For those who love cycling, adventure and, more generally, the outdoors, the idea of conquering epic mountains is certainly a strong driving force.
For years one of my main motivations has been the desire to explore some of the most remote places in the world, and to do so in the season I love most: winter. This undoubtedly was the reason, I sought out this path that would lead me to discover some of the most fascinating areas of the Asian continent, along the Himalayan belt in Nepal. One of the things that pushed me most was my curiosity about places such as the Mustang area (the last Tibetan bastion on Nepalese soil) which I had learned about through Terzani's stories and some spectacular documentaries.
Just like other adventures, once I was set on my legendary destination (Everest Base Camp), I began to study a route that would meet certain criteria: to keep me as busy as possible (at the end of the day, it would be 19 days of cycling) and to wind through the Mustang and Annapurna areas before climbing the Khumbu valley towards Everest BC.
At that point, having planned the route on komoot, I began to study the type of terrain on which I would have to move and I chose the most ideal means of transport to deal with it: a mountain bike.
My equipment choice had to reflect the big challenges around climate and changing weather conditions, dealing with the altitude, the arid and dry (but snowless) areas and the huge temperature shifts between 5000 meters above sea level and the lower valleys through which I would have to pedal.
The daily routine of an adventure comes into full swing after the first two days, when you acquire the rhythms and times of the places you are moving through. I've always found it relatively easy to adapt because you basically follow the rhythms of the day and light. Wake up, quick breakfast, and then off you go – putting adrenaline and emotions into your system is the best way to warm up!
The 8-10 hours spent in the saddle pedaling, taking photos and looking for the next place to stop, defined my days.
When I finally approached Everest Base Camp and the world's highest mountain began to emerge in front of me, I found myself mentally retracing the steps that led me there – taking my bike to one of the world's most symbolic places. I relived the years of sacrifices, the bets with myself, the doubts and difficulties.
I was moved, without shame, thinking about all this and it was natural to have Sara, my partner, there with me in spirit. She was the first to believe that all this would be possible one day.
This motivation was enough to go on, even in the most difficult moments: the memory of what has been and where you started from, is the strongest push not to let go when the game becomes, sometimes, damn hard.
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