I participated in the Lessinia AdvenTour: a funny thing that I will never do again.

Impeccable organization, exciting routes, good table, beautiful places: the Lessinia AdvenTour has all the right ingredients. Yet for me something should change in the way we participate in these initiatives.

Per citare Dadvid Foster Wallace, the Lessinia AdvenTour is “a funny thing that I will never do again”. At least as it is. But I start from the beginning. The LAT is a beautiful event on the road and above all off-road that unravels from the Benacense hills to the highest point of the Natural Park of the Lessini Mountains and return. Domenica 28/08 the second edition took place with 95 starters including myself, even honored with the bib 00 that of who opens the dances stuck on Furia, my little Himalayan completely standard (tires included…). This is because I saw the initiative born and I helped those who organize in the early stages to make the first edition known. I felt like a godfather, come on: it's a good idea (lead to visit these places on off-beaten paths) and the guys from the motorcycle club are really smart.

Eight in the morning, the paddock is filling up

To chase me with the number 1, just to say, two Dakarian veterans like Picco and Zocchi. And yes, the chase lasted just a couple of corners, then bye, I chewed dust and gravel God forbid. Also because the numbers are only used to group the participants as it is not a competition but a “adventurous tour”. Forse, however,, this distinction is not always clear to everyone either, perhaps, when the helmet is pressed on the temples, the vein closes and that's it. O, perhaps, it's just me who, as always, misunderstanding.

Here I am at the start with Buz and Alex's Travel: different bikes, different goals, different experiences and different stories.

I said good event and it's true, in the sense that from an organizational point of view, there is nothing to say, the ESR motorcycle club went out of its way and thought of everything. They have been exceptional. The routes were really beautiful and exciting with easier sections alternating with mule tracks, loose stones and some enduro passages other than tourers. It's not a casuality, perciò, that even if it is called “AdvenTour” and therefore refers to the disciplina dell’Adventouring, the participants were almost all in Dakar trim and among them there were also several specialist studios. Even those with maxi – the vast majority – they all looked like factory pilots. I think it is right and right to come prepared, but certainly the impression you get from outside seeing and hearing this dusty horde arrive is definitely not what a passer-by would consider a happy tourist trip. How many, precisely, a professional rally.

Despite the efforts of the organizers to emphasize the tourism dimension of the initiative – complete with an interesting break with a visit to the Strong Treasure commencement military outpost 900 – it seemed to me only to the other participants (in general and generalizing) cared then a great deal. “Beautiful places, drink fast” they said, but I challenge most of them to tell me on the fly without consulting the itinerary the name of one of the tiny villages we passed through.

I stop on the road to the Podesteria, the most beautiful point. Only Buz and I felt the need to do it.

Like the one of Monte, fraction of Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, which in spite of its name is on a gentle hill. We got there by a path between the vineyards with a fairly demanding climb that then became asphalted between the properties and the stone houses. And there I found a gentleman waiting for me who, civilly, he upset me with his grievances. The other participants, more experienced obviously, they slipped away and I instead stopped to listen. We passed under his window and he had not been notified of the demonstration. No is that you can warn anyone, but the club asked for all permits and hung up warning signs, as I reminded him invested in the role of the devil's advocate. He evidently knew nothing about it, it can happen. “You are doing violence to nature” – he repeated to me. I tried to explain to him that it was one moreover, an event authorized almost exclusively on driveways and that there we were not yet inside the natural park where, moreover, we had received the permit and local and forest authorities were waiting for us and then following us on sight (and with the block in hand). The bikes are all registered, with the paid stamp and insurance and are on the road, we are not criminals!

I apologized for the understandable hassle of having nearly a hundred bikes cracking your eardrums while you're at home but it's a boredom of a few minutes and occurs for one day a year. In short, I didn't think I needed to exaggerate. I knew I was right, but I also understood his annoyance and I mulled over it in the following kilometers as I climbed through the woods like a goat on the Himalayan.

Monte Tomba awaits us, at the Primaneve Refuge they are already buttering our gnocchi di malga.

The others passed me without skimping to show me their skidding skills, throw stones at me, zomping over the stones, splashing the puddles and making me feel the sound of their exhaust for good ... obviously homologated, vero?

I could only agree that with our attitude we were still committing violence as the gentleman said e this fueled my discomfort. In my small way I was contributing to this even though my bike was probably the quietest and without a shadow of a doubt the slowest and most harmless one..

First party, I soon found myself in “last position”. I was going even slower than conditions (and tires) forced me to do, I wanted to take a good look at where I was, record as much beauty as possible. This delayed me on schedule and when I got to lunch, many were already on their way to the next stage. We must hurry! Run! Run!

Once inside the park, albeit slowing everyone down and proceeding in small groups, I met the eyes of those who were trekking. I've been through there thousands of times because you can, it is a road, but I have never felt so much hatred. Not everyone, for charity, but by many. We are so ugly and bad? Perhaps the first, not quite the latter. But on the other hand, where is tourism? And the discovery? Maybe my driving skills prevented me from being so loose that I didn't have my eyes fixed on the pitfalls of the terrain in front of my wheels.. But also for the best to do 160 and whistles almost all kilometers off the road does not leave the time to look around, to stop, to take a picture or just enjoy what you are doing. Especially at the rate at which many of them were doing it…

A nice passage through the vineyards going back down towards Valpolicella.

Even because most of them didn't have the slightest intention of stopping, not even to drink because they all had camel backs. So it's the Dakar? They say they participate because they love to discover new places in the middle of nature in company and sometimes it seems to me the same thing that hunters say. I am not saying that there is no truth, but come on we are not hypocrites, it is certainly not the most consistent way to “experience contact with nature”. To most of the participants in these enduras (I dare not say all of them, for charity) mainly interests show off your enduro skills, show that they have handle, who put themselves behind the others and vent their rally ambitions. What that, of course, beyond common sense (and highway code) it's not a crime ... Only let's not all pretend to be little angels and let's not even talk about tourism or nature please.

Then surely there are the company, to sympathy, good time spent at the table talking about motorcycles but also about motorcycles or motorcycles. Every now and then we also talk about motorcycles in fact. No comment on the places? Ah Si, “drink fast, drink fast”.

Yet there is something to thank (and I do, so), the ESR motorcycle club because it gave us the opportunity to see hidden corners and glimpses that not only a stranger has never seen, but I, too, who come here often, have never had the opportunity to see also why we passed on some private roads or roads that are normally closed to traffic. So thank you!

You can do it off road with the Himalayan? Certo, but don't be like me: change her tires!

In short you have fun, unleash your passion, you tell yourself that basically you're not doing anything wrong, that every now and then they have to let you vent this is what burns you inside and that with you there is only a few desk mates a little’ too noisy.

Then you get to the end, you pass under the checkered flag and there the satisfaction fills your chest for having completed a challenging course.

Not even the moment of enjoying this moment that I almost get hit by the others who pass me by accelerating, scouring and practically plowing the football field hosting our goal. Because? Why this useless havoc?

A satisfied participant approaches the organizers and there thanks for the “splendid competition. As a competition? Not C’ it's no ranking… We weren't here to do some tourism? Surely his was a benevolent slip, but it made me fall back into discomfort because yes, lo ammetto, as a motorcyclist I also enjoyed myself and therefore with a certain embarrassment, as a lover of the mountains and a bit of peace’ I'm ashamed of it.

That's why the Lessinia AdvenTour (and I repeat Tour, not Adventure as many call it…) and for me “a funny thing that I will never do again”, at least as long as the conditions are these. Really pity, but I don't see myself in this interpretation. Good luck and good road to all.

This funny shot made me the good Buz, whom I thank for the wonderful company and for sharing this experience with me
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