Video: 'Wheels of Balance' in Beautiful Valle Maira

Apr 29, 2023
by Tristan Hobson  

Words: Tristan Hobson

Wheels of Balance: Trails, Community, Sustainability


Hidden in the Piemonte region of Italy's majestic Alps is a secluded valley described to me as a nearly pristine stretch of nature. In Valle Maira, you will find few paved roads, zero chairlifts, and a small community that savors the beauty of its wild nature beyond the wealth of big tourism.

I had also heard there is a great trail network in the valley and the locals granted mountain bikers full access, entrusting them to be knowledgeable and respectful towards nature and other outdoor users. This call of adventure made it easy to invite Stefan Eberharter, Sylvia Leimgruber, Francesco Drago, and filmer Flo Gassner for a trip to play and explore on two wheels.

After days of exploring flow trails that seemed too good to still be a secret and making full alpine explorations that tested our merits on long climbs and technical downhills, our need for two-wheel adventure was replete. But what we really walked away with were the conversations and memories from spending evenings sharing food and bottles of wine with the locals.

These late nights allowed us to discover the real treasure tucked into the Alps –– a community that prioritizes preserving its environment over the lure of mass tourism and big payouts. Not only did these locals share their insights into trail development and sustainability, but they spent time sharing the valley's history, pouring over maps with us, and giving insights onto where to find unique trails, old ghost towns, and the best possibility for loam.

We hope you enjoy our experience from Valle Maira.


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A story by: Tristan Hobson and Flo Gassner
Riders: @StefanEberharter, Sylvia Leimgruber, and Francesco Drago

Posted In:
Travel Videos


Author Info:
tristanhobson avatar

Member since Apr 25, 2014
2 articles

19 Comments
  • 9 0
 Hike a bike, slow technical hiking path full of switchback and a german guy talking about the importance of comunities and culture. In italy. What's not to love.
  • 1 0
 I'm almost certain he's Swiss

www.ceaglio-vallemaira.it/?lang=DE

the cows are 100% Italian LOL
  • 1 0
 @vhdh666: for sure is not italian. And that was my sarcastic attempt to make a point Smile )
  • 2 0
 @ktnkgb: you're totally right

it's not new: in valle argentina (molini di triore) it was also a person from abroad that saw the potential of the village and valley and started a bike guiding company
  • 7 0
 Here in Ossola it's the same, please visita us and you will be entusiast!!
  • 2 0
 Sure, just give us more info. Web links etc. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 @hurmikak: sure if you are interested I can explain you everything!! And Happy to ride with you!
  • 1 0
 It would be great to learn more about the riding in your area!
  • 2 0
 @tristanhobson: this is a particular area, because Trail are not marked that well, most of them are natural trail where we made some Little adjustement here and there, but once you know the trails you can go from top of the mountains to Domodossola Town without touching road or fire road anymore. I could try to write a Little more with link to trailfork and with some photos (but I am very bad at take photos). I love Mountain bike and ride every saturday and sunday, sometimes After work in summer season. Now All Mountain scene Is dominating here. If you are searching for super flow artificial trails this Is not right area, but some spot are rising here and there. But with some skill you will never be off your bike!
  • 1 0
 @Alexh1983: This sounds really cool! I am familiar with the general area from ski touring/ ski alp but I have not looked into the riding here yet. It would be interesting to keep in touch to find more information in the future for some riding. Not everything needs to be just shaped flow trails Wink
  • 2 0
 @Alexh1983: Nice spots! i will travel near you in 2 weeks, so if you have some tips, i am one big ear, send me a PM pls, we can do some riding Smile
  • 1 0
 @matzx: i try write you a pm with my phone Number but It was blocked by the system as scammer (maybe my fault about privacy policy of site). Please write me a PM if you don't get my message. It world be a pleasure ride with you!
  • 2 0
 southern alps should remain secret, shhhh don't tell anybody.
  • 1 0
 We won't share all of the secrets. I know there are so many amazing valleys here.
  • 2 0
 I want to go there!!!
  • 1 0
 It's worth the trip!
  • 2 0
 Fabulous little film
  • 1 0
 Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!
  • 2 1
 Uno Perfecto Por Favor !







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