Hit the most beautiful dirt roads and trails, scale the highest off-road mountain passes and ride face to face with incredible rock formations. Grassy meadows, windy ridges, huts with a view, local food and craft beer. The adventure begins in the pristine Tires Valley, a half-hour drive from Bolzano. Start your day as the morning sun rises over the shoulders of the Catinaccio mountain, pedal in harmony between larch trees, fields and crops.
Small ancient villages and castles will show you the way north to the medieval town of Castelrotto before entering the Gardena Valley. The Puez-Odle Nature Park and Alta Badia now await you with some of the most iconic peaks in the entire region.
Feel like a Giro d'Italia pro as you climb the legendary Pordoi Pass, but please remember your true nature: that of a Gravel Grinder! Enjoy off-road fun again with a glimpse of the Marmolada glacier, descend into the Val di Fassa and then again, climb in silence to the Alpe di Siusi. This is Europe's largest plateau were lucky cows live at the foot of the imposing outline of the Sassopiatto mountain.
This is the tour planned by Michele Minessi and associates, and this is their story: "The tour is not of our own making, but nevertheless the good, home-grown work of our friend Alberto Frizziero, who for some time now has been organising something very nice that has to do with gravel in the Dolomites (Dolomites Gravel).
Given his experience and passion, we could only lean on him and one of his tour packages. Alberto is tailoring gravel tours in the Dolomites for bike packers, tours of all kinds, but above all, and this is what we like, tours that are not at all predictable for true lovers of wild biking... obviously we were happy with him.
It was summer, the end of a long holiday spent in a van along the Alpine arc, and it seemed right to treat ourselves to one last trip to end the holiday on a good note, and like any self-respecting improvisation, Piero joined us at the last minute!
Meeting in the evening, dinner in the vans, preparation of the bags, a greeting to Alberto who was coming to see us, between a glass of wine and a plate of pasta carbonara, it was late and we retired to the vans for the night.
The next day, ready to set off from Tires, we immediately realised that it would not be a walk, but Alberto had prepared some local variants for us, and for the most part along dirt tracks we reached the Siusi plateau, and to the Molignon refuge where the stage theoretically ended, but we continued on because we decided that we would sleep in a tent somewhere as soon as we found a place to our liking, and so it was.
We'll remember it for a long time, the search for the hut, one closed, the other collapsed, and here we are approaching it, it's a little crooked but it's open... it's him! Piero and Giudi's enthusiasm is irrepressible... mine a little less so, since it seemed to me that a light breeze would be enough to make it collapse.
I am the eldest and most responsible, I have to contain this delirious enthusiasm... but in the end I let myself go and gave in to the joy on the condition that we would have dinner outside and if it had not collapsed during dinner we would have gone inside... fortunately it did not collapse, it sheltered us from the storm, we slept very well on the ground of course, but with sacks and mattresses we didn't miss a thing!
In the morning, breakfast with what was left over and off we went in the saddle, unfortunately the weather worsened in the late morning so we went back, skipping the Vajolet part but we had already been there on foot, so no harm done, passing through Lake Carezza, lots and lots of beautiful forestry and then back to the vans ready for rivers of beer!