A final ride

Our final ride today was a short one with a mere 400 m ascent. The route took us from Arco up into the baking hills to the west. The descent was technical with lots of loose rock followed later by a steep descent on cobble stones. We ended up at a spot along a river where we had stopped briefly two days earlier. I paddled in the river for a bit before we rode back to the campsite, stuck the bikes in the car, and headed back to the land of cabbage. Mmmm cabbage.

Cris paddling 2 (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize White swan (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize

Above left: Paddling in the river after the descent. Yes, I know I am wearing posy Nike gear. It’s all I have… honestly… Above right: A swan on the lake in the evening.

By the lake in the evening (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize Frauke by the lake in the evening (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize

Above left: Looking across the Gardasee in the evening. Above right: Frauke at the water’s edge.

Difficult Descent

We headed to the east side of the lake today and cycled up a sealed road to the TV masts on the hill. It was another sweat-profusely sort of day and we did just that. A constant stream of cyclists headed up the road with us. From the TV masts we headed along an unsealed road to the start of the descent.

The descent was technical with plenty of ruts and loose stone. We slid and hopped our way down. Frauke paused to graze her arm against some rocks. Although the descent was tricky, I enjoyed it. At the bottom we joined the main road and “roadied’ back to the camp site with a nice warm tail wind.

We ate pizza in a little restaurant for tea. Yum yum.

View towards Arco (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize Ouch (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize Green blur (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize

Above left: A view from the east side of the lake back towards Torbole. The fin shaped hill is where we zipped up briefly yesterday on our second ride. Above middle: Frauke had a run in with some rocks during the technical descent. We weren’t the only ones that found it difficult. We passed some people pushing there bikes down the track. Above right: The forest was a blur of green. Or is it just blurry due to our intense down-hill speed?

Below: We relaxed at the side of the lake after returning. The water is deliciously blue but a bit cold.

Beach (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize Blue water (Lago di Garda, Italy) 1 resize

Below: Frauke is about to tackle her size XL pizza.

Eating pizza (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize

Two tours

Another hot day. My weary legs did not wake up until later in the ride today. We rode around in the hills north of Arco (30 minutes by bike north from Torbole). We passed a little lake after lunch and found some interesting little trails before we headed back to our camp site. In the evening we went for another little mission with Frauke’s friend Andy and his brother up the hill next to the camp-site. Another technical descent and then a mountain bike bunch-ride back to the camp-site.

Cris having a break (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize View down to Riva 2 (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize

Above left: Cris having a break in the shade. Above right: The view from the hill above Torbole/Riva out across Lago di Garda. Not a bad spot really.

Below: Our route for today.

Map

Tremalzo

Frauke was keen for a long MTB ride so we tackled Tremalzo. We left early in the morning from Torbole and headed up into the mountains. It was around 30 degrees at the lake so I was happy when the temperature began to drop a little as we ascended.

View towards Riva 2 (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize Frauke riding (Lago di Garda, Italy) 1 resize

Above left: View towards Torbole from the track winding along the cliffs. Above middle: Frauke on her bike. Below left: We did not escape the Italian switch-backs. Frauke cursed the mountain as we wound our way slowly up-and-up towards Tremalzo. Below right: The view from Torbole looking into the mountains where we rode.

The winding road (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize View from Torbole (Lago di Garda, Italy) resize

We had lunch at the first pass and tackled a winding single track that took us towards our next pass. The Tremalzo pass was a horrible slog complete with many switch-backs to test one’s mental toughness. Frauke cursed the mountain. From the top we took a mix of 4WD tracks and single tracks down towards Lago di Ledro and then finally headed back to Torbole by road and tracks that hugged the cliffs above the lake.

Beautiful warm weather. Beautiful views. Great riding.

We noshed-up on pasta at our campsite after our seven hour mission.

Below is a map showing our ride. We did the loop clock-wise.
GPS Data

Ride time: 5:56:54 Dst: 60.82 km Avg: 10.22 km/h Max: 57.41 km/h

Heading to the Gardasee

After another wet day working on the high-ropes course Frauke and I drove to the Gardasee/Lago di Garda/Lake Garda (depending on your preference). It was raining and in the single digits when we left but as we arrived at the lake in Italy it was still 18 degrees at 9:30pm. Mmmm, those Italians know how to do Summer.

The Gardasee is surrounded by steep mountains that rise up to around 2000 m. The area is full of little trails and on each trail mountain bikers can be found. The language of choice seems to be German and the majority of the people in the hills seem to be German tourists. It’s close to the autonomous province of Bolzano-Bozen known by many Germans as South Tirol. Most people in this region speak a German dialect and perhaps this region influences the Gardasee also. Gina and I rode through this area in 2006. We are camping in the north in Torbole.