Mountain bikers love Pontresina. And for good reason: the historic mountaineering village makes a biker's heart beat just as fast as the sight of a well-adjusted SRAM-XX1 trigger shifter. The resort offers more than fun single trails, as the Pontresina bike visionary Darco Cazin likes to point out: “Pontresina is a place for encounters. After the tour, you can stop off at one of the many sun terraces in the village and meet like-minded people while admiring the views”, he explains. In a nutshell, it’s a great place for surfing the trails and then having fun with other bikers or planning the next tour. But still, there’s more:
Bike visionary 2.0
Mountain bike visionary from Pontresina
Founder of Allegra Tourismus Darco Cazin (1977) builds trails and advises tourism resorts on mountain biking tourism. Darco, who lives in Pontresina with his wife and three children, is a real biking enthusiast.
“In a way, Pontresina is like a full-suspension carbon-fibre frame. Sophisticated, yet understated.”
“There are plenty of bike shops here, which is a great benefit to me because I'm not a mechanic”, adds Darco with a smile. Even with major bike trouble, bikers are usually back on their beloved two-wheels in under an hour. Another benefit for Darco is the Rhaetian Railway. He uses it as a shuttle service to the Bernina Pass – and sets off to Poschiavo from there. If he doesn’t have much time, Darco takes the trail from Lago Bianco back to Pontresina, along his favourite route: the single trail from the Montebello curve down to the Hotel Palü. But how much has biking developed in Pontresina over the years? “Hugely! Mountain biking is an integral part of the townscape today, and includes projects like the pump track Cuntschett, one of the largest and most sophisticated in the mountains. Usually, such facilities can only be found in big cities”, explains Cazin. The pump track is, by the way, ideal for beginners as it helps them to get comfortable on a bike and learn the basics.
Darco recommends the Bernina Express to experienced bikers: “This classic will never get boring. I do this tour in summer when I invite friends.” His passion for biking was kindled by chance a few years ago, when his mother took over a hotel in the Münstertal. “We were trying to discover how to attract more guests to the hotel, and when I started acting as tour guide, I soon realised that mountain biking had potential.” Darco expresses his confidence in the idea: “In Pontresina, people talk a lot about the feats of the past when pioneers had a certain foresight. I want to build on this interest in mountain biking because I am convinced we can lay the foundation for the next generation in the mountains with the emerging bike sport.”