My other half James loves a mountain biking holiday. It was always a boy’s affair: a week of trying to kill yourself, tackling some rather ridiculous trails and comparing cuts and bruises ‘top trumps style’ every evening. Girls were certainly not invited and even if they were, it didn’t really feel like the type of week which would leave me feeling relaxed and ready to go back to the day job. So I never went. But I loved mountain biking. I’d been growing in confidence and had ridden most of the trails in the UK and love activity holidays so why not get involved I thought?
We had got to a point where James taking separate holiday plus a ‘couples’ holiday was hurting the purse strings a little so we decided to find a solution that would make us both feel comfortable. Somehow Livigno was mentioned as James had read about it in a magazine. I knew I would love it, not trying to be a stereotypical girl but I knew there were bars, shops, spas and Prosecco for €3 a glass. But there was a problem; there were no transfers from Milan’s airport during the summer months so we decided to turn it into a 14 day road trip sandwich with Livigno as the adventure filling surrounded in a thick doorstop of the vineyards of France.
“This is going to be the best biking day EVER”
We turned up, met a load of lovely Italians who we were riding with and then noticed that Hans Rey was in our group…leading our group in fact, Holy crap! While this thrilled James, “this is going to be the best biking day EVER”, I was a little terrified “how am I going to keep up with a group behind Hans bloody Rey???” Still we cracked on and somehow I was third from front the whole trip, taking lines I didn’t know I could handle, huge drops offs with confidence and riding the narrowest singletrack alongside the biggest drops I’ve ever seen. The thing is I’ve always known I’m a technically good rider but with a lack of uphill skills and a large dose of fear. Yet somehow the scale, the beauty and possibly lack of oxygen (there’s a LOT of altitude) seemed to bring out a side of me I didn’t know I had. It helped that Nicola and Hans are the most amazing guides. ‘No pressure’, ‘take it easy’, ‘stand up’, ‘sit down’ and ‘watch those sheep’ seemed to be the mottos of the day.
Want to get involved in 2015? Well we’ve taken on board loads of feedback from last year and for this year we’ve split our weeks into themes so you get more of what you love doing most.
Enduro Week – love long days in the saddle, flowing singletrack and epic descents? Click here to find out more
Free Ride Week – want to add in a good dollop of bike park action with some nerve-jangling features? Click here to find out more
Explore Livigno – want to mix it up and see the best of all our trails? A real mix of all the best trails so you get a taste of all types of riding. Click here to find out more
Self Guided – want to experience the beauty of the Alps with yourself in the guiding seat? This trip will allow you to explore Austria, Switzerland and Italy via alpine trails accessed with the GPS and maps we'll provide. Click here to find out more