Sundrenched days with dusty trails disappearing towards the horizon—experiences that prove a powerful catalyst in considering the relationship we can enjoy with our natural world—a relationship that can transcend the purely physical act of riding a bike with the beauty our senses behold.
Part narrative, part poetic call-to-arms, the following account explores the connections between movement and freedom, between simple pleasures and those moments of shared happiness.
It’s the 15th August 2020 and a team of four athletes passionate about sport, nature, photography and visual arts get together to start a 250km bikepacking adventure along the Alta Via of the Ligurian Alps.
Nico, Dave, Marco and Marci take the train from Milan to Ronco Scrivia to begin the trail.
Their bikes and tents are packed and they’re equipped with everything they need to spend seven days sleeping in the mountains.
"Nature is addictive. Our souls responding to beautiful landscapes
with an immediate sense of peace."
"Nature is addictive. Our souls responding to beautiful landscapes with an immediate sense of peace."
The ride proves very difficult—a steep uphill brings them to the first base camp. The tent is settled, the fire is roaring and the food is on the go to set them up for a next stage of their journey.
Another day, another tough uphill is waiting for them—each working extremely hard to reach the end of the stage. The path alternates between hills, mountains, rivers, and amazing little Italian villages where they stop to get food and water for the journey.
The team is close-knit, and it allows them to overcome issues and troubles, to face the toughest climbs of their lives. The trail is extremely bumpy and sometimes they find it necessary to get off their bikes so they can carry them on their backs.
Right there, during these moments, ESPLORA was born.
The collective consciousness of nature, highlights the necessity to go back to the essential—primary needs such as food, water, clothes and gears. This consciousness awakens a strong curiosity that makes them want to discover and understand their surroundings beyond physical and mental struggles.
Seven days and six nights to tackle the 6000 meters of altitude, and every day ending with the Milky Way waiting for them in the sky—filling their souls with immense gratitude.
Effort and pain have been a constant element during this adventure, but breathtaking landscapes, funny moments and the profound happiness the team shared made it all worth while.
Explore nature’s energy. Feel its vibrations and let them guide you: let your true self leave your body and become part of your surroundings.
"Our ears free to listen. Our eyes free to see.
The joy of the silence and scenery."
"Our ears free to listen. Our eyes free to see. The joy of the silence and scenery."
“I want to live like this,
with the sun on my face
and happy I sing,
I want to live and enjoy
the mountain’s breeze,
cause this charm
[quote taken from an old Italian song called
“Voglio Vivere Così”of the artist “Claudio Villa”]