How old are you, what do you do/ or used to do?
I am 56 years old, I am an architect and a mountain bike guide.
Why do you call yourself ‘Nonno Carb’?
It is my nickname on mtb-forum.it
, ‘carb’ like the carbon of my bike and I’ve become an honorary ‘nonno’ (=gran pa) since I turned 50!
How long have you been riding and how did your great passion for mtb start? Was it a specific moment or did it happen over the course of time?
I started in 2000 with a racing bike and in 2005 with a mountain bike because I wanted to first explore all of the paths around Merano and then in all of Alto Adige.
Meranobike.it. How long have you been following this project?
The site www.meranobike.it
was created about 10 years ago to gather all of my experiences on bike, you can find itineraries, videos, pictures and a lot of advice on riding mountain bikes in Alto Adige and even beyond the province.
When did you decide to quit your "normal" job and live off of your MTB?
For a couple of years I have been working less as an architect and more as a guide for mountain biking, I have more time for my family and my passion.
You’re very well known in Italy? How do you explain this?
Because, for me, mountain biking is a huge passion, I like exploring and sharing the new paths that I discover with everyone. Also, I write many travel articles on mountain biking and I take a lot of pictures, including many pictures of myself, which have gained moderate attention. I am the editor of Mtb-mag.com.
You use a fatbike a lot and you seem very confident. Do you think the fatbike is a real competitor for mtb?
Rather than a competitor, it offers a different opportunity than the mtb. The fatbike was made for snow and sand, but it also works well on summer paths. It is by far the most fun bike I have ever tried.
If you had to decide between a fatbike, a 29er hardtail, a racing bike or an Enduro 27.5, which would you choose?
I have had all of these types of bikes, but ever since I tried the fatbike, I only go out with that one and I have sold all of the others. It is not the absolute best bike, but it is surely the most multi-faceted, I can do everything with this one bike, from asphalted paths to snow excursions!
You live in Merano: what is your favourite itinerary and why?
When clients come to Merano I often bring them to Merano 2000 to take a tour of the mountain shelters and the European trail towards Bolzano up to the Omini di pietra (little stone men). It’s the most fun and panoramic itinerary there is.
And in the rest of Alto Adige? And the rest of Italy?
For 15 years now, I have been spending my summer and winter holidays in Alta Val Pusteria in Dobbiaco. When I bring my clients to discover the plateau of Prato Piazza, and its trails and the magnificent panoramas of the Dolomites, they are always satisfied. Throughout the rest of Italy, I really like Isola d’Elba, where you can take off from the sea and go on beautiful, tough mountain trails.
On your website you can see lots of advice about itineraries. Do you ever have qualms about showing itineraries with regards to landowners, etc?
In my opinion, if a trail is public, anyone should be able to pass through it, the important thing is to have respect for excursionists, to always stop and say hello.
You know that in Austria, and in other Italian regions, not everyone is as fortunate as us to be able to go around on almost every trail. Do you think formal legalisation is needed or do you think that the best thing is to leave everything as is? What do you think about Laces and Naturno where they are trying to indicate bike trails?
In Val Venosta they are surely doing a great job with the paths and mtb development, but in my opinion everyone should be able to be free to ride and discover any path. At this moment it is legal to go everywhere and this is how it should be, with reciprocal respect and, naturally, with the exception of paths in Nature parks and those where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic.
How did the idea for Xtreme come about?
The Alto Adige/Südtirol Xtreme bike trail is the first completely self-sufficient mountain bike adventure that takes place in Alto Adige. The formula is very simple: you sign up, you receive a track to upload to your GPS, you get on your bike and follow the track to the end! Every participant is free to follow the path they prefer and to stop when and where they please to eat and sleep. This type of adventure was created in America a couple of years ago, you don’t run against adversaries, but you must try to win the challenge against yourself!
The course runs through all of Alto Adige from west to east, from Ortles to the Dolomites, from Val Venosta to Val Pusteria. Altogether there are 500 km and 12,000 metres of incline. It will begin on 11th July.
14. Do you also organize other events?
In February, I organize the “Snow fat bike adventure”, a self-sufficient adventure in the snow at Merano 2000. In March, I organize the “Nonnocarb invitational” a free-ride rally between Merano and Val Venosta to celebrate spring (and my birthday) and in June I organize an all-mountain rally on the paths around Merano. Throughout the year, I organize full-day or longer guided tours in all of Alto Adige.