Every Ride Has A Story | TRUVATIV in Cortina, Italy

May 2, 2013
by SRAM  
 
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No matter where we are in the world, every time we ride our mountain bikes we feel the anticipation of a new story. Each ride brings new sensations dictated by weather, riding partners, bike performance, trail conditions, trail choice, intensity of the ride and this changes the way we feel. When we travel to a far-away place these elements are heightened and the adventures intensify.

Our trip to the Dolomites was definitely no exception. Each day we’d head out from Cortina and venture high into the impressive limestone mountains that reflected light like nothing I’d seen before. The trails were rugged and rocky with some exploratory hike-a-biking and a lot of drifting. Many were built as part of the First World War, which added a powerful emotion to our rides. We also spent a night at the ridiculously perched Rifugio Nuvolau mountain hut, a spot that I’ll never forget.

We started the long days and in some cases long-nights trekking trough the top of the Boot, breathing in Milan, soaking in Venice and then shooting up through the Prosecco region of Italy – to Cortina. Imagine travelling through one of the most beautiful countries in the world and then getting dropped off in Cortina; the word stunning is an understatement. Our goal was two fold – make our way up to one of the highest Refugio’s in Italy and two - discover some perfect pieces of singletrack along the way. We managed both, but not without some bumps along the way and a few photos to tell the story.

Italy has a way of eating and drinking that we can all get accustomed to, and by fate we happened upon a monthly party where the Cortina locals graciously shared a little too much of the local beverage. The next day was taxing, but we suffered through and managed to pull off a lift-assisted ride that hurt so good... With this leg we ended up at the pristine Nuvolau where we ate, drank and general figured the scene out. We poked our heads into the shooting galleries from WW1 and got a little lost in the trenches…literally.

With its pristine roads, Cortina is best known for the Giro d’Italia. We chose to take this polished reputation and ride away from it with the newest of trail-ready bikes that you can do anything and go anywhere with. It seems like we only scratched the surface of this electric amphitheater. I guess we’ll just have to go back and ride a little deeper into the mountains next time.


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  A quick stop in Milan on our way to the "Passo Falzarego" and "Passo Giau" passages offered a great view as well. Saw a bit of culture too.

Juxtaposition at its finest. Bike on your lap and not a single person in line. We caught the lifty off guard with our appearance.
  Juxtaposition at its finest. Bike on your lap and not a single person in line. We caught the 'lifty' off guard with our appearance.

  Exposed hike-a-bike. Not for the faint at heart. But worth every close call.

A few key moves stood between us and the alpine fruits. A true test and a different kind of trackstand.
  A few key moves stood between us and the alpine fruits. A true test, and a different kind of trackstand.

Like every adventure bike ride some dues are inevitable. Uphilling dues with unreal views.
  Like every adventure bike ride, some dues are inevitable. Uphilling dues with unreal views.

With every ridge offering more and more rideable terrain there was no better reason to keep pedaling.
  With every ridge offering more and more rideable terrain, there was no better reason to keep pedaling.

  Another Lift, Espresso and some barren single track

Nuvolau perched with a 360degree view of endless Terrain.
  Nuvolau perched with a 360degree view of endless Terrain.

  Refugio Nuvolau, Cortina d"Ampezzo, 2575m - 5am and we wouldn't change a thing.

Have you ever had moments that make you wonder if you are Lucid Morning light at 2600meters Italian espresso moments before another ridge ride... real or not
  Have you ever had moments that make you wonder if you are Lucid? Morning light at 2600meters, Italian espresso moments before another ridge ride... real or not?

Quick stop at one of many junctions within the mass of trail networks in the Dolomites. The faded vista in the background goes by the name The Forbidden but rules are made to be broken...
  Quick stop at one of many junctions within the mass of trail networks in the Dolomites. The faded vista in the background goes by the name "The Forbidden", but rules are made to be broken...

The trails were a broken down version of the boulders we paralleled. A diamond in the rough
  The trails were a broken down version of the boulders we paralleled. A diamond in the rough

  We were a small foot print in an alpine meadow like this. We could see the corner after the next for as far as our eyes would allow.

Forbidden single track feels so wrong..
  Forbidden single track feels so wrong..

The true meaning of a picture window. Chris mind races with all the thoughts of what can be done with what he sees. The views from The Refugio Nuvolau were nothing short of mind blowing. Its strategic position made it one of the most important points of view during First World War.
  The true meaning of a picture window - Chris lets his mind race with all the thoughts of what can be done with what he sees. The views from The Refugio Nuvolau were nothing short of mind blowing. Its strategic position made it one of the most important points of view during the First World War.
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30 Comments

  • + 15
 That is one serious adventure!
[Reply]
  • + 12
 Simply stunning. Bikes forever.
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  • + 7
 For most of us this would be the trip of a lifetime! The perks of an industry job
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  • + 5
 Looks like such an awesome and very rewarding trip
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  • + 2
 Huge terrain. The dolomites are such striking mountains with their sharp rocky peaks, it must be incredible to be able to ride amongst them.
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  • + 1
 Is that Forbidden singletrack in Travenanzes valley? It's one of the best trails I know and I cannot understand, why is it forbidden. It can't be because of hikers, we have never met one single hiker over there.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Chris your the man !!
Yet another fantastic write up and photos! It has left me wanting to go to Italy with my bike!
Are these trails going to be part of any Ride Big tours ?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Great story! I love the travel write-ups and videos like this, makes me want to go see the world even more. Nice work
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  • - 2
 Not to be pedantic, but it's pretty obvious that the photo essay is taken using two cameras and the EXIF confirmed it. As promo material, Truvati should probably pay slightly more attention to matching the two different tones of the photographs?

But hell, epic story anyway. I'd love to ride there.
  • + 4
 Wrong, all photos by Adrian Marcoux. The missing EXIF data is from the photoshop version for the diptychs.
  • + 1
 I didn't say they were by two photographers. I said they were taken using two cameras. www.pinkbike.com/photo/9516283 & www.pinkbike.com/photo/9516340 clearly has different tones, just look at the rocks to begin with. Please read my previous comment carefully, thanks.
  • + 1
 You need to get outside and ride your bike more. I'm sure your photos are much better than these. Adrian killed it, as usual.
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  • + 1
 Great work Adrian! love it!
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  • + 1
 chris winter has the best life
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  • + 1
 I bloody love pinkbike photo epics!
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  • + 1
 some photos of the year in there.
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  • + 1
 This is probably the most epic photo epics i've seen in a while, holy crap
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  • + 1
 That bike kinda looks like a trek slash....
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  • + 1
 One day I'll be doing a trip like this... I hope!
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  • + 2
 NICE !!!!
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  • + 1
 Take me to Cortina. I'm ready to be punified by mountains.
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  • + 1
 Epic ! thanks for the story.
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  • + 1
 AM porn brake...now back to work :-(
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  • + 1
 Man I wish I had the time and money to do a trip like this. Someday...
  • + 1
 Its not as costly as one might think. Either contact Big Mountain Bike Adventures for this www.ridebig.com or if you don't mind a bit more challenge in planning look at the four parter run this spring on Biking in South Tyrol which is part of the Italian Dolomites
[Reply]
  • - 1
 FORZA MILAN! My ID says everything!
  • + 8
 No your ID says milanboy1986, everything is a lot more than 8 letters and 4 numbers.
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