Length: 25,9 km
Altitude metres: 2.070 m
Ascent: per Bike
Recommended bike: XC, all mountain, trail
Biking technique: ●●○○○
Biking fun: ●●●●○
Best time for travel: March - November
Lake Garda is a Mecca of outdoor sports and an El Dorado for mountain bikers. It has been over twenty years since Uli Stanciu brought the bike festival to the lake. Since then it is not only the climbers in the rock walls and the surfers on the water, but also the mountain bikers on the trails that invigorate the northern shore of Lake Garda.
Of sweat and tears
I remember exactly what it was like when I pedalled uphill the long ascent to the Tremalzo Pass for the first time. Six days of Alpine crossing lay already behind me. Once arrived at the top, I biked through the tunnel and looked across the mountain foothills and down to the lake. My heart jumped because I knew the finish was very close. And I still remember what I felt when we were riding downhill. I realised that I had already reached my goal - this trail, this view, this feeling, this nature. An indescribable happiness. And that the way is the goal suddenly got a real meaning
Like me, there are thousands of others crossing the Alps every year. For many, the journey across the Alps is also a journey to oneself and a journey into the past. On these historical routes, history suddenly comes to life again. It is the same with the ascent to the Tremalzo Pass. The old military road was built for the resistance in World War I, a war that seems so far away to us and whose tracks we follow on almost every Alpine crossing. The descent to Lake Garda is separated from the ascent by an impressive tunnel at the top of the pass. From here we find ourselves in a very different world - a world without motor traffic, a world in which only our experience counts.
We finally arrive at the Passo Rocchetta, which also tells a story. The memorial stone here was not dedicated to the victims of terrible wars, but to the mountain bike experience. In 2014, a memorial stone in memory of Uli Stanciu was placed at this location as part of the Bike Festival to commemorate his contribution to the development of mountain biking in general, but above all his commitment to the advancement of mountain biking at Lake Garda.
Lake Garda is not only the destination of Alpine crossings, but also of extended mountain bike holidays. The Tremalzo also remains a legend and a sought-after destination there. We cross to Passo Nota on narrow paths - the lake always in view and above all the warm sun on our skin. It is not so much the special quality of the trails that make up the charm of the region, but the overall package of impressive nature, the lake and the casual southern lifestyle. But we are currently still observing all this from above and our viewpoint - Malga Palaer - is perfectly suited for that. If you are afraid of looking down, you should not venture too close to the edge.
We continue to Pregasina where you can clearly notice the influence of the sports scene on the northern shore of Lake Garda. Many mountain bikers stop in the small mountain village, drinking espresso or wine and enjoying the sun as well as the view. The famous Ponale road - the old road uphill to Pregasina, which has been used as a hiking and biking trail for years, begins just a few bends further down. It shows how laboriously the people here had to wrestle the simplest infrastructures, such as trails, from the lake and the rock. Numerous tunnels were dug and blasted into the rock, the edge of the road was secured and kept as narrow as possible so as not to expend the effort even further, leaving us mountain bikers with an equally exciting ascent and descent - mutual consideration provided, of course.
With these last metres - still on historical paths, we reach the port of Riva del Garda. And suddenly it becomes clear to me again how all the Alpine crossers who arrive here must feel. The relief, the self-assurance to have mastered such an adventure. We end our tour with an ice cream - here, where the MTB scene of Lake Garda meets, exchanges stories and simply enjoys. Whether you cross the Alps, are a trail fanatic or leisure biker - everyone here is simply a connoisseur and a Lake Garda disciple.