Wednesday 27th September. Today we’re off on our Pegoretti’s along the lake from Torbole to Torri del Benaco then up to San Zeno di Montagna through the lovely village of Albisano.
Firstly, it’s caffé normale that’s espresso at Mecki’s – a bike shop cafe in Torbole. Then we head off south along the lake towards Torri del Benaco. This is the first time I’ve ridden on the lake road at this end of lake Garda. I can smell the sea, it feels like being at the beach. Paul warned me there were a few tunnels on this ride, some galleries with daylight sections but also some dark tunnels with only a few lights. I need to stay close to him… “stick to my back wheel” he says – that’s easier said than done!
Along the lake we didn’t see many other cyclists but we recognised one rider coming towards us in professional team kit Orica-Scott, it was Roman Kreuziger who lives along the lake, he gave us a nod as cyclists usually do.
One village we came to was Malcesine, famous for its funivia up to Monte Baldo and castle that looks over lake. It’s always busy here, there are lots of tourists as the village is very picturesque with lots of little cobbled streets. We pass through a few other small villages we know from previous holidays at the lake, before we arrive in Torri del Benaco.
We turn into the climb to Albisano only to see road work signs and workmen laying fresh tarmac. We decided not to go further especially on our Pegoretti’s so we carried onto Garda where we ride up to Albisano on a different climb. It’s lucky we know the lake quite well.
Paul was soon zooming off, this climb is one I’ve usually avoided as the surface of the road is quite bad and it’s quite a straight road, whereas the climb from Torri to Albisano is one of our favourites on the lake, a smooth winding climb with fantastic views of the lake. As I got further up the climb it started to flatten out and I could see Paul waiting for me. We ride through Albisano and around the church that overlooks the lake. I always take photos in Albisano even though I’ve been here many times.
We carry on up to San Zeno di Montagna and decide to stop for lunch at a lovely restaurant called Il Giardinetto overlooking the lake. We both have pasta, I had tagliolini with mushrooms ‘con porcini’. It was delicious, although I smell of garlic now.
After lunch we ride through the village of San Zeno, a quick stop at a gelateria and then over to Villanova for the descent to the lake. It’s quite steep in parts although I’ve ridden this climb a few times many years ago and vowed not to do it again! It’s an awesome descent with great views of the lake.
Back along the lake I’m on Paul’s wheel again through the tunnels back to Torbole. It was a fantastic ride long the lake, Pegoretti’s, perfect pasta and gelato.
Strava stats: distance 104km; climbing 820m