A group of 5 of us have just returned from a week in Molini de Triora, booked on the testimonials of others and online videos it looked like a great place to spend a week riding. Below are a few messages I sent home to family during the week to let them know how we were getting on!
The Hotel - Santa Spirito
A Italian family run hotel in the heart of the village, run by a friendly family with good food, lovely host and plenty of food, wine and coffee.
Just got back from first days riding, We are about 90mins from nice airport, drive was scenic, roads through and over the mountains.
Last night we had a 5 course meal in the hotel which was lovely, a buffett breakfast with plenty of nice coffee.
Riding today has been absolutely fantastic, best riding I have done. Upto the top of the mountain is a 30 minute drive, then brilliant descents through woods, open rock gardens, swooping trails that carve down the mountains and through old village streets, stopping occasionally at a cafe for an espresso.
Stopped at restaurant for a 2 course lunch followed by more coffee.
We finished the last descent of the day at our hotel, as we pulled into the garage the heavens opened and the largest thunderstorm I have ever been in! Well timed.
Waiting for dinner at the hotel now. Ciao!
Day 2 - The Coast
On the morning of the second day we arrived at the garage to a pool of oil under the forks of one of our bikes, on first inspection it looked like oil leaking from one of the crush washers. We cleaned, tightened and bounched around the car park to see if it helped, it didn't. Ady sprang into mechanic mode swiftly performed a full lower leg service with new washers and fresh oil, unfortunately it transpired that the lowers were cracked from the previous days' riding. Jo insisted that Hannah, the culprit of said crack, use her bike so that we could all ride together and not waste anymore time. For the rest of the week Ady lent her forks, borrowed from another bike in the garage! Jo wouldn't take any money at the end of the holiday for bike hire!
1hr drive to the coast, glorious sunshine, blue skies and seas.
6 or 7 fantastic trails ending at the sea, winding down the mountains making use of old donkey trails and roman roads.
Salami paninio for lunch looking out across the sea, a village to the left and right, both descended to during the course of the day.
Drive back to hotel for another 5 course meal.
Best days riding ever!
Day 3 - too much riding to remember!
Stayed in the mountains around Molini today, everybody's riding has improved and confidence increased. Seem to be riding the trails rather than just getting to the bottom! Too many uplifts to remember. Riding has been incredible all day, all the trails have blurred into 1.
Getting on really well with our guide, Ady. He has been advising us on riding skills and is a great guide.
Day 4 - rest day.
A day off from riding today. Walked through the village upto a lagoon filled by a glacial river. Water was ice cold and took your breath away.
Slept in the sun for an hour and played around all day.
A few coffees and sorted the bikes out for a huge ride tomorrow.
Out at a pizzeria tonight as hotel is having a night off!
Day 5, Alps 2 sea.
Today an epic cross country ride.
Lifted in the van to ~1800m. An hour climb upto the summit in molini. Fantastic out reaching views with our destination just visible 60km in the distance.
First section of trail sputtered with small patches of snow. We traverse the mountains over extremely exposed areas with sheer drops down the alps!
Certain parts we had to get off of our bikes and clamber around 1ft wide ledges with deadly drops!
We traversed the french-italian border down several hundred feet of switchbacks.
Great trails all the way to the coast, the sea getting closer and closer.
After 9 hours of riding we arrive, a beer on the beach and me, Chris and Scott went swimming in the sea!
Another large dinner in the hotel, now an early night to prepare for our last day of riding!
Day 6, free ride Friday.
Weary and jaded from the day before our first ride of the day began with a 45 minute climb.
The trails are as anticipated, amazing!
After the first 2 trails we stopped at a restaurant for the best lunch of the week. Salad with cheese and meats.
Next trail started with fresh cherries picked straight off of the tree.
Halfway down one of the descents a rider in our group had a rear mech go through the rear wheel of his bike, destroying the mech. Ady raced off down the trail while the injured bike coasted down the final part of the descent. Within 5 minutes of getting to the bottom Ady was back, new derailier in hand. Mech, new cables fitted and setup within 10 minutes for 10% below RRP, Not bad for the middle of the Italian mountains!
In the afternoon everyone was shattered, group size reducing. Falling asleep in the van in between rides. Time to session one of the best rides of the holiday, Fantasy. Familiar trail means that everyone is dialled in, big jumps and snaking berms.
This Is repeated once more. Then that's it, the end of our holiday, all in our group unscathed.
We pack our bikes with a few beers in the garage. What a garage. Reflecting on the week that has gone by with riviera bike. Our favourite trails, our best bits, our expectations exceeded. The empty bike trailer sat there straps flapping in the wind.
Last meal of the holiday, joined by all the guides. Snails and chips. Gratuitous shots from the hotel, followed by a thank you speech from the guests and reciprocation from the guides.
Off to the bar for farewell drinks.
Time for bed, transfer in 5 hours time.
Day 7 - farewell coffee with Ady then off to the airport!
Returning home it's strange to be waking up to rain, without the sound of the clock tower, without the excitment of another day of fantastic riding and with tea, not coffee!
I would like to thank Riviera Bike, Jo, Ady, Rich, Cri, the other drivers and the hotel staff, on behalf of all our group for a fantastic holiday that exceeded all expectations, you went one step beyond what was expected during the week and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We were treated more like good friends than customers from the very beginning to the end!