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The Pre-Alps of Lake Como have an incredible potential for mountain bike or e-bike excursions. Sunday 23 February 2020, we explored the area by making a challenging itinerary by E-Bike, departing from Argegno, arriving at the Venini refuge and returning from the Bocchetta di Nava.

 

E-Bike: from Argegno to the Venini Hut (Lake Como)

 

The mountains around Lake Como, and in particular, those around the Como branch, are characterized by soft reliefs, and, above all in the southernmost part, by less rocky peaks. Although the slopes can be steep, they are therefore crossed by paths and dirt roads, which are right to be explored by bicycle. The scenarios and panoramas are fantastic and exciting, whether you stay at lower altitudes or go higher, with a view that ranges from the Alpine peaks of Piedmont and Val D'Aosta, to the ones of Swiss Alps, and those of the closest Valtellina. The E-Bike, which appeared relatively recently on the scene, is a perfect means to cover these itineraries, both because the aid of assisted pedaling allows you to cover greater differences in height and distances, and because they are now technically very advanced veichles, which allow excellent grip on steep and rough terrain. I had already tried the potential of this vehicle, last summer, on a beautiful excursion on Lake Garda, along the Ponale road, and going up to Lake Ledro (read report).

Finally, on Sunday 23 February 2020, I accepted my friend Adolfo invitation, who lives in the area, to go on a mountain bike excursion in these area. Not having my own vehicle yet, I rented an Intrigue-E+ 1 PRO bicycle from Guti Bike Rent in Argegno. The young professional cyclist Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez, Olympic in Athens 2004 and 15-time world championship rider, runs the shop with his wife, on the Statale Regina, in Argegno. Guti and his wife serve you with sympathy and competence, offering you very efficient vehicles. In winter, on Sundays, it is necessary to book the rental by phone, because the shop is usually closed.

Before starting our trip, Adolfo checked my bike, set it up for climbing (closed shock absorbers), and explained some basic concepts for tackling the climb, first. For several readers who already have E-Bike experience, it may be trivial, but I was amazed by the quick saddle adjustment system. On these bicycles, without dismounting, it is possible to raise and lower the saddle at will, and according to the route to be covered. When going uphill, the saddle is held high, to have the leg fully extended, when the pedal is in the lower position, and to give maximum thrust on the pedals. Going downhill, as we will see, it is completely lowered.

At around 11.00, we left Argegno and headed for Val d'Intelvi, following the SP13.

This first section of the route takes place on a paved road, relatively busy (not like the Regina state road), and allows you to gain altitude without particular hard stretches. Once arrived in San Fedele D'Intelvi, we left the provincial road, and, following via San Rocco and then Via ai Monti, we headed towards the pass where the Boffalora refuge stands, about 1200 meters above sea level, going up from the west towards East. Leaving San Fedele (which is also pretty), the landscape has begun to become interesting from a natural point of view. Even if the day turned out to be quite hot for the period (high temperatures above 15 degrees), the vegetation was still tipical of winter time, in the mountains. In this section of the route, the road climbs through meadows, which on Sunday were still a beautiful russet colour, dotted with deciduous and coniferous woods. It was very suggestive to pedal in the middle of the beech woods, which are very bright in this period, as they are crossed by the intense sunlight, which is not filtered by the leaves any more, and which brings out the silvery bark of the trunks.

 

E Bike Argegno Rifugio Venini Lago Como 4

E Bike Argegno Rifugio Venini Lago Como 1

E Bike Argegno Rifugio Venini Lago Como 2

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After this last stretch, we arrived in Rogaro, a pleasant hamlet in the municipality of Tremezzina.

Here, practically, the salient part of the itinerary ended. With a super fast descent, on an asphalt road, up to Tremezzo, we regained the shore of Lake Como. I said bye to Adolfo (who lives in a village on lake shore), and I traveled alone the last kms of the Regina state road to return the bicycle to Guti at Argegno.

Once again, the mountains of Lake Como gave me a beautiful day. As soon as possible, I will repeat the experience to continue the exploration of this fascinating territory. The detailed route is available on Waterwind Strava account.

Hello. Fabio

 

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