Road Cycling in Lake Como
Whether flat or rolling or 27% - there are roads in Lake Como for everything! There are dozens of ComoLagoBike guided road cycling routes that range from easy, medium, hard, to epic. Join the guides for a different route each day, or do a customized itinerary of your choosing. With the Bottecchia carbon fiber road bikes and their low gear ratio (typically 34x32), any climb will be doable. The narrow lakeside roads of Lake Como can be busy with traffic, but once you turn into the hills everything becomes quiet. A few of the classic ComoLagoBike routes include:
1) The Onno-Ghisallo - The best way to welcome your legs to Italy is with this 35 km, 700 meter loop. Start with an easy flat ride from Bellagio to Onno, then a gradual climb up to Valbrona and its Ad Onore Del Ciclista fountain, in honor of local hero Fabio Casartelli. From Valbrona it's a beautiful ride west through the valley to Asso, where you turn back north and start the gradual climb to Magreglio and the Ghisallo chapel. After a visit, it's descending switchback after switchback to the front door of Il Perlo!
2) Ghisallo-Muro di Sormano - Ready to climb like a pro? At 53 km and 1300 meters this ride features 2 steep climbs often featured in the Giro di Lombardia. The Salita Madonna del Ghisallo, which starts down the road from Il Perlo, is done every year, but instead of having a few hours under your belt like the pros, you'll start the climb out of the gate. Put it in a low gear and slowly warm up the switchbacks and rollers to the Ghisallo chapel, then ride towards Sormano and start the long climb to the Colma di Sormano. After the village of Sormano you have the choice of tackling the brutal Muro di Sormano (only 1.7 km with an average 17% grade, maximum 27%!) or the more gradual main road, both which lead to the Colma di Sormano, its restaurant, and views of the Triangolo Lariano. Then the best part! The long, fast technical descent to Nesso - also often included in the Giro di Lombardia. Finally, the lakeside road back to Bellagio and one last climb to Il Perlo.
3) Lake Lugano - Who doesn't want to invade Switzerland by bike? There are 2 routes to Lake Lugano, 60 km and 950 meters or 93 km and 1400 meters. Both offer you a ferry ride to the west side of the lake, then a beautiful gradual climb past churches and small villages over Monte di Tremezzo. Swiss cows - and maybe a sighting of Cadel - almost guaranteed! The longer route loops around the far side of Lake Lugano, while the shorter one head straight to the north end and back home to the ferry.
4) Valsassina - A ferry ride to the picturesque village of Varenna on the east side of the lake begins this 60 km ride with 900 meters of climbing. A short gradual 5 km climb out of the Lake Como basin drops you into the Valsassina, the valley nestled between Lake Como's Grigne mountains and the pre-Alps to the northeast. Look up and you'll see craggy peaks dotted with snow fields and huge green mountains dissected with ski lifts, but you're down in the valley gradually climbing your way to the south end of the Grigne massif and the most spectacular descent into Lecco. Steep granite cliffs and perhaps some paragliders greet you back at the lake, where you can stop at a caffè before finishing the ride back to Bellagio. Bellissimo!