This page was last updated Thu 05 January 2017.

Contents: Trails (1)   

Reports by Kevin Hodgson

All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Trails

Lake Garda: Europe's best Mountain Biking?
by Kevin Hodgson

Here's a simple question for you. Where is the best mountain biking in Europe? Well, 'best' depends on what floats your boat; sun, singletrack, downhills with chair lifts? However, when I lived in Germany, I posed this question to several biker friends, and always received the same answer - ``Lake Garda''. I searched through magazines for the answer and it was once again ``Lake Garda''. I was starting to see a pattern emerging. Well, my mate Dickie was on a student exchange to Trento, which is close to Lake Garda, in northern Italy. Therefore, I decided to take a few days off work and head on over the Brenner to see what all the fuss was about. The visit also coincided with ``BIKE fest'' a weekend festival where thousands of German mountain bikers get drunk in a field beside the Lake, then try to ride 80 miles the next day.

The next day's ride was decided to be a 'biggy'. I had the 'Moser' guide book of Garda, which is in German only, and provides route cards, guaranteeing that you will not need a map. I always find guide book routes too easy, so I selected a 'very hard' grade: Monte Casale. Big mistake. We set off with just the route cards, into a nondescript Italian forest, with no idea where we were headed, except that it was 'very hard'. The forest tracks climbed incessantly, until we branched off onto some pleasant singletrack. Suddenly as Dickie rode through the forest ahead of me, he unexpected threw his bike to the ground and let out an uncontrollable string of expletives! I rushed up to him, wondering if he'd been bitten by a snake. The trees fell away in a 1000m pure vertical plunge to the valley far below, we were at the edge of the cliff we had seen yesterday, and Dickie had almost ridden over it! The singletrack then proceeded to wind its way precariously along the edge for a couple of kilometres, before climbing up to the summit of Monte Casale at 1632m.

In summary, I have no doubt that this area offers the best trails in Europe. Unfortunately none of the routes are way marked, and no English language guide exists for the area, meaning that you must rely on good map reading as a means to explore the area. See you there!

© 2003 Kevin Hodgson @ Offroad Adventures