Cycling in the Dolomites

Traffic-free roads and mountain passes open to cyclists only: the Dolomiti Bike Day, Sellaronda, Maratona are heaven on two (green) wheels

May the bicycle become the quiet and efficient means to a rediscovery of social relationships and communication through spoken words and smiles!

Marc Augé

The mind boggles: born in the 19th century, the bike is still a contemporary means of transport. And to be fair, one which will lead us into the future. Its components may have changed, as today we favour carbon and titanium, brake discs, electronics, and electric engines. And yet the dear, old bicycle is ready to take us on a journey, a green and democratic utopia for everyone. What will it take? Politicians, managers, hoteliers should all get rid of their blinkers and understand that the future of tourism, seen as a clean, welcoming, and respectful idea, can be achieved through the bicycle. French philosopher Marc Augé has been claiming for years how a new Renaissance of cycling is just around the corner: a two-wheeled Renaissance which breaks down class differences, engenders equality, breathes life back into our cities and in our mountains at a sustainable pace. Transforming places, both city streets and Alpine passes, in spaces we can explore at the regular pace of a bike ride. A new world, where dreaming and fulfilling our dreams can come true.

The start of the summer season in the Dolomites’ valleys has been, for years, marked by what have now become legendary cycling events. Pros, amateurs, cycling fans and flaneurs don’t limit themselves to the Giros and Tours, go-to events, and World Championships. Oh no. They’re raring to go when it comes to cycling on legendary roads without the crush of cars and motorbikes which, during summer, own the land and dictate the law as it pleases them. The Sellaronda, 11 June. The Dolomites Bike Day, 25 June. And the Maratona dles Dolomites, 3 July. These three events all boast beautiful itineraries as well as the closure of the mountain passes to motor vehicles. For years we’ve been asking for a partial closure of the passes. To no avail. We’re convinced only an about-turn can save the destruction of our mountains and allow guests to experience the bliss of these places in silence. We hope that sooner, rather than later, someone in the local administration will listen to us. And listen to the thousands of people cycling who yearn for a type of tourism which is less polluted and doesn’t destroy nature, one which favours a cleaner and more hospitable narrative.