In Flanders, cycling is sacred. For every road, there is a bike route running right alongside it. So, what better tribute to this region's culture of cycling than the Tour of Flanders?
For Giulia Candiago – former member of the Italian national Alpine ski team, TV sports commentator and FIS communication coordinator – spending a day on gravel bike is a unique opportunity to discover lesser known itineraries, because the Veneto region, where Giulia was born is full of many gorgeous hidden areas.
One such trail is located in the province of Treviso and recalls the memory of Robert Browning, actress Eleonora Duse and sculptor Antonio Canova. This little piece of the Marca Gioiosa is crossed by the Sentieri degli Ezzelini trails, an ecological route created in 2012.
The three artists can be considered its noble fathers, and the places they belonged to delimit its northern section from Asolo almost all the way to Possagno.
But the Sentieri degli Ezzelini trails are actually described as running along the Muson and the Lastego rivers, two streams that descend Monte Grappa, clearly defining the route’s natural character. Although the towns delimiting the northern part of the trails have been swallowed up in an administrative grouping called Pieve del Grappa, their names are familiar to cycling lovers: Paderno del Grappa and Crespano del Grappa.
Here, cyclists have become so much a part of the landscape that it’s practically impossible to take a photo of the Temple of Canova in Possagno without immortalizing a cyclist resting after a hard pedal up the hill. Alongside the traditional routes that are so popular with road cyclists, there are plenty of trails branching off of the Sentieri degli Ezzelini. The mixed nature of these smaller paths requires the use of a gravel bike.
Giulia Candiago rode one for her day exploring mixed routes, much of which was dirt. She chose a Jena Hybrid as her travel companion. The carbon gravel bike has a light pedal assistance system that gives an electric boost to pedalling. She chose the e-gravel because she needed to spend the summer regenerating, getting plenty of physical activity without overdoing it and because she knows that the muscles used most in cycling are different from those she uses when skiing, and are therefore more easily fatigued.
Her aim was to prevent ruining a pleasurable day exploring an area given new life by the creation of the trails by excessive physical effort. This is the concept behind a hybrid bicycle and the Jena Hybrid in particular: to eliminate the strain that can make cycling overly tiring and to fully enjoy the nature and landscapes offered by trails like the Sentieri degli Ezzelini.