We go with our mountain bikes from Predazzo to Gardonè by cable car. The lifts employees help us put the bikes in the cable car: 3 bikes and 3 people fit in one cable car.
Going up we are astounded by the ski jumping trampolines. How can it be that the athletes throw themselves down at full speed from them in winter (and summer) and land on that steep hill? A mystery and a bow of admiration to the brave athletes!
We reach Gardonè and soon after we go to the start of the 4-seater chairlift taking up to Passo Feudo, a few metres further down. Our bikes are on the chairs behind. We look at the white rocks of the Latemar, the blue sky and the green meadows. Today we are going to ride the Latemar mountain massif in the Dolomites.
Once in Passo Feudo we take a break to admire the view, especially the mountains to the left, which will no longer be visible along the itinerary. Many peaks, the Lagorai chain and the Pale di San Martino, further to the left we see Pelmo and Antelao, the two peaks in the region Veneto. Below the mountain hut stands a panoramio: a 180° photo with the names and altitudes of all the peaks from south to west. then we jump back on the saddle, helmet on and head off for the Latemar Tour.
The first downhill section is very wide, the terrain quite difficult: in winter it’s a ski slope. Just below we must be careful because a path crosses the route. Technically it is not difficult, but there are hikers walking uphill from Pampeago to Passo Feudo and we need to pay attention.
In a few minutes we are at the Rifugio Zischg and the Rifugio Ganischger. From here on the little asphalt road climbing up from Pampeago. That’s the final section of the long and tiring ascent of the 19th Giro d’Italia stage in 2012.
Cycling along slightly uphill through the wooden huts and the green pastures dotted with cows, we enjoy a relaxing landscape. At Passo Pampeago, on the left, we see a wooden sphere. We recommend a break.Let’s enter the sphere and see Latemar as never seen before.
Now another downhill section begins. This time easier as it is entirely on the asphalt road. We pass along other beautiful wooden huts and pastures then through a wood of pinus cembra and swiss pine trees. We can feel the fresh air and the lovely smell of the forest. We continue downhill and enter a tunnel past a ski slope and ending at Malga Laner. We are now in the Obereggen territory, with Pampeago and Predazzo a ski area of the Ski Center Latemar.
Let’s continue our descent through the woods. We notice lamp posts along the road, it is a beautiful sledge run in winter when it stays open also at night time 3 times a week.
Reaching the hotels in Obereggen at the junction with the main road, we turn right and enter a wide square. Leaving the big district heating building on the left we take a dirt road through the woods to Bewallerhof, level with a hairpin bend of the provincial road which goes down to the town of Ega.
Here begins a short but steep uphill section. The dirt surface is not very stable: so we have to decide if better to getting off the bike and pushing it. The section is short. We get back on the bike and cycle along a beautiful forestry road for 4,5 km and among easy up and down sections, passing along blooming meadows and a thriving forest.
Further on we reach a section running along the main road, and then we can see glimpses of cobalt blue. This means we have reached the Lake of Carezza.
This amazing and famous lake is one of the highlights today. Stop to admire this amazing site. The colour of the Carezza Lake seems artificial, the reflection of the Latemar’s spires on its surface is breath-taking and remains ingrained in your memory.
Back on the saddle, we start the last uphill section which is 4.5 km long and leads to Passo Costalunga. The itinerary now becomes more difficult, the path is covered with a few stones but then we shortly reach Carezza (part of Nova Levante municipality)).
On the left the Grand Hotel Carezza, famous since 1897 thanks to the empress Elizabeth (Sissi) who spent her summer holidays there. The building became the princess summer residence and the hotel fame spread across Europe. Even Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill stayed there.
Looking up you will see the Catinaccio-Rosengarden, so absolutely impressive! No means to take our eyes off the peaks and off the vertical walls on which many climbers from all over tackle these ascents with rope, harnesses, climbing shoes and helmets.
Not long till we reach Passo Costalunga. We cycle easily by following the main road to the pass: on the left the 9-holes golf course dating back to the 19th century for the élite on holiday at the Grand Hotel Carezza. We can also decide to tackle instead the easy ascent along the forestry road which goes by the artificial lake (used for making artificial snow), on the right. Cross the little bridge running over a stream and then tackle a short section with mud, stones and roots, which is quite difficult. We better get off the bikes and push them. Once back on the saddle we reach a stone built hotel and from there in a few minutes, we reach Passo Costalunga (1.745 m). Here we can have our lunch as there is a wide choice of restaurants.
After the rest and the delicacies of the South Tyrolean cuisine we get back onto the mountain bikes and start the last descent (8 km) of the tour.
We ride along the state road for a few metres, turn right onto a little road running along meadows and leading to the Secine farmhouse. We continue downhill along a dirt road, through pastures and through the woods until we get to the Malga Roncac. We are now out of the vegetation and continue the descent through the meadows . The road is on asphalt and we reach the village of Moena.
In Moena we head down till we reach a fountain, we go past it and reach a traffic light at a short narrow section with a blind turn. Crossing the bridge we keep on straight along the road following the signposts for the cycling path. We pass the church, through the fields and proceed on the road going down to the commercial area. After the downhill we turn right reaching the sport fields. We cross the road and keep on riding along the Avisio stream for 6 km. We reach the cable car in Predazzo from where we started.