Skip to main content

Designing for Giants

It’s no easy feat to climb six breathtaking giants in the Italian Alps in just four days. If anyone can put the itinerary together, it’s Trip Designer, cyclist, artist and world traveler, Jessica Singerman. Her favorite place she’s been? The Italian Alps. And we can see why. Follow along to see how Jess designed our latest cycling experience, Giants of the Giro, and join us this summer for a truly epic trip. Are you up for the challenge?

Meet Jessica Singerman, Trek Travel Trip Designer

Ride the classic climbs of the Giro on our Legendary Giro Italy bike tour
 
 

How did you put this trip together? Tell us about your design process.

On Day 1, the ride up Torre di Fraele is a more gentle climb, although still challenging. It’s the perfect way to acclimate after traveling to the region and it gives people a chance to get used to their new bikes.

Over the course of the next two days, we climb Stelvio, Mortirolo, and Gavia, some of the most challenging climbs in the world. Stelvio’s iconic hairpin turns have inspired cyclists, skiers, mountaineers, and even artists and poets since the mid-19th century. Passo Stelvio is the highest mountain pass in the Giro d’Italia, and during the Giants of the Giro, we will climb it not once, but twice. We will climb the side from Bormio, veer off through Switzerland just before the summit, and then ride up the 48 hairpins from Prato allo Stelvio before descending back into Bormio.

 
 
Trek Travel Classic Climbs of the Dolomites Cycling Tour
 
 

Passo Stelvio is the highest mountain pass in the Giro d’Italia, and during the Giants of the Giro, we will climb it not once, but twice.

 
 
On Day 3, we ride both Mortirolo and Gavia. Lance Armstrong famously said that Mortirolo was the “hardest climb” he had ever ridden, and Gavia brings to mind Andy Hampsten’s grueling 1988 Giro stage win in a blizzard. The stage ended in Bormio, our base for this trip. The reason we ride these two passes on the third day is so that people can make the decision of whether to ride Mortirolo and Gavia, or to stick to Gavia instead. Mortirolo is incredibly steep, so after the two previous days of riding, people will have a good idea of whether to ride it or not.

On the last day, the Bormio 2000 climb is for those guests who want to tick off one last climb before the end of the trip! It’s a short but challenging ride.

What about the Italian Alps is so special?

The landscape is visually stunning, the people are friendly, the riding is second to none, and the food is super tasty. It’s a bicultural region, having been fought over by Austria and Italy, so there’s a lot of history and multiple languages spoken. The region has something for everyone.

 
 
[trek-fullwidth-img src=”https://s45708.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/iStock_84228665_XLARGE_1600x670_Dolomites.jpg”]
 
 

What is the “magic moment” of this trip? Is it a specific climb, the gratification of hard work, or maybe the view from the top?

The views from the top of Stelvio are unreal. Looking down and seeing the switchbacks rise up from the valley to the summit is incredibly rewarding and visually breathtaking. Because of the way the road is built, you can stop periodically along the ride from either side of the pass and see the hairpin turns stacked on top of one another.

Another amazing part of the riding here is simply how long the climbs are. There aren’t many places where we can climb for hours. I love the mental part of climbing like this. Watching your breath, finding your cadence; getting into a rhythm is so satisfying. In the midst of this effort we remind ourselves to look around us, and the breadth of the Alpine landscape is stunning. Riding here is a truly spiritual experience.

There aren’t many places where we can climb for hours. I love the mental part of climbing like this. Watching your breath, finding your cadence; getting into a rhythm is so satisfying.

 
 

Learn more about our Giants of the Giro bike tour.

 
 


 
 

It’s no wonder how the majestic Italian Alps have inspired Jessica in many of her paintings. Below she shares with us three pieces, all sparking creativity from the giants.

“During the making of these, the Italian Alps landscape was absolutely one of my inspirations.”

 
Oil Paintings inspired by the Italian Dolomites by Jessica Singerman
 

Top left: The Things I Can’t Reach 1, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches, 2014
Right: Sweeping Green Blue Air, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches, 2014
Bottom left: How to Keep Warm, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches, 2016

You can learn more about Jessica’s work on her website.


Private

If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.

Luxury:

Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.

Explorer

These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.

Combined

On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of hotel levels, from Explorer to Luxury to Ultimate Luxury. Rest assured, no matter which level of hotel you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discover:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.

Self-Guided

Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself