Furthermore for anyone who adopts a “full” bike – that is one with a front fork and a rear piston – and possesses the fearless capacities of the downhill skier, there is the added possibility of a challenging, technical and exhilarating finale.
Heading off from the roundabout along the Provincial 2 Trivulzia road, we move into via Roma towards the cemetery and the church of Sant Andrea (210m) where legend has it the martyrdom of San Fedele initiated. Continuing uphill along a consortium-type road within magnificent woodland of chestnut and flowering locust, we encounter challenging slopes of around 10%, and after a couple of kilometres we reach a chapel and a sign indicating a further building dedicated to saint Andrea al Mot at an altitude of around 400m. And now we find ourselves on higher ground dominated by an imposing chestnut tree and land which accommodates the church, its bell tower, the Parish house, the cemetery from 1821 and the ancient ruins of a castle. The building was completely stripped of its assets when the new Parish church at Era was established: flooring, portal, altar, relics and chalices were all transported downstream and reclaimed for the new place of worship. Following a brief visit we return to our bikes and head through a succession of woodland areas. The climb is regularly challenging and we are surrounded by chestnut and birch all the way to a fountain after around 4.5km where we can refill our water bottles and have a break before the final push! After a little under 7km from the original roundabout we reach the attractive village of Paiedo (900m): centuries-old stone buildings alternate with more modern structures. Once back astride our two-wheel companion we head back down the consortium road. Shortly after the first bend we take a dirt road on the left leading to the hamlet of Santa Teresa. At first the road is gentle and manageable for everyone but it soon becomes increasingly demanding both physically and technically: up to piazza Caprara (800m) in fact the excursion is within everyone’s reach, including beginners, who after reaching the houses of the small nucleus, can simply turn on their heels and go back down. For the bolder and more experienced it’s possible to sling the bike over your shoulder and head up to Santa Teresa (950m and around 20 mins) from where - after a pause to catch your breath and a visit to the fine church - we can enjoy an exhilarating descent immersed in woodland along a narrow path that leads to the district of Monastero.
We strongly recommend use of a “full” bike and a certain familiarity with descent techniques because the surface is pretty bumpy and there are a number of steep and unprotected sections down to about 430m where the road returns to an asphalt nature and you can head steadily down to San Pietro.