Omero participated in the first edition of the Seven Serpents Gravel, completing the 800 km course in four days, through killer elevation gains and intensely demanding trails.
“It was really tough. Especially because, being the first edition, there were no reference points. The road was a constant discovery; only those who designed the course were aware of the actual difficulties that lay ahead. We would come across climbs that were so bumpy that we were forced to continue up on foot with our bikes on our backs. There were some really challenging moments which, in all honesty, I was already expecting.
I went into the Seven Serpents Gravel with the right mental attitude: I knew it would be hard, so I tried to face the race with a positive mindset. I tackled these four days head on, not only with the physical preparation that 800 kilometres off-road require but, most of all, with great optimism and the desire to enjoy the beauty of the landscapes that I knew we would come across. Eight-hundred kilometres of uncontaminated nature and spectacular views definitely helped enormously in completing the adventure”.
Then again, because of its nature as a “self-supported bikepacking challenge”, the Seven Serpents Gravel immediately reveals the desire of all those participating to push their athletic limits to the extreme.
“It’s a test best met if during preparation you force yourself to pedal much longer than what you’re used to. When training, it’s important to push yourself further and further so as to be able to overcome any issues you may run into along the way.
You also need to be ready to deal with the need to find a safe place to spend the night and to manage your food and liquids, because you are going to be burning a lot of calories and requiring a lot of water. In this sense, you’re going to need to keep a clear head in every circumstance, even when you’re done pedalling, because that is when the logistical problems begin and need solving.
To maintain this clarity it’s important to push your body beyond its usual limits when preparing. It is key for completing the challenge”.
But regardless of the extreme physical effort, the participants do not hide their awe for the rugged charm of the 800 km that separate Ljubljana from Trieste.
“The Seven Serpents Gravel is a one-of-a-kind experience. You get the distinct feeling that for 800 km nature reigns supreme. It’s just endless thick woodlands and wilderness. Then, when the fatigue is at its peak, there suddenly appears a view of the sea from high up. So, even when you were close to exhaustion, the beauty of the panoramas was the most rewarding thing you could imagine.
At the end of this experience I can safely say that, despite the struggles to climb those rugged roads with my Jena, what stuck in my mind was the immense satisfaction of making it up there and enjoying landscapes that were positively breath-taking. And I think that this is the true ultimate goal of the Seven Serpents Gravel: that old – but always valid – adage that the harder you work to obtain something, the better and the more indelible the reward will be”.
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