Feature: Riding High in Italy
Big mountains, rocky terrain and a willingness to get lost pays off big
Courtesy of TRUVATIV
Photos by Adrian Marcoux
Video by Taylor Sage
No matter where we are in the world, every time we ride our mountain bikes we feel the anticipation of a new story. Each ride brings new sensations dictated by weather, riding partners, bike performance, trail conditions, trail choice, intensity of the ride…. And all of this changes the way we feel. When we travel to a far-away place these elements are heightened and the adventures intensify.
Our trip to the Dolomites was definitely no exception. Each day we’d head out from Cortina and venture high into the impressive limestone mountains that reflected light like nothing I’d seen before. The trails were rugged and rocky with some exploratory hike-a-biking and a lot of drifting. Many were built as part of the First World War, which added a powerful emotion to our rides. We also spent a night at the ridiculously perched Rifugio Nuvolau mountain hut, a spot that I’ll never forget.
We started the long days and in some cases long-nights trekking trough the top of the Boot, breathing in Milan, soaking in Venice and then shooting up through the Prosecco region of Italy – to Cortina. Imagine travelling through one of the most beautiful countries in the world and then getting dropped off in Cortina; the word stunning is an understatement. Our goal was two fold – make our way up to one of the highest Refugio’s in Italy and two – discover some perfect pieces of singletrack along the way. We managed both but not with out some bumps along the way and a few photos to tell the story.
Italy has a way of eating and drinking that we can all get accustomed to, and as fate would have it, we happened upon a monthly party where the Cortina locals graciously shared a little too much of the local beverage. The next day was taxing, but we suffered through and managed to pull off a lift-assisted ride that hurt so good… With this leg we ended up at the pristine Nuvolau where we ate, drank and generally figured the scene out. We poked our heads into the shooting galleries from WW1 and got a little lost in the trenches…literally.
With its pristine roads, Cortina is best known for the Giro d’Italia. We chose to take this polished reputation and ride away from it with the newest of trail-ready bikes that you can do anything and go anywhere with. It seems like we only scratched the surface of this electric amphitheater. I guess we’ll just have to go back and ride a little deeper into the mountains next time.