It’s not a secret that road cycling is the favorite sport of Holimites staff. Year after year, thanks to our great cycling tours on Dolomite roads, the number of guests pedaling with us through the Dolomites has grown exponentially.
The last summer season, we touched a point where we really had a tough time offering good and effective bike rental service to our guests. Local rental shops ran out of road bikes pretty fast – especially during weeks when events like the Maratona dles Dolomites are held. We really had to do somersaults in order to fulfill the demand by our guests.
So, last Fall we started making contact with different bike manufacturers. We were amazed that the first company that answered showing interest in partnering with us was one of the symbols of the Made in Italy bike brand. Yes, we’re talking about none other than COLNAGO!
Starting this summer you can rent this special Colnago CLX 3.0 with Ultegra 11v through Holimites. Don’t procrastinate if you need to rent a bike during busy periods like the Sellaronda Bikedays or the Maratona dles Dolomites! Get on the move and get in touch with us by filling out the following Colnago rental form.
The Colnago CLX 3.0 on icy ground
We needn’t state the obvious, but as soon this jewel checked-in, we took it out for a test run and what follows is Igor’s review:
I’m different! Or, it seems to me like I’m different. I’ve never been a big fan of carbon and I can’t simply understand all the carbon frame hype over the last years. Of course I’ve ridden many carbon frames: road bike, mountain bike and cyclo-cross. But as soon I can, I always switch back to my 15-year-old Scapin steel road bike.
I was thrilled when we closed a deal with Colnago to supply their CLX 3.0 bikes to Holimites. And, because I’m a sucker for testing any kind of bike, I was antsy to put my butt on the saddle and try out this frame. A 1-km ride from my house at Ustaria Posta is all I need to tell whether I like a road bike or not. That’s where a series of 4 switchbacks will tell me whether I’m ‘controlling’ the bike or whether the bike wants to control me .
Riding the Passo delle Erbe in springtime is like to ride a roller coaster.
I already know that carbon frames usually perform differently downhill compared to steel or aluminum. But what I felt with the COLNAGO CLX 3.0 just amazed me! It felt so comfortable that, honestly, I couldn’t believe it was a carbon frame, and the handling was simply superb!
A few days later I opted for a long road bike ride on my favorite Passo delle Erbe route (view it on Strava). The Passo delle Erbe was still closed (I knew that, of course) and that meant I was the only one on the road. The UCI would have opted for the “Extreme Weather Protocol“ but those were the best conditions to test the road bike.
The bottom line is that this COLNAGO CLX 3.0 is really a great and comfortable ‘toy’ to ride up and down the Dolomite roads. And, I’m sure that every guest who will have the chance to rent it will be amazed at how comfortable this frame is.
PS: If you’re a steel frame lover like me, check out and enjoy this video:
PPS: Oh, and if you’re a carbon frame aficionado, also take a look at the video above. But be aware, you might start falling in love with steel, too!
Our moms were not so happy about our plans on Christmas day this year. The usual routine on this day would be:
going to church
back home for Christmas lunch
again back to church
The only statement that worked (again) this time was Fridtjof Jansen quote:
It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport!
Oh well but we didn’t want to go skiing. We skied the last 3 weeks on perfect groomed and empty slopes of the Dolomiti Superski and Alta Badia area. Our plan was to do something very rare, something we are maybe not able to do anymore for at least the next 20 or more years.
We are talking about the classic Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park loop with our Mountain Bikes. In fact the latest in the year we have been able to ride was on 18th December 1994 (21 years ago). Usually at this time of year you should just meet ski rando skiers in this area. But as we didn’t have any precipitations since October, Christmas was the perfect day to celebrate a mountain bike ride on this loop.
The only snow pack we needed to go through was the one of a ski slope on our way down the valley before turning right in the beautiful but damn cold Rudo valley towards the Pederü hut. In fact this isn’t really the perfect season to go on a road or mountainbike ride in the Dolomites. In the sun the temperatures are cold but OK, but as soon you are in some places that are not touched by the sun since months you get temperatures like this:
In the 20 km long freezing conditions we didn’t feel anymore our fingers and toes. But we knew the more we would climb the warmer it would get (!?!?!?!) Strange to hear this? Well it’s now more than a month that we have temperature inversion in the Dolomites valleys. That means that down the valleys it’s colder than up higher.
Once we reached the highest point of the ride, we had to think back what we said & promised to our moms. Of course we starred at the amazing mountains thinking at mother nature and whoever made all of this possible. On the table our minimal Christmas lunch, a tasty tiny panettone sponsored by Franz that is not only a good road cyclist and mountainbiker (the only one that is able to steal all my Strava Cycling KOM’s) but also the junior patissier at the family pastry shop I dolci di Ricky. Side note … if you don’t stop by there during your holiday in the Dolomites you don’t know what you are missing.
Cold? Not anymore above 2,000 meters. After more than an hour riding at -9,0°C the +3,4°C felt warm and it was a pleasure to stop and eat without freezing.
As soon our gourmet style lunch was over it was time to cycle through the Gran Fanes plains with all the best views you can get on the Dolomites.
Fanes Natural Park loop ride details:
Distance: 57,7 km – 35,8 miles
Elevation: 1,473 m – 4,832 feet
Avg temperature: -1°C
Chocolate stops: 1 at Fanes Hut (thank you Milena)
With no real intention, we realized Holimites had been offering something new in trail running activities every 3 years.
Our first hut-to-hut trail running tour across the Dolomites was in 2007; this covered the traditional paths of the Alta Via 1. Trail running on the Alta Via 2 followed in 2010. In 2013, we asked clients which were their favorite runs and stops along the AV1 and AV2. What resulted is a tour that has become our absolute bestselling sports package: “The Best of Alta Via 1 and 2” for trail runners. It combines the most stunning locations of the Dolomite’s classic AV1 and 2.
The summer of 2016 will introduce Holimites’ newest trail running bonanza.
To create this latest tour, we took a novel approach by setting ourselves these 3 objectives:
1) It can’t be a carbon copy of one of the classic Dolomite Alta Vias and it has to avoid the same trails we already offer in other programs. This time around we wanted to spice things up by creating our own, unique signature tour. Thanks to the multitude of trails that connect Dolomite mountain huts, it’s pretty easy to put together a beautiful itinerary like pieces of a big puzzle. Although we weren’t able to totally avoid stretches along trails offered on our other programs, we were able to limit this to just 8 km of the total 106 km…and those 8 are distributed throughout the stages. Not bad!
As we charted the route on paper, in-house we affectionately baptized the new traverse: “The Holimites Alta Via”.
Of course, the Dolomites are famous for flaunting a plethora of breathtaking scenery and trails set amongst spectacular peaks. But, when pressed to choose, which highpoints are really “postcard perfect” and will last significantly in a trail runner’s recollection? Close your eyes and imagine you’re running through the first trail stage at the foot of the 3 Cime di Lavaredo. Your guide stops you and he or she points out the mountains that you will cover on your first 3 stages. The same thing will happen every day: you’ll get a sneak-peak of the next 3 stages in your scenic odyssey. “Wow”!
3) It has to have the best trails suited to running. The Alta Vias 1 and 2 tours mirror the classic outdoor hiking route that, in certain spots, can be demanding to run on unless you’re a hardened vet like Kilian Jornet or Jenn Shelton (who was our trail running guest a few years ago). That’s why we designed the “Best of Alta Via 1 and 2″ program.
We wanted to push ourselves a little further on our newest tour. Hut-to-hut and stage-to-stage, we chose the trails that are most appropriate to trail running without compromising stunning panoramas of the Dolomite Mountains.
That’s how the Trail Running Dolomites Traverse was born! (Between you and me, we won’t mind if you call it the Holimites Alta Via.) An extraordinary running adventure through the Dolomites, following dawn to dusk from East to West!
By the way…did you count how many times we repeated the number “three”? That means, if you’ve already strutted your stuff with us on two of our Dolomite trail running programs…as the old saying goes: All good things come in THREES!