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Ride Rating System

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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Innsbruck to Venice Bike & Hike

  • Arrival
  • 9/15/2023
  • Departure
  • 10/1/2023
  • Ride Director
  • Warner Griswold
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Sue Bunten
  • Driver
  • Garry Clifton
  • Starting Location
  • Innsbruck Austria
  • Finishing Location
  • Treviso Italy
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3400
  • Deposit
  • $1900
  • Number of Riders
  • 7 (min. 20 /max. 24)
  • Space Available
  • 16
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 1

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Director Comments

LOOKINGFOR A SINGLE FEMAL AND SINGLE MALE RIDER. Of possible interest to those riders considering riding in Europe, I just came away from my 37 day Epic bike & hike in Austria and Italy. I was very impressed with the Covid safety protocols everywhere I went. Warner

Ride Description

OVERVIEW

If you enjoy cycling though lush green valleys, and hiking amongst majestic craggy peaks you might want to consider this tour.  We start in historic Innsbruck, Austria home of the Habsburg empire in the late 15th c then we ride south to the majestic Stubai valley where we can settle in to enjoy 3 full days of high alpine meadows using a well-developed gondola, mountain hut and trail network.  There is nothing like a tasty Tyrolean lunch on a sunny mountain hut deck with a million-dollar 360-degree view!

We then ride south through the heart of the alps on the famed Brenner Pass into the Sud Tirol region of northern Italy where German and Italian cultures merge and pizza and gelatos are as available as coffee and strudel. We’ll enjoy spectacular scenery and a special museum visit (Otzi the ancient iceman) before we even get to the dramatic Dolomites where we spend 3 full days in the mountain resort of Cortina, home of the 1956 Olympics and co-host for the future 2026 Olympics.  Leaving Cortina, we continue south through the sub alps into the warm olive and wine growing region of the Veneto. We will have a full day to explore Venice using the frequent train service into Venice from Treviso (Little Venice), our home for 2 nights.

We’ll end our trip in Treviso with vivid memories from what must be some of the most impressive, accessible mountains and scenic valleys anywhere in the world in the heart of the Austrian and Italian alps.

All of the routes and hotels were scouted by the ride leader in 2021.

Day 1:  Welcome to Innsbruck:  In the past, Innsbruck has hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.  Our hotel the Grauer Bar Hotel https://www.grauer-baer.at is located down town a short walk to the city center.  We will meet at the hotel’s bar at 5:30pm for happy hour and our first night’s meeting, followed by the first night’s group dinner.

Day 2: Enjoy a day sightseeing historic Innsbruck https://www.austria.info/us/where-to-go/cities/innsbruck an important medieval Hapsburg capital and now a thriving university town with wonderful museums, restaurants, walking sights, and a cable car to the hiking trails in mountains above town or take a short bike ride and visit Swarovski Crystal World.. https://www.innsbruck.info/en/hiking/tours/tour/innsbrucks-nordkettenbahnen-lifts-and-cable-cars.html

Day 3: (14 miles & 2,011’) Today we leave Innsbruck for a short ride but a climb to Neustift, one of a string of villages in the gorgeous Stubai Valley: another Alps outdoor and hiking paradise  https://www.stubai.at/en/stubaital  with a nearby cablecar and local bus service up and down the valley. We’ll be staying at the Bergjuwel Hotel in Neustift for 4 nights

Days 4,5 & 6: Stubai has many local hiking options from waterfall trails to alpine hikes to Glaciers to riverside paths. All trails in the valley are listed and described here: https://www.stubai.at/en/stubaita Check out some of the free walks put on by the hotel or ride or bus to some of the other Stubai valley villages and relax afterwards in the warm indoor pool, steam bath and saunas at our hotel.

Day 7: (53 miles & 3,500') Today will be memorable: we ride south through Brenner Pass, one of the principal passes in the Eastern Alps. We’ll climb up side roads with beautiful views then cross into Italy at the top for an outstanding downhill on the sunny side of the Alps in the Sud-Tirol /Alto Adige region of northeast Italy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Tyrol. Bressanone / Brixen is a walkable town and we will be staying for 2 nights very near the medieval town center at the Gruer Baum Hotel.

Day 8: Rest Day in Brixen. Highly recommended riding down the beautiful bike trail to Bolzano to visit the “Utzi the Iceman” museum http://www.iceman.it/en/ and take the train back, or take a short local ride from our hotel to the beautiful Augustinian Novacella Abbey c.1145.

Day 9: (44 miles & 4,306') We ride easterly out of Brixon on the Puster valley bikeway along the north edge of ....the Dolomites ahead.  Before you settle into the Hotel Heidi in Dobbiaco you might want to tour the Tre Cime cheese factory just a bit further down the road. https://www.cyclingweekly.com/routes/cycling-in-the-dolomites-when-to-go-where-to-stay-and-ride-379827

Day 10: (19 miles & 1,225') Today we’ll ride a beautiful rails to trails bikeway south into the Dolomite mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Criterion given for inclusion of the Dolomites: “The Dolomites are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world”.  https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1237/  We are riding to Cortina D’Ampezzo, home of the 1956 Winter Olympics and co- host for 2026. Our hotel for the next 4 nights is the Hotel Bellaria. https://www.dolomiti.org/en/cortina/choose-your-holiday/summer/

Days 11, 12, & 13: We have 3 full days in Cortina in the heart of the Dolomites with over 330 hiking trails, local ride options, gelaterias, world famous mountain scenery and much more. https://www.outdooractive.com/en/hiking-trails/cortina-d-ampezzo/hiking-trails-in-cortina-d-ampezzo/2501441/

Day 14: (48 miles & 2,039’) We hate to leave Cortina but today’s ride will ease the pain: it’s incredibly scenic and mostly downhill as we leave the mountains for the Prealps foothills in the beautiful Veneto region of NE Italy.  https://www.tripsavvy.com/veneto-tourist-map-and-guide-1548138 We’ll have a Michelin one star restaurant to look forward to tonight at the family owned Locanda San Lorenzo in Puos D’Alpago. https://mycornerofitaly.com/wheres-veneto/

Day 15: (52 miles & 1,290' - Mostly downhill today) We have it all today: lake view descents, medieval ruins, sections of cobble through old town centers, and rides through cherished vineyards producing the finest Prosecco in Italy https://www.winerist.com/magazine/wine/what-is-conegliano-valdobbiadene-prosecco. We’ll stay in the walkable historic town of Treviso, crisscrossed with canals and home of Tiramisu while staying at the Hotel Continental.     

Day 16: Venice!!! Train service between Treviso and Venice (Santa Lucia) station is frequent from early morning to late evening and takes 40 minutes each way. Ride into Venice by train, and after exploring enjoy an Aperol Spritz by the Grand Canal at sunset, perhaps a Venetian seafood dinner, then catch one of the many trains back to Treviso in the evening https://www.earthtrekkers.com/9-must-have-experiences-venice-italy/.

Day 17:  Departure Day. 

RIDE RATING: This ride is rated 2B with an average mileage of 37 miles/day and 2,544 feet of climbing.  However, the rides range from 1A to 4C.  The difficult days are day #3, #7, & #9.  For those who wish to have an easier option, there is a bus service on Day #3, and train service on day #7 & #9.  The last two days of riding are classified as 1C due to distance of 48 & 52 miles.   Please note the riding days vary greatly in difficulty and the average may not fully communicate the challenge.  Of the 6 mandatory riding days, Day 3 is a 2A ride, but has gradients just outside of Innsbruck > 10%.  Riders are expected to be comfortable riding on a multitude of surfaces (including cobblestone, and hard packed dirt-aka stone dust) along with riding in city traffic. Day#10 is the shortest day.  However it is all on hard packed dirt, and in a few place loose gravel.

ROUTING EXPECTATIONS: Daily RWGPS route maps will be provided online shortly before the tour.  All participants must have the RWGPS app, and must know how to download RWPGS route maps and /or Garmin GPX files to their devices.  Downloaded tour maps will include free turn by turn voice cues (“Voice Navigation”) and the ability to print cues sheets and route maps.  Participants will require only the free ‘Starter ‘RWGPS plan to use RWGPS. 

Many of the 2018, 2019 & 2021 Europe riders preferred downloading the routes and cue sheets files via RWGPS to their smart phones, then saving the files off line. The smart phone screen provides an improved view of where you are on the route, a visual display of Points of Interest, special cafes or rest stops, and hotel addresses & phone numbers. These maps come with screen saving Voice Navigation – bring an earbud!  Participants should have better than average map reading and directional skills.

WEATHER: Riders should plan on cooler morning and evening temperatures along with rain days. Temperatures can range from lows of 47F to highs of 80F. Bring your full rain gear! On this ride, everything in Austria is green for a reason.  

LOGISTICS: Fly into Innsbruck airport (INN), or into Munich and catch a 2-hour train ride from the Munich airport to Innsbruck. Arrival day is Friday September 15, 2023. Our hotel is Grauerr Bar Hotel, and we will have our first formal meeting at the hotel's bar at 5:30pm.  Our group dinner will be the following day. The tour ends in Treviso.  Departure day is Tuesday morning October 1, 2023, and departure options include flying from Venice or Trieste.  Your bike boxes and large luggage will be available at the Continental hotel in Treviso.

VAN SUPPORT: The luggage van will transport the luggage and any bike boxes going to Treviso. Participants are expected ride the entire route and will be transported only in the case of injury or illness. Riders should be able to handle their own bike repairs - at a minimum how to change a tire.  If you have a major equipment failure, we will assist or direct you to the nearest town with a bike shop.  

LUGGAGE LIMITATIONS:  Luggage size is restricted to TWO CARRY ON PIECES and each piece needs to be under 25 lbs! Carry on means you are able to walk on the plane with your luggage. However, if you bring your bike and a large piece of luggage, plan on bringing TWO CARRY-ON SIZE DUFFLE BAGS to eliminate the need of using your large piece of luggage use during the ride. Your large luggage can be stored in Innsbruck, or secured in the van until our arrival in Treviso.

BICYCLESYour bicycle should have tires that are 28mm or larger in size!!  Smaller size tires are not recommended! Riders in 2018 & 2019 found riding with 23mm or 25mm size tires was very hazardous on wet surfaces and difficult at times on the dirt surfaces. They all agreed larger tires (28 mm) would work well for this ride. You will be riding on all types of surfaces – everything from nice smooth paved bike paths to cobblestone, compact dirt paths, and farm roads, to busy city streets. Bike boxes can be left at the starting hotel in Innsbruck. Tandems and e-bikes are welcome. However, E-bike riders should be experienced riders prior to riding their e-bikes along with knowing the "rules of the road"!  Please call the ride leader if you plan to ride on a tandem.

The ride leader is not aware of any location in Innsbruck to rent appropriate high-quality bicycles. 

LODGING & MEALS: Lodging will be in everything from family-owned hotels to 3 and 4-star hotels. All breakfasts and 10 dinners are included in the cost of the tour. Happy hours will be at the hotel's bar, which will include a glass of house wine, seltzer, or a local beer before each night’s dinner. 

COST & ADMINISTRATION: The cost estimate is $3,400, which includes 16 days lodging, all breakfasts, 10 dinners, happy hour drinks, Garmin daily GPX files and RWGPS daily route maps comes with full RWGPS voice navigation features for down loading to your GPS devices or phones. Estimated cost is based on an exchange rate of 1 Euro = $1.25. The initial deposit of $1,900 does not include the BAC registration fee of $100 and both will be due upon acceptance to the ride. The second payment of $1,500 is due February 15, 2023.  The ride cost does not include transportation to and from any airports, and other types of entertainment – museums, trams or gondola rides.      

SINGLE RIDERS:  Singles are a great addition to a ride, and we welcome them. We do not discourage singles from registering.  However, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED singles find their own roommate prior to signing up. The Ride Leader will assist single riders by attempting to match other singles who apply for the ride.  When a single rider applies for the ride and if space is available and if the rider is accepted by the ride leader, the single rider will be moved from the Waitlist to the Pending list and instructed to disregard BAC’s automated payment requests.  The ride leader will reserve a spot for the single rider for 45 days or until February 1, 2023 whichever comes first.  If a single roommate is not found in this time frame, the single rider will be moved from the Pending list back to the Waitlist.   

Please Note: If a single roommate is not found in the time frame and the single rider mistakenly paid the ride deposit, the single rider will be moved from the Participant list to the Waitlist and the single rider will receive a full refund less the BAC fee and credit card fees.  If a roommate is found, both singles riders will then be put on the Pending list and their deposits will be required at that time. 

SOLO RIDERS:  Due to hotel capacities, the ride isn’t accepting solo riders.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance. 

COVID STATEMENT:  All participants must be fully vaccinated including booster shots if applicable and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by Ride Leader if requested. 

Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage. 

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

BAC maintains a policy that provides coverage for expenses related to medical emergencies and repatriation when members are on tours outside the US and their home country. The policy ceases to be applicable if a member makes a personal deviation (e.g., makes a side trip not related to the planned BAC tour), has limits on expenses covered for family members and only applies for 45 days following departure from home. The policy maintained by BAC does not cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., COVID, annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If travelling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that the appropriate vaccinations are up to date. 

SIGN-UP: To register for this ride, use the sign-up links above the Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $1,900 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Leader by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.


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Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

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