All involve a bit in cycling know what is the Festive 500, for those who do not know, is an initiative of the clothing brand Rapha, one of the most elegant and coveted in the cycling environment.

Since 2010, Rapha challenges all cyclist to pedal 500km in 8 days that are between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This year, as ever, we have seen interesting projects birth around this initiative, the first one narrated was Catalunya Winter Challenge, organized by Therese Sundstorm. Another favourite idea to carry out #Festive500 is called MenOfLakes500, organized by our great friend Carlo Bonetti, in the brutal atmosphere of the most evocative lakes in the Italian region of Trentino.

“It has not been difficult to decide that the lakes were the logical thread, and would make this challenge a story and our own adventure. Being able to choose between 297 Lakes, we only had to choose. So, we decided to choose the most charming Lakes which logistically and climatically point of view were more affordable at that time of the year. Cycling in December in our area can give you many surprises”.

125/500

For the first day, we chose a classic route, the Valvestino’s giro, roads that we know well, but no less complicated, with 2 defiles before reaching the Ampola’s paso, closed to 4 Lakes (Garda, Valvestino, Idro, Ledro). Acceptable temperatures with a – 3º registered right in the dam of Valvestino, we could get used to the weather conditions with a remedy of the old school: artisan grappa to the “cirmolo“.

275/500

The Lake of Resia in the deep North of Alto Adige bordering Austria, has been the second objective of our second stage. We started (it is not a coincidence) from the Forst brewery, the planning foresaw to climb all the Venosta Valley to the Lake and back; all 150km bike path, seemed easy until we find a powerful FOEHN (wind characteristic of this area). We suffer a lot finding walls style Tour de Flanders. The coming back with the wind in favour, was all glory, dreaming of bretzels and fresh beers.

420/500

The third day we reach the Lake of Caldaro from Trento by the Weinstrasse (wine Street) in the middle of the Überetsch among vineyards and fruit fields, we had planned a flat route, but between up and down and wrong ways, we accumulate 1000m of gradient. There was no wind that made us in a good mood and we decided to stop to drink a good glass of lagrein in the small village of San Michele. We arrived at Bolzano and we turned back, unaware that was awaiting us again a fucking wind. 60 km away, battling the wind, was a real agony.

500/500

The last 80 km we added 5 lakes in the final stage of our 500 MenOfLakes, cycling the Lake Valley to the village of Terlago. If in the previous days, the wind was our biggest enemy, on the last day was the cold, with a – 6º registered in the morning to give us the “good days”.

We arrive at the Lakes of Lamar with faces of suffering and imprecations, the legs are already marble (tough) and in the last climb there are insults without mercy, the best remedy for fatigue.

Day 1:

  • 125,9km / 1.874m
  • Lago di Garda, Lago di Valvestino, Lago d’Idro, Lago di Ledro

Day 2:

  • 151,6km / 1.879m
  • Lago di Resia

Day 3:

  • 145,0km / 1.019m
  • Lago di Caldaro

Day 4:

  • 84,6km / 1.157m
  • Lago di Cavedine, Lago di Toblino, Lago di Santa Massenza, Lago di Terlago, Laghi di Lamar

Total:

  • 507 km / 6.000m
  • 4 days
  • 11 lakes

Author: Stefano
Photographer: Carlo Bonetti
Translater: Sandrine