by Casey Thompson © 2018 Bike It! Bellagio
Bike It! Bellagio has created a Strava club to encourage YOU to get out and explore Lake Como on two wheels during your stay. Our mission is to create a small community of athletes from all around the world who have been to Lake Como and become inspired by the idea of exploration of an area through our challenges. We have created three challenges for you to take part in when you come to Lake Como! The first two promote the most famous climbs of the area and are close to home (Bellagio): The Madonna del Ghisallo and the Muro di Sormano, the two most important checkpoints of the annual Giro di Lombardia. Two of our guides from the “Easy Riders” crew, Elio and Mario, will be doing the Ghisallo and the Muro, respectively, for time, at the beginning of the season. Whoever comes closest to or matches Elio’s Ghisallo time during the season will win a prize. Whoever can beat Mario’s Muro di Sormano time during the season will win a prize as well…it may be tougher than you think! Be sure to record your activity and put it on Strava to make it count in the competition.
The third challenge is the Bike It! Bellagio Official Climbing Challenge! Every week, we will feature a new climb and route to encourage you to get out and explore! During your stay, try our featured climb (and route) of the week and see how you do, as well as see how many other traveling cyclists are exploring the same roads as you. Anywhere you ride around Lake Como is scenic, fun, and unforgettable. This is not a challenge to see how fast you can climb, but rather to value our territory and give every area of the lake that may be missed by the average traveler a chance to be explored by you! However, we do have a challenge for the locals: participate in the challenge, complete each weekly stage from March to November, and you will be rewarded with some swag!
Many athletes, at all levels, are Strava users. Strava—the “social network for athletes”—has become one of the most popular activity tracking applications since its launch in 2009. A type of social network, Strava allows users to share their rides, runs, hikes, swims, ski sessions … and so much more. I got on Strava in 2013, and I think it is one of the best apps for athletes around the world. Its idea of segments and challenges motivates many people to improve in their sport, as well as just get outside and have fun! In addition to using Strava for accomplishing segments or seeing how many minutes or seconds I am off a QOM or PR, I especially like Strava because it allows me to connect with other cyclists, runners, triathletes, and seeing their maps and photos of their typical rides or where they’re travelling! I like seeing where other people train, as it gives me an idea of what their terrain is like, and the photos let me see the beauty where they live. Our world is beautiful (especially Lake Como, Italy!), and there’s SO much to be explored. When I travel, I use Strava to look up popular rides or runs for the area. It’s a great tool that allows you to make your sport a part of your vacation time.