When mountain biking becomes extreme, when jumps are spectacular and when speeds reach motoring limits, then you know you are talking about downhill biking. This discipline should be practiced with full suspension bikes which, thanks to their characteristics, make the descent easier, more comfortable and adrenaline-charged. Full face helmets are required when hitting the tracks because speeds can be in excess of 50 km/h. Ticino mountains offer countless options for practicing downhill biking on steep trails surrounded by nature. There are two specially equipped trails on Monte Tamaro and at Nara.
Riding down steep slopes on two wheels along mountain trails or specially laid-out tracks through woods and meadows: this is definitely a sport for biking enthusiasts and thrill seekers who enjoy soaring down adrenaline-charged trails amidst truly breath-taking sceneries. The Ticino Region, with its valleys and mountains, offers many options for downhill lovers, also thanks to chairlifts that allow you to avoid strenuous rides to reach the top.
The downhill and freeride paths on this mountain straddling the Lugano and Locarno districts offer a breathtaking view and are easily accessible. In addition, there are many more attractions including a bike park, an adventure park, tobogganing runs, and several dining options.
Originally built to host the 2003 Mountain Bike World Cup, in recent years the Tamaro track has often been chosen for the opening leg of the iXS Swiss Downhill Cup. It is a "black path" (that is level of high difficulty), which starts next to the Alpe Foppa cableway station at an altitude of 1532 m and ends at the intermediate station (1150 m), stretching over a total length of 1610 m, with a 382 m difference in altitude.
The freeride trail, which is also “black”, runs from the intermediate station at 1150 m in altitude down to Rivera (470 m) and offers a long, thrilling descent of almost 700 metres.
Located between the intermediate cable car station and the north woods, the bike park features various artificial courses, where cyclists can perform all sorts of stunts.
Info: Monte Tamaro, Rivera - Tel. +41 91 946 23 03 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.montetamaro.ch
In the beautiful Nara region (Blenio Valley), nestling amidst uncontaminated pre-alpine surroundings, mountain bike enthusiasts can embark on the "Black Wood Line". It is a “red track” (moderate difficulty), which offers more than three kilometres of pure thrills, with a difference in altitude of nearly 500 metres.
The first part of the descent consists of a toboggan run that starts in the meadows at an altitude of 2000 metres, with curves, jumps and berms, passing through a totally natural technical section. On entering the woods – hence the name "Black Wood" trail – the slope decreases while the number of jumps increases. In an alternation of sections that cut across meadows and spectacular natural gullies, the track continues with parabolic curves, north-shore sections, and fast and challenging jumps and curves right up to the road in the village of Addì, where the Black Wood Line officially ends. A single trail takes mountain bikers to the departure point of the Cancorì-Alpe di Nara chairlift.
Track openings are limited to summer weekends, weather permitting.
Info: Amici del Nara, Acquarossa - Tel. +41 91 871 11 11 - www.nara.ch