Jon Beunza - A place where time stands still - Blog BH
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Jon Beunza – A place where time stands still

Among the many bike routes completed with a BH G6 Pro, the best place to start our route is in Italy, making the most of the Giro de Italia (Tour of Italy) over the coming weeks. With the extensive variety of mountain ranges and passes in the boot country, Sella Ronda is a safe bet and the trump card of cycling routes, guaranteed to wow bike enthusiasts. Sella Ronda sits at the heart of the Dolomites mountain range, where the best thing is to just stay quiet and let the silence illuminate the scenery before your eyes.

The architect Le Corbusier coined the best definition of the landscape when he described Sella Ronda and its surroundings as the most beautiful architectural work.

The truth of those words was clear to me during my first trip to the region in 2007. On that occasion, I explored different areas, roads, landscapes and mountain passes with my bike. Before my trip, I had already obtained all possible information on Sella Ronda, which included road maps and television reports I had watched. But, despite being well-informed and knowing everything about the place, I was completely overwhelmed when I got there and I stopped more than twenty times, stunned by the views and landscape. I was not surprised by the difficulty of the roads or mountain passes, but by the beauty of the landscape and scenery. From that point on, I changed my views on bike touring and now I try to look for and travel to landscapes that make an impression on you, landscapes that mean something.

Cycling on the Ronda

Sella Ronda is a group of mountains with a circular roadway that takes riders up to heights of 1,500 to 2,000 metres. Nearby municipalities include Gardena, Corvara and Cortina D’Ampezzo. The area is frenetic with visitors all year round. In the winter, it is a paradise for anyone who loves winter sports and in the summer, thousands of touring cyclists take to the road. The town of Araba is the starting point for this circular route, which we always do in the same direction on trips organised by Ziklo Team. The Ronda is composed of four well-known mountain passes; Pordoi, Sella pass, Val Gardena and Campolongo. Taking Araba as our starting point, after an enjoyable ride, we begin the ascent up to the Pordoi peak. This is one of the historical passes of the Giro, with nine kilometres of 33 hairpin bends leading to the summit. A monument to the Italian cycling legend, Fausto Coppi, stands at the highest point.

The descent from Pordoi takes riders along the Sella Pass, the highlight of the ride where cyclists can look out over the most spectacular views. Here, the expression ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ comes into its own through the mesmerising beauty that unfolds right in front of your eyes. Usually, touring cyclists come on our trips looking for a challenge of the most technically difficult and demanding mountain passes. However, the same thing happens to everyone when they reach this point; riders are left in awe by the sheer beauty of the surroundings. When we plan this day’s route, we only schedule a distance of 60 kilometres because, with all the stops the touring cyclists make, we take the same amount of time as major routes along mountain passes with lots of slopes.

Still caught up in the thrill and with the spectacular landscape in the mind’s eye, the route continues until reaching the final stops on the Gardena pass. This is the easiest peak of all. On reaching the top, we continue ascending Campo Longo, and a quick descent takes us back down to Araba, our starting point.

Toda esta zona es además, parada habitual del Giro de Italia que siempre hace un guiño a la Ronda Sella. Este año se sube el Pordoi y Gardena, además de Val Parola. Además, la orografía y cercanía que hay, permite que con solo ampliar el trazado en 20 kilómetros estén a tiro de piedra otras emblemáticas subidas como las de Lavaredo o la Marmolada.

La importancia que tiene la zona y sobre todo el peso de la bicicleta lleva a que anualmente se dedique un fin de semana a ella en la zona de la Ronda Sella. Este año será el 25 de junio cuando se corte al tráfico de vehículos la circulación y solo se permita el acceso a las bicicletas para el disfrute de todos los aficionados que gozan sacándose miles de fotos.