Film maker Mark Huskisson is a man who fits into the Bike Magic mould very well as he loves to ride bikes, report on great locations and to scour high and low to find the best mountain biking around. Recently Mark has been on a European trip, visiting some of the most prime destinations and putting together some superb edits while he goes.
This week Mark has mostly been in Finale Ligure, Italy, with local bike shop owner Riccardo Recalcati.
Finale Ligure with Riccardo Recalcati
Finale Ligure is a seaside resort well known among mainland European two-wheeled tourists but less so with Brits. Thousands of British mountain bikers flock to the high Alps every year to ride the lift-accessed trails, but in their haste many locations outside of the area served by ski lifts are overlooked.
Finale Ligure is one of the places that more trail riders really should think about visiting. Aside from the fresh sea breeze and opportunity to consume a cooling gelato while sunbathing on clean sands, in the hills that extend into the Maritime Alps behind Finale there is an absolute abundance of singletrack to be explored. Shuttle companies run riders to the summit of the peaks and guides take groups along the riddle of trails that run through the ancient forests. Water stops are made at fountains along the way, lunch is taken at traditional Italian restaurants and the day only ends when another gelato is called for. It is a rather nice place to ride bicycles.
Throngs of Germanic tourists flood to Finale every year, particularly in the months outside of high summer. The temperate Mediterranean climate makes for an excellent riding venue when other resorts deep in the mountains may be covered in snow or shut down for the off-season. Finale never stops: Pizzas are always ready to be eaten, the trails are ever-plentiful and the town’s shuttle companies are open most weeks of the year.
Pedalling up the mountain is, of course, possible, and sealed roads provide easy access to the trail-head, although we really do recommend a guide and seeing as a day’s shuttling is inclusive of one, why not maximise trail time?
The trails of Finale Ligure are most famed as being perched above the shimmering blue sea and being open, rocky and dusty. However, these coastal trails that have made it into countless magazine reports and videos are only a tiny fraction of what is on offer. The bulk of Finale’s quality bike riding is up in the hills behind town and is comprised of hand cut singletracks that snake through the trees with an unbelievable flow unlike anything you will find on steeper Alpine slopes. Perhaps upwards of 20 trails are scattered about the woodlands and there are several main start points, namely: Restaurant Din at Colle del Melogno; and the old Nato base off Strada Provinciale 23.
Place: Finale Ligure
Trail: Din to Rollercoaster
Rider: Riccardo Recalcati
Shuttle companies and guiding: Head over to The Ultimate Bike Shop Facebook page. Finale Freeride, Justride Finale, Riviera Bike and Big Mountain Bike Adventures also run trips to Finale Ligure
About Trail Guide TV
The aim of our Trail Guide TV series is simple: to inspire and uncover. We will ride some of the finest natural trails in Britain and occasionally abroad too, sometimes with local riders and sometimes on a trail hunt of our own. Trail Guide TV won’t provide maps and directions to each of the rides, but it will give a place name and some insight into the terrain. You’ll have to go on a search of your own if you want to ride the same amazing trails.
These features will all be put together by the expert hands of Mark Huskisson of Reset Films (think Find, MacAskill etc.) and will combine beautiful landscapes, stories and some of the best natural trails around. We are rather happy to have Mark on board.
Enjoy the show and keep coming back to Bike Magic as Trail Guide TV is a regular show.