t been drawn: purchase one of the 193 charity registrations available online. There are Gold registrations costing €250, Platinum registrations costing €500 and Crystal registrations costing € 1,500, all available for purchase on the event’s official website on 28th March, from 6pm onwards. www.maratona.it.

NEW FOR 2019: THE DOLOMITES BIKE DAY ON 16TH JUNE WILL BECOME THE LARGEST OF ITS KIND IN EUROPE, BOASTING A 108 KM-LONG ROUTE

For those not able to take part in the highly-coveted Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel, the Dolomites Bike Day and Sellaronda Bike Day will be held in June: two non-competitive cycling events that are open to everyone, with no need for registration. In fact, the two bike day events follow the course of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel and other legendary routes, all completely closed to traffic.

The DOLOMITES BIKE DAY will be held, for the third time, on 16th June, along the Dolomite mountain passes of Campolongo, Falzarego, Valparola and, for the first time, also Fedaia and Pordoi – the setting for legendary performances that have made cycling history. This edition also has a new feature: the route has been extended to now reach a total of 108 km. The event starts from Alta Badia and you are free to choose the route that best suits your level of fitness. The traditional route of the Dolomites Bike Day follows the direction of the Campolongo Pass to Arabba and then continues towards the Falzarego Pass and then the Valparola Pass, before returning to the towns of La Villa and Corvara. This year, there is a new circuit starting from Arabba that also includes the legendary Fedaia and Pordoi Passes, passing through Canazei and Rocca Pietore. You can choose which mountainsides to take on: the more daring among you can try the climb up the Fedaia from Malga Ciapela – the event’s most difficult challenge. The easiest routes, on the other hand, are the climb up Pordoi from Arabba and the climb up Fedaia from Canazei, which are suitable for less experienced cyclists.

All roads will be closed to traffic from 9.30am until 3pm. This is a non-competitive event, so there’s no need to register. There is no recommended direction, so please take care and keep to the right of the road. www.dolomitesbikeday.it

Summer In Alta Badia

SELLARONDA BIKE DAY: THE CYCLING CIRCUIT AROUND FOUR MOUNTAIN PASSES, SCHEDULED FOR 22ND JUNE

On Saturday 22nd June, it’s the turn of the SELLARONDA BIKE DAY, with traffic being closed along the mountain passes around the Sella Group. Cycling enthusiasts will be able to take part in the fourteenth edition of this non-competitive event, from 8.30am until 3.30pm. www.sellarondabikeday.com.

GUIDED BIKE TOURS: GROUP EXCURSIONS PLANNED FROM MAY TO JULY

In May, June and July, Alta Badia will once again be offering its Guided Bike Tours. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it will be possible to cycle around discovering the Sella and Marmolada as well as other famous Dolomite routes, accompanied by expert local guides. Each day, two trips will be available to suit two different levels: “tour” for experts and “hobby” for intermediate cyclists. Together with the guides and with complete peace of mind, you’ll be able to reach some of the most iconic places and mountain passes in the Dolomites – locations that have gone down in the history of the Giro d’Italia.  It’s possible to book the excursions, costing €28.00, at the Alta Badia tourist information offices.

E-BIKE SHARING. EXCURSIONS WITH E-BIKES 2,000 M ABOVE SEA LEVEL

Thanks to the E-Bike Sharing scheme, it’s possible to conveniently cycle from one place to another, reaching the area’s most panoramic spots as well as the three parks within the ‘Movimënt’ Area. It’s also important to point out that these bicycles are electric, allowing you to ride along with less effort thanks to their assisted pedalling. These outdoor activities are therefore also suitable for less sporty people, who simply want to enjoy the views of the Dolomites on two wheels. The stations where bikes can be dropped off and picked up are located above Col Alto, Piz La Ila and Piz Sorega. You can also rent a latest-generation e-bike from one of the many local sports shops and bike rental places.

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN ALTA BADIA: NEW MOVIMËNT BIKE BEATS TRAILS AND THE SELLARONDA BY MTB

Alta Badia is also perfect for mountain bike enthusiasts, boasting plenty of dirt trails set among incredibly colourful vegetation. For lovers of enduro, freeride and touring mountain biking, Alta Badia offers a wide range of trails with varying levels of difficulty.

For the more adventurous adrenaline junkies, there are the Movimënt “Bike Beats” downhill trails. These are smooth flow country trails with containment banks and jumps with varying levels of difficulty. This year, there’ll be even more trails to choose from, enabling you to use both mountain bikes and e-bikes, not just in the Piz Sorega area but also in Pralongiá, where a new trail is being built.

Alta Badia is also the perfect starting point for cycling around the Sellaronda by MTB. Here, you can take your bike on the cable cars, meaning that you can effortlessly reach the mountain peaks and then put yourself to the test down breathtaking descents and single trails dedicated to mountain bikes. You can follow this route in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, and we recommend that you go with an expert mountain bike guide.

BIKE FRIENDLY: HOLIDAYS DEDICATED TO CYCLISTS

Over the summer, Alta Badia’s ‘Bike Friendly’ tourist activities for cyclists (www.altabadia.org/bike) are suitable for both those who prefer road biking and mtb enthusiasts. The tourist information offices provide road maps with recommended routes, whereas the partnership with the specialised Dolomite Biking school (www.dolomitebiking.com) allows individual or group excursions to be organised daily.

There are a number of discounts available for tourist accommodation, bike rental shops, the purchase of spares and clothing, restaurants and specialised lodges, meeting the needs of all those who take delight in practising this sport. “Bike Expert” and “Bike Friendly” hotels provide everything that cyclists need: storage areas offering the possibility to clean and repair bikes, bicycle racks, tool boxes specifically for bicycles, laundry services, a hearty, balanced breakfast and a cold dish or cake in the afternoon in order to boost energy levels. Cable cars transport bikes free of charge.

ALTA BADIA – PINARELLO CYCLES: TWO NAMES, ONE GUARANTEE

Consolidating the partnership between Alta Badia and Pinarello Cycles. Alta Badia offers excellent standards of hospitality with over 300 5, 4 and 3-star hotels which, when combined with Pinarello Cycles, the bicycle brand par excellence, really guarantees a top-quality holiday.

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