On the first day, the team headed down many twists and turns and made their way up the Mendola Pass, offering a small taste of what was yet to come. The skies were crystal clear and the weather perfect so the few flat tires and scraps from minor bike accidents didn’t phase the riders. Throughout the day, the team got to know one another while enjoying the amazing landscape they found themselves in. Heading by Lake Caldaro, the team jumped into the cool waters for a pleasant afternoon of swimming after the first day of riding.
Day two, however, was a bit more challenging. The team hit the road full of vigor and strength, but try as they might the mountains got the best of them. A grueling climb of 3,600 meters was undertaken, demanding every bit of their will and strength. Everyone gave it their best, but in the end their steel wheels had to be traded in for more mechanized ones from an automobile. The intensity of this route cannot be stressed enough and even the most experienced riders walk away in tears.
Later on in the day, the team made it to another lake and enjoyed the surreal experience of passing below long stretches of mountain-topped rose gardens. To top off the day’s events, riders sampled some of the local cooking including the traditional sweet kaiserschmarrn, followed by a round of applause for Dan Zoubek, the lone team member who was able to ride the full route.
Day three was practically like a dream. Now that they had gotten to know each other, the team rode in clean formation, pedaling away like a well-oiled machine. The route was anything but inhuman. The views brought beaming smiles and lifted everyone’s spirits. As the team reached their destination, a lovely mountain hotel, they were ready to keep riding, but also looked forward to having the next day off.
With time to kill on day four, the team did what any sensible person in the mountains would do – jump off cliffs. The morning was spent gaining altitude and trying out paragliding, a new experience for everyone. After that it was on to a relaxed mountain side picnic and some scenic hiking at an elevation of 2,240 meters. To put a finer touch on things, the team had a special one-on-one tutorial with renowned chef Norbert Niederkofler at the Michelin star-rated restaurant St. Hubertus. A fine meal followed to mark to the end of the special day off.
Stay tuned for future updates regarding the project through #adidasjourneys and #suedtirol. For more impressions of the tour, visit the official adidas Journeys webpage and check in for daily recaps here.
Photography: Paolo Martelli, Henrik Kürschner and Frederik Frede