Video: “Connection” – A Pro MTB Reunion in The Pale Mountains
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In a sport framed by racing headlines and earnest personal bests, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the more humble, down to earth rewards of mountain biking: the sense of escape we seek; a chance to bond with nature; the sense of community group rides deliver. But in a world reshaped and restricted by a tiny virus, it seems it’s these simple values that have been too easily lost. The echo of cheers as you try to clean a line, and the laughter when you fail; the feeling of being chased down a trail and the buzz of chasing; the trail snack excuse for a trailside rest and the post ride beer reflection on a day out. All have been conspicuous by their absence for the last 20 months.
But as our social lives stumble to their feet once more, we should need no excuse to re-connect with friends, and riding bikes sure seems like a good way to underpin that reconnection.
And so under the guise of a Pro Gear video project and component testing session, the Italian Dolomites location of Canazei became the landing ground for a huddle of friends that, long separated by the uneasy mix of borders and pandemic-restrictions, finally met up again. Over dinner we swapped lockdown stories and raised glasses to being reunited before plotting lines on maps to be explored in the adventure-filled days ahead. Here among some of Europe’s steepest, sharpest and most photogenic peaks, we found countless chances to share our awe of the big mountains and our collective love for the adventure that inescapably comes with riding in such terrain.
And we rekindled that lost connection in the best way we know: by riding dusty trails together.
Photographs – Dan Milner
Video – H+I Adventures