We at the Tartan Bicycle Company HQ are constantly looking to improve the quality of our service and improve on our already high standards. It is of utmost importance for us to know that our customers go home with fond memories of Edinburgh and Scotland, and hope that their bike tour with us stands out as a highlight of their trip. Reading our Tripadvisor reviews, we can see that we’re on the right track, but we know that we can’t afford to be complacent. This is why it is crucial for us to look at our business from our customer’s perspective, which means becoming customer ourselves. So we traveled to the spiritual home of cycling… ITALIA!

We arrived in the lovely town of Riva Del Garda, situated on the North shore of Lake Garda, nestled in between the Italian Alps and Dolomite mountain ranges. After spending the first day getting to know the area, finding trails and bike hire, we found an absolute gem of a shop called the ‘Garda Bike Shop’ http://www.gardabikeshop.com. Based around a well stocked bike shop, which could easily relieve you of the contents of your credit card, the Garda Bike Shop offers a wide selection of road and mountain bikes for hire, as well as giving great advice on routes. They’ll even organise a guide, if booked in advance.

Fueled by a huge breakfast back at our hotel but slightly underestimating the challenge we had ahead of us, we embarked on our mission to cycle from Riva Del Garda to Trento and back, a distance of 90k. It was a stunning day as we climbed steep switchbacks, passing through sleepy villages and stopping now and again to admire majestic castles set into the mountain side and views of the valley far down below. We didn’t manage reach our intended goal of Trento, about 10km further along the road. The thought of traversing the same mountain twice in one day was just too daunting. So after a climb of around 1500 metres and now with rumbling tummies, we opted to head back down the steep road we’d just climbed, flying through the switchbacks. It took 20 minutes to cycle back down the mountain that had taken us 2 hours to climb… Absolutely thrilling!!