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Martin Ruggle of NTC Sport kits out our group of a dozen riders with bikes. In a matter of minutes, saddles are adjusted, helmets strapped on and we’re ready to go.
I last rode a bike regularly about 20 years ago so I’m delighted to see it’s like riding a bike—once learnt, you never forget.
Albie Kruker of Savognin Tourism points out the cycling routes on the panoramic panel in the car park. ”The local routes lead out in a star shape from the ski lift station. We are doing the Viva La Grischa. It’s an easy route. We’ll see how the group develops and then maybe separate. But let‘s set off together.”
Some 240 kilometres of mountain bike trails in Savognin tap into hundreds more kilometres of signed cycling routes throughout Graubunden. They’re designed for all abilities – some you can take the chairlift up and ride down. Others are rather more adventurous.
KRUKER: “We’re on the normal downhill stretch of this route, says Albie, but there’s been so much snow this winter there are still patches around particularly here where there was an avalanche. So we have to pick our bikes up and carry them across on our shoulders. ”
Back in the valley, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. But one will gladden any biker‘s heart. It’s a giant glass cube, known appropriately as The Cube. Ramps connect the different levels and the bedrooms have antreooms with wall hooks for mountain bike storage. That means you can virtually cycle in and out of your bedroom. Each side of the building is brightly coloured—yellow blue, green and red.
Sales manager, Simone Edlinger, says the colours are just for fun but also designed to help orientation. Yellows indicate where the double rooms are, for example.
Like other resorts, Savognin is keen to avoid unnecessary scarring of the landscape. Nor does it want to scare away its traditional walkers. Reconciling the needs of hikers and bikers is part of the strategy.