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Finding freedom in the Dolomites – 5 days bikepacking

William van der Staaij

Finding freedom in the Dolomites – 5 days bikepacking

Bike Touring Collection by William van der Staaij

5

Tours

30:49 h

251 mi

39,575 ft

Reaching the roads less travelled and exploring the most remote places of the Dolomites, one of Europe's rawest but most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is what XPDTN Dolomiti was all about. With the coronavirus impacting my life as adventurer so much this year, I wanted this bikepacking trip to be as unconventional as the cycling year itself has been so far.

Changing the concept of the trip from a bikepacking adventure into a biking expedition was definitely a defining decision. Because it changed the purpose of this adventure into a direction that made me feel content. It wasn't only about riding my bike in a brutal but beautiful setting but reaching 'no man's land' with its unforgettable views, its tranquility and true remoteness, that's what became the expedition's purpose.
 
In the end, I think it's my way to search for the ultimate feeling of freedom. And that feeling is hidden deeply somewhere in the mountains of the Dolomites. In places hardly anyone is able or willing to reach, at least by bike.

In five days and over 400 kilometers the expedition - which started in Badia - crossed multiple rocky peaks, made us take on technical singletrail tracks, conquer the steepest climbs, ride through dark forests, pass numerous wild horses and endure numerous hike-a-bike sections.

The legs hurt, but the mind is still overwhelmed by the purest adventure I've ever done.

If you're enjoying this Collection, feel free to use the routes, leave a comment or follow my account for more inspiration.

Keep exploring folks! 💚

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • 06:31
    58.8 mi
    9.0 mph
    9,300 ft
    8,000 ft

    Day 1 starts from the picturesque St. Martin de Tor with the ascent of the Passo di Falzarego. Rest assured, this is certainly not the most difficult climb of the trip, but definitely a beautiful one over a winding gravel path. Just before the top, an amazing panoramic view of this part of the Dolomites awaits you.After your first …

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  • 08:41
    69.7 mi
    8.0 mph
    10,700 ft
    8,550 ft

    On day 2 you will wake up at one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the region, Lago di Braies. Enjoy the descent that follows. It is the calm before the storm, because this day is brutal.After your descent to Frazione Braies di Dentro (where you can score breakfast at the local Spar) you dive into the forest on your way to the border with Austria. It is a beautiful climb that turns into a gravel path halfway.

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  • 06:26
    37.4 mi
    5.8 mph
    7,050 ft
    9,100 ft

    On day 3 you will leave Rifugio Sennes and await a day with two hike-a-bike descents in Parco Naturale di Fanes-Sennes-Braies. The biggest challenge of this day is the descent to Armentarola. This is a hiking trail and is quite a challenge for the seasoned hiker. Long live hike-a-bike!Surprisingly, the route of this day ends with an asphalt climb, the Passo Pordoi. After a beautiful descent you will return to the civilized world of Canazei.

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  • 05:42
    47.4 mi
    8.3 mph
    7,700 ft
    7,825 ft

    Day 4 starts from the start with an unpaved climb towards the Passo Duron, a remote peak deep in the mountains of the Dolomites. What follows is a rare long stretch on flat and sloping roads. The paths wind through forests and meadows and do not look up if you occasionally cycle to meet curious wild horses or cows.After …

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  • 03:29
    38.1 mi
    10.9 mph
    4,850 ft
    5,575 ft

    Day 5 is the last but certainly not the least day. Little by little you leave the tough gravel roads. You get two climbs with an amazing view in return.The Passo Sella is a long climb, but once you reach the top you have an amazing panoramic view of the area. Then you descend and prepare for the last …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    251 mi
  • Duration
    30:49 h
  • Elevation
    39,575 ft

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Finding freedom in the Dolomites – 5 days bikepacking