hirty years ago, people in the village would call me crazy when I rode through Trentino’s broadest valley. I was the only person in the area to have a mountain bike, known as a “rampichino” in Italian. It’s a strange name, derived from the name for a little bird which is brilliant at climbing up trees. Off-road bikes were still unheard of at the time but I immediately realised their enormous potential!
Compared with the ‘Rocky Mountain’ that I use today, that old rampichino was an incredibly heavy bit of scrap metal! The materials, mechanisms and setup have changed but the instinct which drives me to jump in the saddle and grind my way up climbs is the same as it was 30 years ago: the desire to be out in nature. That’s it. No other sport gives me that sense of freedom.
The Val di Non is such a broad valley that I feel like I could carry on forever. It is a wonderful maze of tracks, paths and country lanes, so I can always take a detour on my rides for a bit more fun. In just a few kilometres, I can go from riding along an exposed ridge to filling up my water bottle at a fountain in a small village. Incredible! I am filled with pride when I meet cyclists who are fans of this wild corner of Trentino.
They marvel at our 100% natural trails and the unexpected changes of scenery: you don’t feel like tourists on two wheels here but more like explorers!