Our Apartments overlook Finalborgo, a small walking village founded in the 1200’s by the Romans (Some lodging it within the village walls). Finalborgo is basically connected to the seaside town of Finale Legure. We’ll be riding in the hills in the greater Leguria area. Descents are powered by shuttle vehicles. We have 1-2 on road shuttle vans with trailers and one off road vehicle with a trailer for each trip. Vans hold 7 riders, a driver and our guide. Trips go from Saturday to Saturday.
We fly in and out of Genoa, Italy. Other options can work, including Nice. Airport pickup is included on the first Saturday of the trip. Custom shuttles from the airport are available other days at the expense of the rider. Rental cars are also available, not not at all necessary for a great trip. Check-in time at the hotel/apartment is 4pm on the Saturday your trip begins. Checkout time is 10am the Saturday your trip ends. This works well with most flights into and out of Genoa,
Riding takes place in the great Leguria area near Finale Legure. SHUTTLES CAN NOT RUN WHEN THE TRAILS ARE REALLY WET. THESE DAYS WILL BE OPTIONAL PEDAL DAYS. Electric enduro style rental bikes are also a possible option (but not required) should your group experience a rainy day. Shuttle are not allowed to run on really wet days due the increased traffic/wear and tear they create for trails. Our guides will keep you in the loop in the event of inclement weather. “We did a pedal day like this on my first trip there and it was a blast". -Simon
All rides are within 30-45 minutes of Finalborgo by van.
We do mostly enduro-style descending each day, with very little climbing on most days. It’s possible to log more than 15k of descending in a day. Getting tired? You can sit one out in the van, or if we are near town, simply descend back into Finalborgo.
Airport pickup and drop off in Genoa Italy.(Contact Wayne@fluidride.com for details). Two pickup (on first Saturday) and two drop off times (last Saturday) offered at no charge. Custom times available at reasonable prices.
Daily ride transport in our luxury vans with bike trailers. Two or three separate van groups per day allow us to split riders according to ability and trail tastes. There are great places to eat and relax if you only want to ride part of the day some days.
Daily ride leading from local pros. Louise Paulin is our lead guide and works alongside her husband Allesandro. Wayne Coates and Thomas Aubin - our guides from Chamonix - who are certified French Guides will join for larger groups.
Breakfast supplies and coffee supplied in your room prior to arrival. and dinner on 5 nights of the trip. Riders will be responsible for their lunch and dinner, but our guides will sort out where we eat as a group, unless you want a night on the town solo.
Fruit and other ride snacks are included with breakfast makings in your room to keep you fueled on rides..
Local knowledge. Get the most from your experience in the area with the help of our guides. Want to travel before or after? They are happy to help with ideas!
How good a rider do I need to be? How fit do I need to be?
Riders should be advanced intermediate or above and have good basic fitness. With two vans and guides, each trip will have a less technical component, so strong intermediate riders are welcome. We'll also have an advanced crew heading out each day. Even though we are mostly descending, the days are long and physical. In addition to bringing good skills and fitness, riders should bring a good attitude. The Alps can be humbling. We recommend taking classes with Fluidride in preparation for the trip unless you are already a very strong rider. ALL riders will be screened to be sure they are ready to take on the challenges of riding the valley.
How hard is the riding?
The trails in the valley are generally quite technical and vary from tough ‘Blue Square’ runs to double black diamonds. In Europe the trails are rated blue, red (US black) and black (US double black). During most trips we descend 60,000-90,000 vertical feet in the week with less than 2,000 feet of climbing in that time. Riders should be able to ride blue runs easily and get through black diamond trails in a reasonable fashion. If you are from Seattle, a good example is that you should be comfortable on Off the Grid at Tiger Mountain to be in the less advanced group, and if you want to be in the more advanced group, you should be comfortable with trails such as Predator. Questions about your ability and if you are prepared? Contact Simon. Fluidride reserves the right to refund money after payment to those not ready for the riding. We have lots of great programs in place to help you prepare as well, so be sure to ask about those!
How does the trip I choose affect the type of riding we do?
We will place you within a riding group of up to 7 riders each day. We ask that you help us by listening to the recommendation of our guides. This trip is 100% shuttle dependent, so we have to break into groups to make it happen. For our Alps Trips, we are able to ride as a larger group on some days since there are lifts and gondolas used as uplift.
What is the best bike for me?
We recommend bringing a long travel trail bike with 150mm-170mm travel (140r/150-160f works too). Very experienced higher level riders can get away with less travel. Downhill bikes should not be used. We do require that riders set bikes up with tubeless, 2-ply cased tires for the trip. There are lots of rocks in the valley – and roots of course, too. Having heavy tires really improves the control you will have on rough ground, while reducing tire-related mechanicals. We recommend 150mm or more travel for all but the most skilled riders. Long travel trail bikes and electric bikes are available for rent in the area. Wayne Coates, who is our European Manager and guide can help you more with that. Contact Wayne@fluidride.com with any questions.
What should I bring?
A well-tuned bike – long travel trail trail bike. (Or have us organize a rental.) We ask that your bike be brought clean in ready-to-ride condition.
Dual-ply tires with tubeless setup. You don't need to let all the air out of your tires to fly, so leave your tire bead set on the rim.
Layered clothing for changing conditions – expect to ride in 50-100 degree weather.
Full-faced helmet. This can be a full downhill or lighter enduro-style helmet. Neck braces are welcome if you have one.
Electrical outlet adapter for your computer and phone. A simple two-prong European-style adapter fits most outlets best. The big clunky ones simply aren’t compatible with the round-style outlets in most places.
Phone. Having communication is helpful to you and to us. consider a SIM card for European travel or add to your plan to prevent surprises on your bill. I have used T-Mobile around the world and have been very impressed with what they offer. They also have no-contract plans, so you can get set up with a separate travel phone just for the month. T-Mobile has great reception in the valley.
A spare set of brake pads for your bike are also a great idea and won't take up much space.
Spare tube in case of a puncture.
What Kind of food is served? How are allergies/preferences handled?
We will set your room up with good breakfast options and ride snacks. We will send out a form prior to the trip to asses any allergies you may have. The Italians are getting pretty good with Gluten Free cooking which is now fairly widely available. There are plenty of veggy option for vegetarians. The food in the area is next level, and inexpensive by US and European standards.
What are the additional costs?
Airfare – Typically around $1,100
Bike transport or rental ($200-$300 for transport of your bike round-trip. Varies by airline)
Lunch and Dinner each day ($25-35)
Uplift provided by our guides, so no charge for lift passes!
What if I want to bring a non-rider with me?
Totally fine! Non-riders pay $500 to join a rider (shared room only). Lodging and Breakfast is included and non-riders are welcome to join the group during non-riding time.
Do I need to rent a car?
No. We do the shopping and all the ride transport for you. Public transit is also much more accessible than in the US. Of course if you want to rent a car, you are welcome to. Parking is free in town.
For 2018 we have six apartments rented above town overlooking Finalborgo. We also have one apartment in Finalborgo proper. Both are very comfortable and clean. Getting to our morning meet up location is just a 5 minute pedal from either place. All lodging has secure bike storage. Keep in mind that Fluidride is not responsible for the safety of your bike, but we always do our best to ensure your are well taken care of. Checking to see that your bike is on your renters insurance is always a solid bet.
Never been to Europe?
It can be stressful to experience a new country, but rest assured we’ll make it about as easy as possible. You will be taken care of from the moment you arrive. The Italians are very friendly in the countryside. We have always been treated with respect during our trips.
What’s a normal day like?
Our ride leaders show up around 9 to load the trailers. We depart at 9:30am each day. We are typically home around 6pm. While some rides require riders to be 'all in' there will be plenty of days where riders can control the amount of riding they do, or even ride back into town to cut the day short.
ARE THERE DAYS OFF THE BIKE?
While we don't have formal 'off days', riders are welcome to take one at any point. There is a lot to do in the area other than riding. The trips feel long in terms of riding. 6 days might not sound like much, but everyone is pretty knackered by the last day.
Download Google Translate. It’s an amazing tool for communication, as well as for reading foreign languages. Simply point your phone at text in any language and you will see it in English. (Amazing and a little eerie!) This helps for everything from doing laundry to reading road signs to knowing what’s in the food you are buying in the store or off a menu. It’s also a great tool for learning some Italian.
The fine print:
Cancellation Policy: Deposits to hold trip spots are 100% refundable until November 15th 2018. Any cancelations between November 1st and December 31st will receive a 50% refund of total trip price. No refunds after January 1, 2019. If you are on one of our payment plans, your card will continue to be charged until the trip is paid in full. No exceptions. We ask you to purchase trip protection through World Nomads to protect your investment. Insurance is inexpensive and covers you for more than just the purchase of your trip.