Scicon Bags ambassador and all-round cycling aficionado, Caro Ferrer recently paid a visit to the Scicon headquarters as part of a long trip to Europe with her bike to ride the Maratona d’les Dolomites. We followed Caro along the way to see where her bike took her, hopefully giving some inspiration to others along the way.
Setting off towards the end of June with two friends, Caro’s journey took her straight to Italy, with her visit starting at the beautifully serene Lake Garda where she stayed at the cycling-friendly Garda Bike Hotel – offering a multitude of services for cyclists, a perfect start to a cycling trip with friends.
From Garda, they headed north to Bormio, just south of the German border and in close proximity to the infamous Stelvio Pass, home to many epic battles at the Giro d’Italia. A stop here of course meant that Caro had to ride the ascent, getting to the top of the 21km climb in two hours after a “hard but very happy day out”.
Always looking to challenge herself, Caro and friends then tackled the Stelvio from the other side the following day, despite cold and overcast conditions. The ascent takes in 48 hairpins over its 24km length and 1,790m of climbing.
“I felt better than the day before, and despite the cold the landscape and ambience were spectacular, and very different to when climbing the other side from Bormio – I much preferred the climb from this side!“
Next up, just two days later, was a trip up the Passo Mortirolo, the climb that she was most looking forward to just for its pure difficulty! Despite wet conditions on setting out, Caro reached the top of the 11.4km ascent in under 90minutes, a climb of 11% average gradient, with hairpins ramping up to 22%. An epic achievement.
“The legs were burning, the heart was racing and I was having all kinds of thoughts. It was more a matter of mental strength than physical, remembering all of the hours of training to get here.“
There was no let up in her pursuit of mountains as just the next day Caro and her friends were falling in love with the Dolomites, preparing for the event. Race day covered a total of 138km, with an epic 4,064m of climbing over seven mountain passes. Needless to say, Caro conquered it, achieving her goal and living her dream!
Before heading down to Bassano del Grappa to meet the Scicon Bags team, the three girls stopped off in Venice to swap riding bikes for a bit of tourism, getting lost in the ‘calli’, and exploring the bridges of Venice.
When eventually visiting the Scicon office, Caro realised how close she was to the climb of Monte Grappa, and that was it, she had to ride it. So the following morning she was out again, climbing with her friends, riding the 25km route to the top, taking in 1,617m of altitude gain on the way.
It was soon time to part ways and say goodbye once again to Caro as the three headed back to the airport to travel home to Colombia, but not before stopping off in Rome and Barcelona en route – making sure they covered as much as possible in their time away. And inspiration for anyone who has contemplated bringing your bike to Italy to climb the country’s most revered mountains. Why don’t you give it a try too and #bringyourbike