Update 2018 #YOLOmites5000 3.0 edition: We will be back again on the #YOLOmites5000 roads on September 8-9th 2018. If you want to get in make sure you book a place to stay early enough. If you are traveling from abroad check the Holimites Rent-Ride-Relax offer with free road-bike rental. If you don’t find any rooms with this solutions write us an E-mail.

How everything started in 2016:

This is not for everyone. If you can’t stand the idea of walking your bike or maybe getting muddy or banging down a steep gravel descent. Don’t even think of coming! ~Jered Gruber

2016 edition resume:

  • 14 cyclists from
    USA (3)
    UK (2)
    ITALY (4)
    MALAYSIA (1)
    GERMANY (1)
    AUSTRIA (1)Males (12)
    Female (2)
  • 1750 ridden km
  • 70.000+ m. elevation gained
  • Strava activity link


Will there be a 2017 edition?
Withouth any doubt … yes!

When: September 10/11 2016
Where: Dolomites, Val Badia
How to join: Event on Facebook page
Official Hashtag:  #YOLOmites5000
Pictures: #YOLOmites5000 on Instagram

Strava activity: -link-

What is the YOLOmites5000 and how everything started can be resumed in this Instagram post of Jered Gruber:

While riding with @igortavella on the steep little farm roads that wind their way along the flanks of the Dolomites, I wondered if it would be possible to do 5000 meters (or more) of climbing on all the little roads in less than 100k. Igor laughed – of course! In that moment, an idea hit. We should do a ride later this year: invite anyone who wants to join us to get a big flavor of Igor’s backyard, his secrets – paved and dirt – but all doable on a road bike, so long as the rider is ok with gradients that are always north of 10% and isn’t scared of some dirt roads and a bit of amazing singletrack (meaning this won’t be everyone’s cup of hot chocolate). It will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both – everything will of course be based out of the Tavella hotel: the @UstariaPosta in Badia. We are thinking early to middle September. It will be the #YOLOMITES 5000 brought to you by @holimites and Igor. If the rider has had their fill at any point, they can cut it short whenever they want – we will never be more than 20k from the start at the Ustaria Posta. #yolomites5000 #conquereveryroad

Una foto pubblicata da Jered Gruber (@jeredgruber) in data:

At that point I didn’t realize what I was getting into. You know, on a cycling ride you talk, talk and talk and you forget everything afterwards. But as soon the whole thing got officialized with another post of Jered it was time to roll:

And now it’s official: the #yolomites5000 will take place the weekend of September 10/11. (For lots more info click on the link in my profile!) The goal will be Saturday, September 10, but if it rains like hell and Sunday looks nice – we will ride Sunday. We will be here the week leading up to it staying at the @ustariaposta in Badia (Sept 5-9), so all are welcome to come out for a fun week of riding in our favorite place. We will put together a great series of rides that takes in all the good stuff (but I can’t 100% guarantee attendance on everything during the week due to…work) The hub for everything Y5K will be the Ustaria Posta – if you’re looking for a place to stay – make a reservation now. As for the big day: Expect 120k-ish and 5000m of climbing. We can do 5000 in 100, but we also don’t want to sacrifice quality for a silly number. This is supposed to be a dream ride – an amazing, extremely challenging adventure like nothing else – on mainly pavement (90%), but definitely some dirt and gravel and singletrack. All of this is doable on a road bike with 25c tires, but you won’t be upset with 28s or 30s or 32s. Haha. You can bring a cross or gravel bike, if you like, but you don’t need knobbies or anything unless you want to impress for about .5% of the ride. Igor rides a 34×25 on this stuff, but I think he’s insane. I ride a 34×32, and I’m (mostly) content. There will be sections of road in the neighborhood of 30%, but expect most climbing to be in the 10% range – for around 5000 meters of climbing. It’s hard work, but worth it. This is not for everyone. If you can’t stand the idea of walking your bike or maybe getting muddy or banging down a steep gravel descent. Don’t even think of coming. It’s possible to ride everything, but I’m guessing 99% of participants will walk their bikes at some point. Even Igor has to walk every once in a while. Again, the vast, vast, vast portion of this ride is paved though. This is not intended to be a gravel epic. That’s for another time. This is mainly a road ride with a few dirt/gravel/singletrack connectors to put us on the absolute best roads. Una foto pubblicata da Jered Gruber (@jeredgruber) in data:

The first issue was planning a route to get 5000m of climbing in 100km. It would have been possible but that meant too many walking sections and the ride was more suited for a mountain bike. But we wanted a DROPBAR only ride! After some retouching and lifting the lenght of the ride ended on the computer at 125 km.

During my training rides I already rode all of this sections, but never all at once. It looked though already on a screen, try to image riding it.

Finally on August 7th it was the day X to go out and give it a try. What follows is a short resume of the ride:


Cycling Dolomites from Ustaria PostaStart:

The start is in front of my home at Ustaria Posta.

The setup for the recon ride:

Colnago CLX 3.0 carbon with 34×28 mounted (yes Jered, for this occasion I’ll put some companions after the 25er) with 23mm tires.

I planned the route in a way to generally avoid all main roads of the Badia valley. This way the start is already on a ‘gentle’ 10% gradient, a nice little ‘appetizer’ for the muscles in order to get ready to what comes later in the day.


Cycling Dolomites
But this also means the views are amazing since the beginning of the adventure. Short into the climb above the town of Badia you can admire the only  glacier of the Dolomites, the Marmolada at the horizon. The steep majesty Passo Fedaia ends exactly at the feet of this glacier.

Only 3,5 km into the ride we enter one of Jered’s favourite parts (video here). A steep single track, renamed by me the “Mushrooms picking section” because most of the people will need to put for the first time their feet on the ground.

A short gravel descent is coming where you may get into some nice encounters:

Or you may also be able to pass some mountain bikers:

The climb continues until we reach the Armentara meadows:

A long descent towards valley and then we will start to climb the Passo delle Erbe located at the feet of the Pütia peak (in the background of this picture):

Cycling Dolomites

Cycling Dolomites


As soon we reach the Passo delle Erbe we descent the last 4 km we climbed. We will then take a sideroad to reach the valley bottom again.

Then it’s time to deal with the Passo Furcia, at the beginning we will follow a side road only used by local farmers. A concrete section will top the 24% gradient, but it doesn’t get easier afterwards because we will remain above the 10% all the way to the top of the Passo Furcia. The Passo Furcia is our turning point. It’s not only the farthest we are away from our starting point but we are also half way of our 5000m goal.

Don’t miss this turn in La Plì de Mareo:

or in case of doubt the common rule during #YOLOmites5000 is:

 …if things get easier you turned on the wrong road …

Cycling Dolomites


Cycling Dolomites


Descending the Furcia we reach the town of Al Plan de Mareo (San Vigilio di Marebbe). It’s a nice cozy town, really inviting for a stop for lunch. Imagine you are at sea and you see sirens .. it’s some kind of trap. You will have all the extra weight from stopping in town all the way up the next hard section. It’s also the point where things become serious, let your legs beg for mercy … not your stomach. Oh yes and of course at the top of the climb there is a nice place to stop for a snack.

The climb to Jù is paved on the first part. The final 200 meters are all above 22% on gravel. Have to be honest, I had to put my feet on the ground here.

Jered knows best how to describe this nasty section:


At the top of each climb during the day we always see in the background the Sas dla Crusc mountain, just take it as your orientation point because the starting town of Badia is placed at the feet of it.

Cycling Dolomites

From the top of Jù (picture above) we descent to the town of Piculin (Piccolino) from where we will start to climb again on the other side of the valley towards Mirí. At the top we descent towards the nearby town of San Martin de Tor (San Martino). This is one of my favourite descents on a smooth paved road:

Cycling DolomitesWater?

If there is a thing we have in abundance in the Dolomites is fresh fountain water. You don’t have to worry about this, fountains are everywhere and don’t even try to go in a supermarket and buy water filled in plastic bottles. Think GREEN!

When we end in San Martino in Badia 1500m of climbing are missing to reach our 5000 goal.

Believe me that the home advantage becomes a disadvantage now. When you know what’s coming the temptation to follow the direct road towards home is huge. All the climbs starting from now are all over 10% gradient, there is a gravel section that touches again the 24%. When you see the Santa Berbura (Saint Barbara) church there are still 1000m of climbing left with 100 km into the ride. Oh .. did you notice? The Sas dla Crusc mountain is closer now:

Cycling Dolomites


Cycling Dolomites
Other 2,5 climbs are on the ‘Menù’ … and what is worse than having a flat on a concrete section with gradients above 20%?

Yes flats will be an issue, if you ride this loop alone be sure you have spare inner tubes with you … but most important, a spare tire too. The times I rode this roads I always got a flat because the tire had a cut.

For the people that will join the YOLOmites5000 event things are easier, we plan to organize some points with spare parts so that you just need to carry the essential spare parts with you.

All good things must come to an end!

Well you will be happy when you see the Sas dla Crusc mountain in front of your eyes, this means you only have a quick descent towards Ustaria Posta, the starting point, where we will wait you with food, drinks, beers and everything an ‘adventurer’ needs

Cycling Dolomites

Course details breakdown:

distances are in km:

  • 0.0 to 3,6:  paved (UP)
  • 3.6 to 4,5:  single track (UP & hilly)
  • 4,5 to 5,5:  gravel (DOWN)
  • 5,5 to 7,5:  paved (UP)
  • 7,5 to 9,6:  gravel (UP)
  • 9,6 to 13,6:  gravel (DOWN)
  • 13,6 to 16,1:  paved (DOWN)
  • 16,1 to 16,4:  gravel (UP)
  • 16,4 to 24,5:  paved (DOWN)
  • 24,5 to 39,3:  paved (UP)
  • 39,3 to 54,1:  paved (DOWN)
  • 54,1 to 67,4:  paved (UP)
  • 67,4 to 69,6:  gravel (DOWN)
  • 69,6 to 73,5:  paved (DOWN)
  • 73,5 to 76,6:  paved (UP)
  • 76,6 to 77,4:  gravel (UP)
  • 77,4 to 82,8:  paved (DOWN)
  • 82,8 to 88,9:  paved (UP)
  • 88,9 to 93,8:  paved (DOWN)
  • 93,8 to 94,5:  gravel (DOWN)
  • 94,5 to 97,4:  paved (UP)
  • 97,4 to 99,0:  gravel (UP)
  • 99,0 to 100,5:  paved (DOWN)
  • 100,5 to 101,7:  gravel/single track (UP)
  • 101,7 to 106,3:  paved (DOWN)
  • 106,3 to 110,2:  paved (UP)
  • 110,2 to 112,5:  gravel (DOWN)
  • 112,5 to 115,7:  paved (UP)
  • 115,7 to 119,5:  gravel (UP)
  • 119,5 to 121,0:  gravel (DOWN)
  • 121,0 to 124,5:  paved (DOWN)
  • 124,5 to 125,3:  paved (UP)
  • 125,3 to 126:  gravel (FLAT)
  • 126 to 127,8:  paved (DOWN)

Total paved road uphill: 53,7 km
Total paved road downhill: 51,0 km

Total gravel road uphill:11,4 km
Total gravel road downhill: 11,7 km

#YOLOmites5000 recon ride on Strava:

#YOLOmites5000 GPX: download here

 #YOLOmites5000 on Relive: view it


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  1. Scott Miller 24 December 2018 at 15:17 #

    When will sign up for 2019 occur? This looks wonderful!!!!

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