The Dolomites have a special place in our hearts. Hence when we were told to do a photoshoot of the new Ruut lineup, there was almost no discussion where we should head to. Add probably the best season of the year, and you have a recipe for the perfect settings. After a short flight and picking up the car from the rental agency, we were ready to hit the road. And some gravel, of course. Unboxing the new toys is always exciting. Especially when the boxes hide brand new gravel bikes from Rondo – Ruuts are here to shine and shred the roads less ridden.
The first day, great weather and old places – these initial meters on new bikes, in the middle of the forest whet our appetites. We want more, it seems like there is a hidden miss for mother nature inside of us that yells to be released. We won’t disturb this inner voice, it’s now or never to live the life to the fullest here in the Dolomites, here in this mindblowing autumnal scenography. It’s refreshing to enjoy the tranquillity not only in our bodies but in our heads too.
After a huge pot of Gnocchi prepared by our chef-model Chris we are ready to face the next hidden gem from our pocket – Passo Rolle awaits. You can’t go wrong with this place; it’s just spectacular. Tons of pro-photos, enjoying the sunset and gravel downhill through the night with the lights on – this is how we do it, that is what we live for. Our eyes are watering, and we just don’t know whether it’s from the cold and speed or just from the pure emotions. We have been given the best toys, sent to one of the best playgrounds out there, with the best mates – get that?
Sella Ronda is like a pilgrimage for every cyclist who loves mountains. A relatively short distance is filled with ascents and descents. Combined with the views and that’s it – probably one of the best cycling loops in Europe. But how about the gravel version of Sella Ronda? Sounds good? Don’t be fooled ,though, easier said than done. After a peaceful beggining of a trail we faced a serious hike-a-bike part - taking a shortcut often means a complete opposite. Sometimes we’re walking on thin ice, having a giant stone wall from one side and a vast abyss from the other. Eventually, we find some premium photo spots, having a proper flow on trails that were probably not designed for bikers.
Cakes, water straight from the stream, and moving on to another location this day – Passo Pordoi. More gravel and more hike-a-bike - choosing the path off the beaten track often means a lot of pushing. But who cares? Looking around just let us know that the game is worth the candle. The Marmolada Glacier is looking at us from the other side of the valley, so as do the Fedaia lake. More shots and more drifting on downhills – yet another perfect day.
Day three and we are on the Pordoi Pass at the crack of dawn, waiting for the sun to come. It will be a long day. There is one great advantage of getting up that early – you have plenty of time to enjoy cycling. We’re not in a hurry today. After a lazy but fruitful photo session we’re heading to our second destination, the real pearl in the crown of the whole #yolomites – Tre Cime di Lavaredo. But first let us do a little pasta-party and a nap on a lawn - well needed and deserved. An obligatory espresso, and we’re ready to meet the famous giants. Tarmac, gravel, beaten paths, smooth trails – just a piece of cake for our steeds. Weissbier on top? Never tasted so good.
There are no proper words to describe the beauty of the Tre Cime. We are stoked. Almighty and steady, seem like the guardians, here to serve and protect you from the world. Be humble, though, one false move and you end up in the bushes of the valleys. In the meantime, the sun is going to set. The next day, next sunset, this time a combo with the sunrise on Pordoi earlier this day. Proper #sunchasingteam. A little night-downhill-riding never killed anybody too. A couple of hours behind the wheel coming back home, and we’ll be sleeping like dogs.
On the last day, we decided to do the Passo Rolle one more time. Fewer kilometers this time, the previous days already put a toll on us. Did I mention Chris is our team’s chef? Today’s menu: Penne all‘arrabbiata and Tiramisu dessert. Not eating the whole plate at one go was harder than any previous hike-a-bike. Much harder.
This time we’re choosing the gravel path to reach the well-known pass. Great weather, great company, great bikes. Sounds like an excellent plan for the last day. After reaching the top, we have time to eat and rest for a bit. The sun is hidden in the clouds but we are waiting patiently. What we saw, though, was entirely beyond our biggest expectations. One of the best sunsets we’ve ever witnessed, with the colossal cloud we ended up in, sheep on the hills and the colors to remember. Gnashed with teeth, we’re thrilled with nature’s show, out of this world. Using just a small front lamp, we rush down , cutting through the darkness. We don’t know how we deserve this lot of beatuy, but we’re greatful. We’re greatful not only for this but for the whole opportunity to BE THERE as well. When you do something with pure passion, it always pays off, sooner or later. Just be humble and patient.