In the region of Lombardia, on the shores of Lake Como, lies a small hamlet called Malgrate. This little Italian spot is also the home to the new Rush Cycles, not only a store, not only a workshop, but also a creative place of cycling, passions, experience and a hub for people, riders and rides.
At the beginning of August in soaring Summer temperatures, the first Rush X Podia ride started there and was led by the ‘Director of Valcava’ Carlo Gironi on what he calls the ‘Classic Route’.
We began by passing through Lecco and then almost immediately the flat lake terrain changed and the climbing unfolded. Our first challenge was the Culmine di S.Pietro, a 21km climb gaining almost 1000m up. A descend through Vedeseta and Taleggio followed.
No bike ride in Italy is complete without a Gelato stop and for our group San Pellegrino (a small town renowned for it’s sparkling water) was where we found ours. The stop came after a stunningly beautiful section through the rock formations of Orrido della Val Taleggio and talk was of little else in-between mouthfuls of ice cream.
The lower parts of the Bergamo Alps might not be like the tall brutes found further north. With the highest peak of 1,400m on our ride, it was not even the tallest of summits in the area, but what the ride ‘lacked’ in height, it made up for in steepness.
The Valcava Pass is feared amongst even the strongest of local pro’s for it’s ferocity, but on the day of our ride we counted ourselves lucky to be ascending on the ‘easy’ side as temperatures reached the mid 30’s.
A small party with drinks and music by locals La Popolare awaited us at the top of Valcava before we headed back to Lake Como. Beer and food at Rush Cycles together with a dip in the cool water of the lake helped to speed up the recovery.
Rush Cycles in Malgrate is the first retail shop to stock the Podia Club Range. If you are in the area, we highly recommend a visit. You can check the Podia apparel live, rent a bike to sample the climbs of Lombardia and enjoy a drink and ice cream by the lake at the end of the day.