And after windsurfing, kiting and mountain treks let’s move onto biking!
We visited our friend Ivano (Soker) at 100-one and asked him for his ABC to good riding on Monte Baldo.

If there’s anything that you want to know that you don’t find the answer to here, write your questions at the end of this article!

Let’s start with the different styles of riding... what differences are there between Cross Country, Endurance, Freeride and Downhill?

Downhill riding signifies doing a predetermined route downhill in the shortest time possible. Freeride is generally considered to be less aggressive – still downhill but with more fun and enjoyment of the things you find along the route. Downhilll and Freeride bikes have double suspension and relatively heavy – the shock absorbers are very efficient and adaptable to the harshness of the ground. If you want to enjoy the freeride downhills with some uphills too, you should try Endurance riding. Endurance bikes have double suspension too but they have suspension systems that are very durable and suitable to both up and down hill routes. For those of you who want to cycle off-road and cover greater distances, maybe cross country is for you. This type of bike tends to have little or no suspension and is nearly always rigid in the back. Doing cross country cycling you do lots of pedalling and much less driving.

What Routes can you do on Monte Baldo and what types are they?

Freeride and Endurance! These are difficult downhill passages and to do cross country you will need thick skin! This is not an easy place to learn on but it is, however, very beautiful. You can ride here all year round up to 1000m. The lower rides tend to be ‘easier’ but you have to be prepared to break out a sweat if you want to ride for a few hours or more.

Can you ride in the Nature Reserve?

No. There are two areas where you are not allowed to ride: the Integrated Lastoni Selva Pezzi Nature Reserve, which crossed path number 2 which takes you from Tratto Spino to Piombi, and the Eastern Gardesana Reserve which is found in the Navene area. If you are caught riding here you can expect a hefty fine and confiscation of your kit.
It’s all highly forbidden and highly beautiful!

Is there a day ticket that will let you ride all day?

No - there are cable car trips up the mountain at specific times that are reserved for cyclists. The trips from San Michele (the half way station of the cable car) up to Monte Baldo start in Spring to coincide with the opening of Road no. 8 up Baldo, and this all depends on when the snow melts. The summer season ends when they close the cable car for maintenance before the winter season starts. .

How much does a one way ticket cost?

The prices change every year. This year (2014) the price varied from €20 to €16 depending on the trip and time.

So, no day tickets! Weekly or seasonal??

Not yet but we keep our fingers crossed. And if I don’t want to go up by cable car, or the cable car is closed? Either you have to pedal or get organised with a Bike Shuttle. If you have an off-road car you can take the Prai road (path number 3) which is mainly tarmac and takes you up to 1300m more or less.

Which route would you recommend to someone who wants to do a bit of freeride?

Leaving from San Michele and going downhill towards San Maggiore or Faigo. You go over various types of terrain and the steepness is do-able! Otherwise, there is path no. 10 going from Prai to Faigo but which goes over some private land. The start and finish of the ride are closed off and you need to get off your bike and walk over these two short parts of the ride. The Town Council is working to open a freeride track from Tratto Spino all the way down to Malcesine. They are also talking about a downhill-only path but nothing has been confirmed yet. Keep your eyes open and on this website which will bring you up to date with news...

Thanks, Soker!

For Information, prices, timetables and routes for the Cable Car:

Also on 360gardalife