Being called a rouleur is not exactly a compliment, at least in the world of professional cycling: the rouleur is the first line of attack (or defense) in major races, who is bound to disappear when the finish line is in sight or when the road starts to climb. You might say, wrongly, that the rouleur plays the role of the second lead or, as they used to say, the water carrier. Despite this, rouleurs take on a new role when they become touring cyclists: when they enter that phase in which it is certainly necessary to cycle but it is equally important to pause and observe what is around them and appreciate the sensations that only the bicycle is able to offer. That moment when you enjoy the instant in which fatigue lets you discover things you’ve never seen before.
The ideal environment for the rouleur is the open plain, where bell towers once more play the role that has always fallen to them: as reference points for those traveling that flatland. However, if you had to choose a place in Italy that is the “Rouleur’s Paradise“, the task would be simple: The Park of the Po Delta, a wonderful environment in which the land blends with water, until the fateful moment in which it finally disappears in the sea. Those lands extending from Papozze to Sacca degli Scardovari, in Veneto and in Emilia, from Argenta to Valli di Comacchio.
These lands are protected by UNESCO, where it is still possible to cross areas which retain an aura of the unexplored: where you feel like you are its first visitor. However, no matter how you reach the Delta, it takes just a glance at the surrounding landscape to understand how the bicycle is the perfect means of transport. Indeed, one could argue that nowhere else but the Po Delta was created specially for the bicycle and of course for the rouleur, who ascends to the role of the perfect touring cyclist, one who is in perfect harmony with all that is around him.
Here, smooth asphalt and embankment roads dominate everything and give the feeling of being above the world without necessarily having to ascend the Iseran Pass or the Stelvio Pass. Simultaneously, there is the possibility to advance in what is the final horizon of freedom for the perfect cyclist: travelling along very long stretches of dirt between holm oaks, where you hear only the whoosh of grass, the wind and the noise that most reassures the person pedalling: the thin crackle of the mechanics of the perfect bike.
THE BIKE OF THIS ARTICLE
Jena: Free to choose
Jena is a new carbon gravel bike, designed to give you more freedom of choice when you go out for a ride. Jena was designed to satisfy any of your needs, whether it is performance on dirt roads and single track, or adventure, exploration, and bikepacking.
Jena is a light, reactive, and easy-to-handle bike with racing-comfort geometries, and able to adapt to the multiple uses required of a gravel bike.