Gravel biking in the Dolomites: #YOLOmites5000 – the “fifth”

So many coincidences related to the number 5 this year:

  • 5th edition of the #YOLOmites5000
  • 5000 meters of elevation gain
  • 5th September 2020

What else is missing? Maybe the soundtrack for this gravel adventure in the Dolomites. Obviously, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is perfectly tailored to the event and to the meters of elevation gain that must be covered (ta da da daaaaaaaaaaa):

Beethoven – Symphony No. 5

The high and low sounds of this symphony express the emotions and feelings we experienced during this 125 km long tour on secondary roads in Val Badia. Our route leads us on enchanting gravel roads, through cozy mountain villages, and typical farms.

First movement: Allegro con brio

We start with “Allegro con brio” … with enthusiasm and joy! This is the right way to start every smooth group ride.
It’s quite chilly, standing outside and waiting for the start signal. Finally, the time has come: Let’s go! The adrenaline rush is a great help to manage the first climb of 20%.

#YOLOmites5000 la prima rampa in salita
100 meters after the start, the first 22% climb

“Allegro con brio” lasts about 25 km, until we reach the characteristic church of “Santa Berbura” in La Val.

Santa Berbura - La Val
“Santa Berbura” church in La Val

A holy moment: we take a deep breath and continue our musical way.

Second movement: Andante con moto

Don’t worry, no one has a motor-assisted bike! We use pure muscle-power to pedal our gravel bikes forward.
The initial “brio” slowly disappears, the “allegro” becomes “andante.” We realize that we should slow down and save energy if we want to reach the finish line.

From now on, the group is trying to keep a steady tempo, in order to get soon to the well-deserved lunch.

Canederli di spinaci
Ladin carbs … spinach dumplings

Third movement: Scherzo. Allegro

The Italian word “Scherzo” means joke! A fast-moving humorous ride starts with a 20% climb. The orchestra conductor directs the cyclists in a zig-zag rhythm, in order to create a classical music performance.

This is the moment when some of us may think about quitting and taking a shortcut. Only a quick look at the panorama around us make us think positively again and let us forget the effort. You look for your cycling friend’s support, and together you keep going.

Gravel road in the Dolomites

Fourth movement: Allegro

Someone might think that the last movement of the symphony is represented by returning to the starting place. This is not the case at the #YOLOmites5000. The “Allegro” (= cheerful) starts at the beginning of today’s last climb. By now, after conquering 4300 meters of elevation gain, no one thinks about quitting at this point. Everyone collects all his motivation and as a big orchestra, we keep going and play festive tones. Finally, we reach the top of the last hill. Even if at this stage we are all thinking: “who made me do it” and “never again”, we know, we will come back for sure.

The concert is over and we go back home with sounds and rhythms in our heads. An adventure that no one will ever forget, and who will bring us together again to cycle on the Dolomites gravel roads.

Gravel sulle Dolomiti 
#YOLOmites5000 il finale
Sunset at the Armentara meadows

Program in the concert hall:

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