Lago del Naret Italy

Lago del Naret

Lago del Naret

A Classic Road Cycling Route in the Italian Lakes & Mountains

Mary Wilke, Germany

A trip I will remember forever – A rollercoaster of emotions and landscapes.

But let me start with the key figures. Lago del Narèt is a reservoir, which is the source of the river Maggia and is located in the northern Italian part of Switzerland (Canton of Ticino) in a height of 2311 m a.s.l.

The climb up to Lago del Narèt is the paved road with the most elevation gain in Switzerland, from start to finish, we had 70,5 kms of climbing with an elevation gain of nearly 2100 m

Distance and ascent: 95 miles and 10219 feet of climbing

Our gpx starts the route in the small town of Giubiasco, north of Lugano, with ample facilities.

1. It was a sunny and warm day, no clouds were seen and the sky was stealth blue. Best conditions for a hard and long but also impressive day on the bike.

Ticino is characterized by it’s souther climate, we were surrounded by palms and the typical smell and handled the first elevation gain through the beauty of Valle Maggia, until the road leads further away from the river and the traffic became less.

2. We crossed one beautiful and small mountain village after another and noticed, how the landscapes turned more and more from a southern climate to a deciduous forest. The real and hard climb starts nearly at kilometre 40 – Serpentine and steep sections characterised the beginning of suffering.

3. At kilometre 58, we crossed the Lago Sambuco, which marks the start of the last but hardest kilometres – The gradient was permanently between 9 and 20 %. Slowly the nature around us turns into a rugged landscape, I was fighting against the painful and screaming legs and slowly hoped, that this torture would be over soon!
4. Finally, the view made us forget all the pain. Deep blue water in a setting of snow covered mountains – No traffic, no tourists, just pure nature around us…There are many few places where you’ll find something like this and we found paradise on 2311m a.s.l.

So the climb up to Lago del Narèt is a real insider tip for those, who are looking for quiet routes, breathtaking landscapes and who are not shying away from a long and hard climb J But where else you’ll have the chance to challenge a climb through nearly all climate zones, without traffic and on adventurous roads? It’s worth a trip for sure!

Click below for gpx file

Italian Dolomites – Corvara

Corvara in the Dolomites

Marotona dles Dolomites

A Classic Road Cycling Route in the Dolomites

Emma Tang writes about an 80+ miles road cycling loop in the spectacular Dolomites in Italy, based on the classic sportive event the “Maratona dles Dolomites”.

My partner Grant and I have visited the Dolomites several times and our first day has often coincided with the super-tough sportive the Maratona dles Dolomites. I had often pondered whether or not I would be able to get round the long-course route (138km). Although having no desire to ride it on event day (9000 participants sounds like a nightmare to me), riding the distance appealed massively! Finally, in July 2015 we took on the challenge.

The official route starts in Corvara, taking on Passos Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena, returning to Corvara, a second ascent of the Campolongo, on to Passo Giau. Then comes the long but not steep Passo Falzarego, up to Passo Valparola, and finally back to the start in Corvara. However, for our “Maratona day”, we completed the route by starting and finishing at our apartment, near the bottom of the Pordoi.

We set off early, the Pordoi stunning in the early morning sunlight, a wonderful climb with over 30 switchbacks, challenging but not super steep. The morning air was cool as we descended through the trees, but we were soon climbing again into sunshine, as we took the right turn onto the Sella. This is a truly beautiful section of the route, the climb more challenging than the Pordoi, with slightly steeper gradients. Your efforts are rewarded with magnificent views of the Sassolungo.

The descent to the base of the Gardena is not long, and you find yourself on the next climb before you know it.

Taking the Sella Ronda in this direction means the Gardena is climbed from its easier side. The descent to Corvara follows. It is fantastic, with long switchbacks providing superb descending fun, if you like a blast downhill! The village of Colfosco is part way down, before reaching Corvara, ideal for stocking up on water or food. Buying water at the summit of any Passo tends to come with a premium!

Next came the first ascent of Passo Campolongo, we would be hitting that again later as our last climb. The pass is short, only around 5km, but its backdrop is breathtaking and I found myself frequently glancing over my shoulder, to catch another glimpse. We descended into our starting village, Arabba, stopping here to buy water at the local bakery. Our theory of the altitude premium was proven, just 50 cents for 2 litres of water. We have paid up to 5 Euros on certain Passo summits!

Next comes Passo Giau, the toughest but most spectacular climb on the route, and also my favourite. A beautiful valley road where tall church spires decorate the mountainside takes you to the right turn, where you head to Selva di Cadore, the foot of the Giau. The Giau starts with a real kick, and you’ll need to have gotten your nutrition right, if not, the next 8.5km are likely to be painful! We usually stop for a hot chocolate at the rifugio, it’s deliciously thick and a good motivator to get you to the summit, but on this day we chose not to. It was going to be a long day! We admired the scenery for a short time, it would be foolish not to, with the Gusella so impressive behind the rifugio. The descent to Pocol is quite technical, with varying gradients, and some gravelly sections where road repairs had recently been carried out. Combine that with a large group of slightly insane motor bikers, you certainly have to take care on this descent.

The penultimate climb is the Falzarego, from its longer but shallower side. It was fairly late afternoon by this point, and we agreed to regroup on the plateau before the rifugio at Passo Valparola’s summit. The view is a picture postcard, the panorama stretches out across the Alta Badia region. It is quite a long descent to La Villa, but the surface is good with some newly surfaced sections.

Next was the slight uphill drag back to Corvara. However, we later realised that at this point we should have taken a right turn up to the Muro del Gatto, a final sting in the tail of the official Maratona route, with a leg draining 19% section! Never mind, that’s a climb we will have to save for next time!

We soon reached Corvara, and I was thrilled to be feeling good, even with all those Passos in the legs. Just one more to go, the second ascent of the Campolongo, which gave us no difficulties.

I’d asked Grant to take a photo of me at the summit of each Passo, as a memoir of the day. I was still smiling on Campolongo photo number 2! Just one last descent to Arabba and a short climb to bend 7 of the Pordoi to reach our apartment. I clocked 8 hours riding time, with the Garmin telling us we had ridden 84 miles and tackled over 12900 feet of climbing. A long, but fantastic day!

For information on the official sportive and route go to, or go to for further writing on our cycling in the Dolomites.

Distance and ascent: 100km and 3897 metres climbing


  1. From the start point, take the twisting mountain roads as they climb to Passo Pordoi at 10 km.
  2. Descend to hotel Belevista, then begin more twisting climbing and descending all the way to Corvara, before taking the road back towards the initial start. However, on reaching it we now head out towards Pezzei on the SR48.
  3. Continue until the SR48 joins the SR203 at Cernadoi, taking this road if the longer extension is done, or alternatively staying on the SR48 to Pian Falzarego.
  4. If the extension is ridden, the SR 203 takes a winding road to Rucava where you take the SP251 to the junction with the SP638 near to Selva di Cadore (do not head right to the small hamlet of Selva di Cadore).
  5. Turn left on the SP638 towards Pocol, then taking the SR48 to the non extension route, joining it at Passo Falzarego.
  6. Now enjoy the ride to La Villa before finally returning to the start point once more.

Click below for gpx files of

100km route & longer loops

Romania and the Transalpina

Romania & The Transalpina

Larisa Chinces, deputy editor

Another superb climbing route by Larisa Chinces, close to historic Sibiu in Transylvania, this route takes in the famous Transalpina road, with its epic twists and turns, testing the very best of climbers.

Sibiu to Start of Transfagarasan

Distance and ascent: 75.91 km and 1206 metres elevation reached


1. This ride starts in the small town of Meircurea Sibiului, to the west of the city of Sibiu. Ride west along the E81 and turn off onto the DJ106f road signed to Gorbova, a town famed for its hill top church.

2. In Garbova, follow the road right, as you see another spired church with a clock ahead of you, and ride over the small multi-coloured bridge, staying on the main road in the direction of Calnic (signed). Calnic is reached after 17km and the rolling roads start to become more testing.

3. At Calnic take the DJ670C road just before the small village green, signed to Sasciori. Riding in open country,the road climbs steeply, before dropping through the village of Dumbrava as it twists and turns to Sasciori. At Sasciori turn left and join the famous Transalpina road and start the journey to the higher hills.

4. Climbing steadily now, at the 38km point of the ride, a junction left is signed for the town of Jina. Take this and follow the road as it continues to rise and the road reaches Dobra at the 45 km point. The climbing now steepens to epic proportions as the tight bends guide you up the famous climb.

5. Heading through the town of Jina, the legs will be tiring, and trees are reached, with beautiful high country meadows on either side of the road too. Finally the summit is reached and the sweeping descent begins, with an initial few kilometres of gentle descending, before the awesome and technical speedy fall to the valley below. All that’s left is to enjoy the epic ride to its conclusion, and find a coffee shop back in historic Sibiu, to relive the awesome route with friends.

Click below for gpx file

Daia Romana Circuit

Daia Romana Circuit near Sibiu

Larisa Chinces, deputy editor

This is a superb route, with some excellent climbs thrown in. Sibiu sits in the midst of some beautiful hills and mountains, and this ride, from our deputy executive editor, Larisa, draws on her cycling knowledge and experience to explore the climbs to the west of this historic city.

Cycling in Romania is a delight. There is so much history around you and the beautiful landscapes. Calnic fortified church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth a stop off and visit.

Sibiu to Start of Transfagarasan

Distance and ascent: 85km and 2960 feet of climbing


1. Starting from Cunta, take the road signed to Drasov. Follow this road as it heads to Vingard, and after Ghiroom, take the road that swings around and climbs to Hapria.

2. Stay on this road as it twists left at Teleac, passing Drambar, to the junction with the bridge at Haţegan Octavia. Turn left onto the E81 towards Sebes, where you turn off right on the local road 67C towards Petresti and stay on this to Sasciori town.

3. Pick up the 670C localroad and climb through the countryside towards Calnic, home to historic Fortress Câlnic. At Calnic take the 106F, through Garbova, before you rejoin the E81 and head left back to your start point.

Now head back to historic Sibiu and enjoy the evening 🙂

Click below for gpx file

European Cycling Routes

European Cycling Routes

Many of our team live and ride all over the world, on both road and mountain bike. It makes sense then to capture that knowledge and share with you some amazing cycling routes and locations.

From the longest road climb in the world, in Colombia, to epic trails in Europe, our database has something special for you to ride.  Take a look via the panels below and ride around the world with us.

Romania & Eastern European Road Cycling Routes



One of the great road climbs of Europe, from the beautiful historic city of Sibiu, Romania, climbing this epic road into the mountains. Double this up with a trip to ride the Transalpina road too.



Another superb climbing route by Larisa Chinces, close to historic Sibiu in Transylvania, this route takes in the famous Transalpina road, with its epic twists and turns, testing the very best of climbers.



This is a superb route, with some excellent climbs thrown in. Sibiu sits in the midst of some beautiful hills and mountains, and this ride, from our deputy executive editor, Larisa, draws on her cycling knowledge and experience to explore the climbs to the west of this historic city.

Central Europe Road Cycling Routes



With all loops, an 80+ miles road cycling loop in the spectacular Dolomites in Italy, based on the classic sportive event the “Maratona dles Dolomites”



Lago del Narèt is a reservoir, which is the source of the river Maggia and is located in the northern Italian part of Switzerland (Canton of Ticino) in a height of 2311 m a.s.l.



A long climb through the forested hills of the Vara valley, on some typical twisting roads, leads to a summit with great views, before it’s down all the way to the coast.



Bustling market towns, stunning lavender fields, breathtaking Gorges, and an iconic mountain climb, what more could you want from a ride? Starting from the market town of Sault, cross the plateau before climbing to the head of the Gorges de La Nesque.



An adaptation of the 1996 Giro around Florence, with an epic climb above the city



A five day bikecation trip to the Cevennes in the south of France



One of the toughest routes in Catalonia, but with epic views. Close to Girona and Barcelona, so you may well see top riders on this climb.



A welcome introduction to Flanders cycling, this epic route will give you a taste of road cycling in this fanatical cycling country.

Sibiu and Transfagarasan Highway

Sibiu to Transfagarasan

Larisa Chinces, deputy editor

I’m not an expert of cycling, neither road cycling nor mountain biking, but one thing I am sure about and that thing is that I love cycling from the depth of my heart! I became addicted to cycling 4 years ago. I started with mountain biking and I immediately fell in love. After 1 year I hopped on the road bike and loved it too. Starting cycling was a life changing experience.

Cycling in Romania is a delight. There are a lot of beautiful trails or roads in the mountains and in the forests. The nature is wild, and not modified by mankind. I live in the heart of Romania, Transylvanian region, in a small town named Sibiu. The city is surrounded by mountains which are not so far away and very accessible to get there by car or bus.

We believe that this is one of the great rides in Europe. We’ve split the gpx files,so that if you want to, you can simply ride out to the start of the climb. Adding the two files together will however produce an awesome road cycling trip.

Distance and ascent

  1. Sibiu to start = 46km climbing to 335 metre elevation
  2. Trasfagarasan itself = 83km rising to height of 2262 metre from start

Once you arrive at the base of the road for the Transfagarasan itself, the journey ahead is up to you; here’s the route profile for the climb (below).

Sibiu to start of Tranfagarasan

Tranfagarasan climb



My favorite climb is on the Transfagarasan road to Bâlea Lake. This spectacular ribbon of road was built between 1970 and 1974, and has some of the most historic tourist attractions in Romania nearby. The fortress of Poienari at 1480 metres was built in the 13-14th centuries, extended later by Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula. Next is the famous Vidraru Dam, one of the largest dams in the world and in several movies. The glacial lake of Balea,freezes in the cold season, when a church and a hotel made of ice are built each year.

The road itself is approximately 90km long, and it’s a great attraction for tourists, due to it’s breathtaking landscapes, being totally sublime and spectacular for visiting. The route is very special, due to the scenery encountered, with so many dangerous curves that twist and turn and challenge you, high level differences, cliffs and gullies as well as steep waterfalls. The road climbs to an altitude of 2,042 metres (6,699 ft), making it the second highest mountain pass in Romania after the Transalpina.

Riding from the centre of Sibiu, taking in the road and the lakes and forests, makes a great ride of over 140 km, very challenging for a real two day adventure, as part of a Romania Bikecation.

It's a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. The road is usually closed from late October until late June because of snow. Depending on the weather, it may remain open until as late as November, or may close even in the summer. However, whenever you visit it, the scenery will always be beautiful - it's my spectacular home, my Romania, so visit soon.

Tranfargarasan Road Larisa Chinces

Click below for gpx files

Sibiu to start of climb

Tranfagarasan gpx

2019 UCI World Road Cycling Championships & Routes

Routes for all events in 2019 UCI World Road Cycling Championships

Pedalnorth was born in and around the roads and trails of the Eastern Yorkshire Dales and the Western North Yorks Moors National Parks. We know these roads like they’re our own … because they are. And so, it only seems right to be the very first cycling website to publish full interactive maps and gpx files.

In the next few weeks we will be producing interactive Ordnance Survey maps for all the routes too. Have fun riding the Worlds, with Pedalnorth 🙂

Click OS logo for Ordnance Survey interactive map of 2019 Men’s & ladies elite routes

We’ve got the gpx files to allow you to ride the routes of the 2019 UCI World Road Cycling Championships.

Click the gpx logo associated with each route and off you go … have fun.

Men Elite Road Race

Women Elite Road Race

Men Elite TT

Men U23 TT

Men Junior Road Race

Women Junior Road Race

Men U23 Road Race

Paracycling Race



Route Information

Stats: 5.3 miles and 1300 feet of ascent

OS Map:

t’s only a short ride with only rucksack-fodder on the trail but good places to go afterwards include Newhouse Farm tea rooms at NY156 240 or the Kirkstile Inn at NY141209.

Start Point: Maggie’s Bridge car park at NY135210


Short, gentle, beautiful. There’s a tucked-away quality to Loweswater – you can afford a fleeting sense of smugness leaving the hordes in Borrowdale and Buttermere for the quiet delights of Loweswater and Lorton Vale. The route is a loop around Holme Wood, a beautiful bank of mixed planting on the lower slopes of Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell. If there are easily-impressed children in the party, show them the track of the route on the map and tell them they’ll have a whale of a time…


1. Set off up the farm track to, and through, High Nook Farm. As you enter the National Trust access land, the track trifurcates and you take the right hand track, across the stream. If you end up by the tarn, you’ve gone too far.

2. Flank across to the right, heading for the top corner of the wood. Contour the good track along the top of the wood, with beautiful views back to Loweswater and Crummock Water. (See above)

3. Leave the treeline at the deeply incised gully of Holme Beck, then follow the wall-line, heading north-west.

4. Just before the road, with new prospects stretching into the Scottish hills, turn right, dropping to Iredale Place.

5. Turn right to Jenkinson Place and Hudson Place, then pick up the beautiful track back through the woods and along the lake shore.

6. Veer left at Watergate Farm and follow the track across the meadows back to Maggie’s Bridge.

click below for gpx file

Grasmere and Loughrigg

Grasmere and Loughrigg

Route Information

This route is a great introduction to Lakes mountain biking. We put it together after the flooding in December 2015, to show what a great place for riding Grasmere and the surrounding fells area.

Stats: 20 miles with 3150 feet of ascent

OS Map:


There are ample little cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from in Grasmere, along with great places to stay over, including a Youth Hostel. If you do extend the route, then Hawkshead provides a welcome break along the way.


This route rolls and climbs around the fells close to Grasmere and Ambleside, using the lanes to weave together a great route. There’s nothing too testing about the route in terms of technicality, which can easily be extended to Knipe Fold and Hawkshead, to take in the Hawkshead Hilltops route or a trip into Grizedale.


1. From the far end of Grasmere village climb steeply on Red Bank Lane, turning left at the top onto Loughrigg Terrace. Enjoy a cracking little descent to the Ambleside road.

2. Turn right as the track pops out on the lane (bridge seen to the left) climbing the steep hill over the cattle grid and continuing up until the BW is reached on the right near Brow Head Farm, crossing Loughrigg Fell and descending to the road at Skelwith Bridge.

3. Turn right onto the B5343 and cycle along until a BW is signed in trees, joining the River Brathay track all the way into Elterwater village. Turn left at Elterwater on the lane, passing the hostel before taking the track on the right, just after the Elterwater Inn, leading to Little Langdale.

4. This track climbs initally before dropping to the lane at Little Langdale. At the junction turn right and follow the narrow winding lane, passing Little Langdale Tarn. Cross the cattle grid and turn left signed towards Eskdale, taking this lane for a short distance before a track leads off left and rolls along with easy climbs along the way, eventually joining the A593.

5. Exit onto the A593 and turn right. Continue along until a Byway on the left, on the opposite side of the road to ‘High Oxen Fell’ (signed) is taken, passing holiday cottages (small sign). This track climbs steadily before joining a BW on the left which descends, speeding you back down towards Skelwith Brdige, across the edge of Black Fell (OS Map).

6. At Skelwith Bridge turn left and retake the lane from earlier, climbing steeply before taking the BW around Loughrigg Tarn. This BW eventually rejoins Red Bank, dropping you back in Grasmere.

click below for gpx file

Whitaside Moor

Whitaside Moor

Route Information

Stats: 17 miles with 2492 feet of ascent

OS Map:


You’re on your own here guys. Carry it and have some tea and cake at the Dales Bike Centre afterwards.


This route winds its way across Swaledale, keeping height where necessary, and losing it where it’s fun to do so. It brings in some singletrack that is sweet and secret, due to poor navigation by many people. Starting and finishing at Grinton Lodge, it allows you the opportunity to cycle from the door if you stay over at this great Youth Hostel. Yep, they sell alcohol!


1. From the Youth Hostel take the bridleway directly opposite the gate that crosses between the two tarmac roads. Crossing the road, the track continues across grass, twisting its way to a narrow gate. Descend this technical singletrack with care, before crossing the stream and doing some bike hike up the other side. Please email me if you clean this section! Nope, not you Nick (Craig)! It’s pitched at that level, not for mere mortals.

2. Now cross the moor on some sweet singletrack (see image top left), At the first track junction continue straight on, skirting the edge of the wall and riding the excellent but rocky singletrack until it joins the wider track, descending right down to the road at Maiden Castle. You will go through a gate near the top of the wide field gate; after approximately 40 yards take the singletrack off to the left on the bend in the track. It is this that descends to a gate in the fence by the road.

3. Turn left onto the road and cycle along until the bridleway leads you back onto the moor (see picture top right). Cycle up the excellent double track until it turns left, still climbing on loose rock. Halfway along this section an unsigned bridleway leads you off to the right, crossing a small gulley before the track continues through a gap in the wall, leading to heather clad singletrack once more. A further wall gap then takes you across three grassy meadows before you reach High lane (see picture bottom right).

4. Turn left at the road, cycling along until you reach the cattle grid. A waterfall crosses under the road at Bank Top. Take the bridleway to the right which falls down across the rocky path beside the stream, before going through the gate (bottom right). This narrow grassy lane twists and turns, leading you right and left onto the steep grassy slopes that fires you down to Low Houses, spitting you out on the lane to Crackpot.

5. Ride through Crackpot to Summer Lodge, taking the rocky track that climbs back up to Long Road. Turn left and cycle along to the bridleway just before the rickety stone garage on the right. Now climb this excellent doubletrack, passing the track junction to the left, before turning off left 1.4km up the climb. This technical track, initially indistinct and passing shooting butts, soon develops into sublime singletrack that flows down to the shooting track.

6. The track rolls along, twisting and turning, passing a large wooden shooting lodge, before a steep climb right. Stay on the right hand track. A final fast descent will water your eyes if you’re brave enough to stay away from the brakes, before crossing a track junction and twisting right to a stream which is crossed by a gate. Take the gated track and cycle back to the road, turning left, before the initial bridleway is re-joined, leading you back to Grinton Lodge.

click below for gpx file