For the most demanding mountain bikers, Santa Caterina Valfurva is undoubtedly a popular destination.
With its narrow and technical paths, very often with breathtaking views of the glaciers of the Forni group, Santa Caterina Valfurva and the neighboring valleys offer many alternatives for freeriding , on natural tracks and little (or none) softened by mechanical means.
Very often you find yourself having to face tracks with many ups and downs, more or less exposed, to reach the start of thrilling descents. These are not routes for everyone, but the more capable bikers will be able to savor the most intense taste of fun in the saddle of a mountain bike.
The classic example is Passo Zebrù which can be reached from Santa Caterina along the paved road - but with steep slopes - which leads to the Rifugio dei Forni ( 2,200 m asl). We then continue along the entire Cedec valley, up to the Pizzini refuge (2,700 m a.s.l.), where a refreshing break is a must and where the surrounding panorama deserves a careful look.
There are only two kilometers and 300 m in altitude to reach the Passo Zebrù (3,000 m a.s.l.).
The descent is long and in the first section very technical and difficult (a particular point deserves a lot of attention as a narrow and impervious gorge prohibits bikers from getting off the saddle). The rest of the Val Zebrù is pleasant and flowing. Once you arrive at the Baite del Pastore, a wide dirt road leads towards Bormio in a protected and well-kept natural landscape.
The Dosso Tresero instead overlooks Santa Caterina Valfurva and can be reached in two different ways: via the bridge of the cows and along a very sloping path, which requires you to push or take the MTB for several minutes, or via the road that leads to Passo Gavia and taking the path that starts from the Berni refuge to return towards Santa Caterina.
The descent can be done along the Romantica route: a path that takes you back to the village via an infinity (it is said close to 100) of hairpin bends, very technical but very fun.
For a short time now, due to the inexorable retreat of the glaciers, it is possible to ride the low glaciological path on mountain bike, which starting from the Branca refuge > cuts across the valley and remains a few hundred meters from the edges of perennial snow on the Forni glacier. The particularity of the route is the crossing of two Tibetan bridges, erected to cross the gorges carved by the waters. The return to Santa Caterina Valfurva is on narrow single trails and at times exposed, but very enjoyable.
Without considering the obvious connection between Santa Caterina Valfurva and Bormio by MTB, which can also take place on dirt roads halfway up the slope, there are also connections with the lower Valtellina, via the Passo dell'Alpe which connects Santa Caterina with Sondalo and Tirano. Another connection widely used in transalps on mountain bike - multi-day tours that take bikers from Germany to Lake Garda - is through the Gavia Pass and then along the Valle di Face to get to Pejo and Dimaro.