The Carezza Biketrail
There’s always a first time. But will it be the last?
Let’s be honest: in your mid-forties you are not really willing to try out something new, at least as regards hobbies. You already know what you like, and the time to do it is usually at a premium. And I am not 25 anymore! So, when I do try out something new, it is with a certain feeling of adventure.
I am therefore for the first time trying out the Carezza Biketrail or rather, any kind of bike trail! Even as an experienced mountain biker, shaped trails are something new for me. I discovered the trail in the Val d'Ega on the internet some time ago, and the idea hasn't left me. So let’s get going! I want to gain new inspiration here in the Dolomites, breathe in the contemporary spirit of mountain-biking - and rock my very first bike trail - jumps, bumps, shapes, hops and everything else involved!
Up, out and on your bike
I take the cable car up from Nova Levante village centre to the top station, King Laurin II, where the limestone walls of the Catinaccio massif soar skywards. The fact that the extreme descents of real MTB freaks run via cliffs like these provides extra motivation for my trail adventure.
I manage the start of the Carezza trail elegantly enough via a very steep slope. I'll leave my son to do the wooden start jump ramp in ten years’ time, if so he wishes. I avoid this particular feature, consoling myself that, at my age, you no longer have to have everything.
I really like the first flowing curves on the trail: with the wild meadows alongside, my confidence and feeling for the bike immediately build up, allowing me to react precisely to the first bumps in the forest. The middle section of the Carezza trail is an attractive combination of different passages, with nature providing the challenges in the form of stones, rocks and trees. And it really is fun! The trail designers have left riders with the choice of various features in the middle section - there are different lines for practising various aspects of your downhill technique. The final part is faster and less technical, but all the more gruelling for that. This section is perfect for training specific muscle groups for MTB descents. Can I manage five kilometres of the trail in one breath?
A great way to make friends!
On my third ascent in the cable car I meet Matteo and his 13-year son, Fabio. They are from Lucca and Matteo often takes his XC Race Bike up into the Apennine mountains. His boy too is an avid cyclist, says Matteo, adding that he has specially hired a freeride bike for Fabio to use today in the bike park. A quick glance at the rear suspension and double bridge fork confirm that the lad will have plenty of fun on the Carezza trail with this machine!
A short break at the bottom station, and I reflect on how youth and the bike park make a good team. The lift operator told me during his lunch break that the local girls and boys make good use of the trail and that in recent years mountain biking in Carezza has found plenty of new fans. This mountain bike energy can truly be felt in Nova Levante! And, as I sit enjoying my cappuccino and croissant in the village café, I am struck by the hustle and bustle of cyclists here: young and old, tourists and locals, all with one thing in common - their bikes.
The Carezza trail has breathed new energy into me and I am glad that I braved this new adventure. Tomorrow brings the next tour, that's for sure. What a wonderful place for biking!
Planning new routes, testing new bikes, exploring new valleys and mountain trails – a burning passion! At work, Manuel often has the bike on his mind, and not only for clicktext. His aim is to improve the mobility of the future and to inspire more people to set out on a bike journey.