Category Archives: Cycling

Crazy until you don’t do it

How many times in your life have you given up that amazing idea of yours?
Your dream was doing that certain thing – in a way it felt bold and powerful, but also crazy and hard to achieve. Doubts started creeping in and that huge ‘flame’ became a tiny ‘spark’.
Then, you built up some courage and decided to talk about it with those close to you –
mom, dad, wife … friends, etc. How many times did those exact same people extinguish the last
little spark in your ‘amazing’ idea?

Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut or – better yet – talk with people who have no idea of what you’re up to!

Just think how much progress would never have been achieved if the inventor would’ve listened to the voices around him or her.

I saw many flames die out and bubbles of ideas burst in thin air – but, that’s not how I react: I do just the opposite. The more people tell me something can’t be done or that my idea is too crazy, the more stubborn I get and the more I’ll stick to my idea until it’s done. Ok, let’s face it … many of those ideas will never have a sequel, but it’s from those failures that you learn to take better aim at your target when you get that next crazy idea.

It took me 3 years in order for the Mür dl Giat climb to be listed in the course of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel. Yes! That was MY idea  ;-). The first time I proposed it at a meeting, 14 votes out of 15 were “NO” votes…followed by laughs.
But, hey, to my satisfaction … even the pro peloton of the Giro d’Italia rode it on the finishing stage in Corvara in 2016. 

Then there was this other idea launched by pro photographer Jered Gruber and published on his Instagram feed and in the issue 62 of Peloton magazine:

While riding with @igortavella on the steep little farm roads that wind their way along the flanks of the Dolomites, I wondered if it would be possible to do 5000 meters (or more) of climbing on all the little roads in less than 100k. Igor laughed – of course! In that moment, an idea hit. We should do a ride later this year: invite anyone who wants to join us to get a big flavor of Igor’s backyard, his secrets – paved and dirt – but all doable on a road bike, so long as the rider is ok with gradients that are always north of 10% and isn’t scared of some dirt roads and a bit of amazing singletrack (meaning this won’t be everyone’s cup of hot chocolate). It will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both – everything will of course be based out of the Tavella hotel: the @UstariaPosta in Badia. We are thinking early to middle September. It will be the #YOLOMITES 5000 brought to you by @holimites and Igor. If the rider has had their fill at any point, they can cut it short whenever they want – we will never be more than 20k from the start at the Ustaria Posta. #yolomites5000 #conquereveryroad

Un post condiviso da Jered Gruber (@jeredgruber) in data:


This idea became the #YOLOmites5000

Imagine: all the locals here ride road bikes, but NO-ONE took part except me. Even so, people from Japan, Malaysia and USA flew to the Dolomites just to take part in this ‘crazy’ event.

Lastly – but it will not be my last idea for sure – I had this idea in mind: What would it be like to ride one of the most famous road bike loops in the Dolomites, the Sellaronda, … at Moonlight? I started to think about this even before the #YOLOmites5000. But, true to my nature, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I started to talk about it. Yet, instead of a flame turning into a tiny spark, the idea kept burning, growing bigger inside of me until one evening, at the end of July 2017, I typed in the Strava event planner:

1st Holimites Moonlight ride

At the time I thought that I would be alone on the ride and, honestly, I didn’t pay any more attention to it until enthusiastic questions from possible participants started coming in. Two, five, eight people were signing up to take part in the event considered by many a “crazy” ride. The result was a group ride with 14 great friends:

Looking back, it’s rather funny that I typed in “1st” when I wrote the title. Maybe it’s the optimist in me that expects that there will be more Moonlight Rides. If you don’t want to miss the next Ride – or my next crazy idea – make sure you join the Holimites cycling club on Strava.

The bottom line:
If you have an idea … go for it, don’t be influenced by others!

Igor
Owner and founder of this other crazy idea called Holimites :-D

Why now is the best time to travel to the Dolomites for US residents

No, the reason isn’t because of Trump ;-) … but the weak Euro makes it the best time to travel now.

In fact, if we compare the Euro to US Dollar exchange rate on a currency chart covering the last 5 years, the Euro is now at its lowest!

EUR vs. USD 5 years range

EUR vs. USD 5 years range

Not so long ago (just 3 years), the Euro to Dollar ratio was at its peak: you had to dish out roughly 1.35 Dollars for every Euro.

Just think about it. In 2014, our bestselling offer – the “Trekking Best of Alta Via #1 & #2″ guided package – cost 1,090.00 Euro, which was then 1,471.50 US Dollars.

The same package in 2017 costs 1,150.00 Euro – today that’s 1,207.50 Dollars. Math never lies! Right now you can save more than 250.00 bucks for the same offer!

What’s even better … all our proposals on holimites.com are 18% cheaper today than in 2014!
That means more money in your pocket to invest in some extra days visiting the Dolomites or
Italy.

That said:

  • if you love outdoor activities like trekking, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, and so on
  • if the Dolomites are on your travel bucket list
  • if you want an YOLOmites experience ;-)

it’s time to browse through the holimites.com website and pick the travel experience that fits you best – we’ll do the rest!

See you soon in the Dolomites!

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer

Colnago road bikes just arrived at the Holimites headquarters!

road bike hire dolomites

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.

road bike hire dolomites

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 ;-) .

road bike hire dolomites

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.

Igor

road bike hire Dolomites

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!

Road cycling Dolomites

Win an entry to the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel with the Dolomites Cycling Weeks

All cycling guests taking part at our Dolomites Cycling Weeks have a chance to win an entry at the famous Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel.

Here are the details how it works:

  • Every week 1 man and 1 female can win a participation (choice between the 2014 and 2015 edition) at the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel 
  • In order to be selected as a lucky winner participants at the Dolomites Cycling Weeks need to use a GPS device (also available for rental) and upload their rides on STRAVA. It is also possible to use the STRAVA app for mobile phones. The Holimites guides will be available to help you set your GPS devices and explain how the uploading of the tracks on STRAVA works.
  • At the end of the week , out of all cyclists that uploaded their rides during the Dolomites Cycling Weeks, a lucky male and female cyclist will be drawn and win the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel entry. 

During each week special and funny classifications will be set up and winners rewarded with typical local products.

All participants will also receive a special gift for their participation on the basis of the total meters climbed during the week:
GOLD: those who have accumulated more than 9,001 vertical meters
SILVER: from 6,001 to 9,000 meters in altitude
BRONZE: up to 6,000

Last but not least!
All participants at the Dolomites Cycling Weeks that redeem their vouchers for the guided day trips (4 vouchers), for the energy bars (4 vouchers), for the GPS device rental (1 voucher), or for the purchase of the all-inclusive package (3 vouchers), will also participate in the big final draw where they may win again 2 entries (1 male and 1 female) for the 2015 edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel.

Dolomites Cycling Challenge

Dolomites Cycling ChallengeAside from the new “Dolomites Cycling Weeks” packages, there’s more exciting news for roadbike fanatics: the “Dolomites Cycling Challenge“!

To be honest, this tour is not actually a novelty since Holimites has been organizing sports trips as a tour operator on behalf of larger travel agencies abroad for several years now. Our job was, in a sense, “convenient” since all we had to do was take care of the product and services on-site, without having to tend to advertising and sales.

But, these tours were not 100% our own since the programs had to adhere to many regulations set by others and, in the end, the final product was trite, lacking family atmosphere, and, in our view, a bit shallow.  Anytime we recommended something that to us seemed like a good idea, the answer we received was:

“Our customers don’t want this!”

Yet, it was actually by pedaling with these customers that we were able to prove them wrong because, the few times we tinkered with the program to offer our own version of the tour, the level of satisfaction of the participants increased.

Dolomites Cycling ChallengeFor example, once – in order to keep the group together – we chose to accommodate everyone in a family-run hotel instead of the two luxury hotels that had been reserved by the travel agency, which would have divided the group in two. Well, that night the owners ended up teaching the whole group how to play cards until 4 in the morning! Cycling the following day was pure agony for most of the group, but the welcoming, family atmosphere we received during our stay in this hotel has created friendships and memories that will last forever.

Therefore, Holimites is launching its very own road bike program in 2014 based entirely on its own ideas, collected over several years of experience with other cyclists!

The “Dolomites Cycling Challenge” starts in September – a real test for cycling addicts.

The numbers are clear: we’ll cycle for 7 days, pedal for 830 km, accumulating the tune of 25,500+ meters of altitude gain! Many of you might wonder where is the originality and family charm in this. We may sound slightly overconfident, but aware of our qualities we feel we can say that we’ll unveil its secrets day by day.

We’ve been riding these routes by bike for more than 25 years, participating in locally organized cycling competitions, and we know variants and points of interest like no one else.

We’ll favor family-owned hotels run by cycling friends that years ago participated alongside us in the cycling races, over 5-star hotels. We’ll choose taverns that can’t be found in any travel guide or website, over Michelin-starred restaurants – stops after which, we can assure you, you’ll have a hard time battling with your bike (and bulge) for an hour or so due to the last smorgasbord!

We’re certain that at the end of the week, you’ll not only have 2 cement-filled legs, but more than anything else, you’ll remember how much fun you had with the Holimites team and you’ll be back cycling with us again soon!

All informations about the this great cycling adventure through the Dolomites can be found on holimites.com

Dolomites Cycling Challenge