Lake Como and the Lario Triangle (the area between Bellagio, Como and Lecco) are great for cyclists of various levels of ability and commitment. Hard-core cyclists can try out some of the most demanding hill climbs on any of the European circuits such as those featured in the annual Giro di Lombardia. Those who might prefer to define themselves as recreational cyclists can take advantage of some of the dedicated cycle paths around the lake such as that from Menaggio to Gravedona or the easy routes through the Pian di Spagna.
Those who are keen road cyclists may well wish to entrust themselves to a professional cycling guide who can take you up the challenging hill climbs or lead you to other breathtaking destinations with as many recreational stops as you may wish. The advantage of these services are that a) you can hire professional quality bikes here rather than have to transport them with you b) leave the map reading to a local expert c) customise the tour to suit your interests and desired activity levels.
One such company is Lake Como Cycling run by Pietro Zendali. I follow Pietro Zendali’s Instagram posts with interest and, judging from the many shots from glorious locations with happy cyclists, I could recommend you check out his web site or contact him directly via email at email@example.com. Language is not a problem and his website not only describes some of the standard tours he organises but also illustrates the type of cycles available for hire (including e-bikes for those of you wanting some pedal assist up the Muro di Sormano). He is conveniently located in Cernobbio for those staying in the Como area.
A newly opened shop in Bellagio, called Bike It Bellagio, is also designed for the committed cyclist offering cycle hire (also from racing bikes to e-bikes) and guided routes.
To quote: Bellagio’s first and only bike shop! We fine tune your cycling experience in Lake Como. Rent a Bianchi with us!
They also provide cycling itineraries and fix you up with a personal guide. Their website is well worth a glance. They can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Another company offering cycling tour guides is JS Travel based in Torno however they may be of more value for those of you wanting to organise a prolonged cycling tour before you arrive in Como.
Ghisallo Rent Bike, located in the Valassina close to the sporting cyclists’ mecca and museum at the Madonna del Ghisallo, hire bikes or committed cyclists with or without guides and for families including electronic mountain bikes. They can arrange collection from Lake Como hotels. All info on their English website here.
Como Lago Bike is also based in Bellagio within the grounds of the specialist cyclists hotel, the Hotel Perlo Panorama located alongside the famous hill climb out of Bellagio and up to the Madonna del Ghisallo. They cater for both professional cyclists needing quality road bikes to amateurs and visitors just wanting to hire a bike for recreation. They have a stable of the latest technology e-mountain bikes. Check out their website or contact them on +39 031 950 229. Give a thought to staying at the Hotel Perlo Panorama where you will be in the company of other cycling enthusiasts from around the world.
Don’t overlook the two companies mentioned above since they will provide equipment and advice for all levels of cycling interest and ability. Additionally you may want to look into the network of dedicated cycle paths in the Como area. Although some of the local roads can be a bit daunting whether due to the traffic or the layout, bear in mind that motorists here are accustomed to sharing the roads with cyclists and cycling accidents are not as common as you might assume.
Here is a list of some links that may be of interest to you when choosing to plan your own cycling adventure either as a committed or recreational cycling enthusiast.
- Map My Ride – contributions from cyclists to a series of cycling routes in Lombardy.
- Explore Lake Como – this site contains descriptions of 10 cycle routes as well as links to a range of services for cyclists.
- Bikemap – maybe more suited to the committed cyclist but includes plenty of route suggestions
- Hotel Il Perlo Panorama Bellagio – this hotel sells itself as a cycling hotel for cycling enthusiasts with a hire shop and guides on site.
- Menaggio Youth Hostel – this is an economic accommodation option for cycling enthusiasts with particular services for cycling enthusiasts.