That we put our buttocks on a 150 hp and 250 kg super enduro, or on an unmistakable single-cylinder air in the 80s, in the current motorcycle environment the off-road routes are very popular, and the subject of numerous events. Mainly intended as unpaved roads, first of all, the mythical Eroica where on certain days there is more traffic than on the boulevards, but also those a little more demanding between local roads, military driveways and woodsmen’s paths.

From this point of view, our country is morphologically inviting, the whole Apennine ridge is an endless maze of roads, which you enter into an almost dreamlike dimension. Traveling off-road widens horizons, and not only metaphorically. You can see places from a different point of view, unimaginable views, you discover traces of history, remains of roads of ancient travelers, abandoned villages, ruins that who knows how many stories could tell. Lucio Battisti sang: “One day stones covered with wild roses come to life and call us. Abandoned woods and therefore virgin survivors open and embrace us”. Beautiful, is not it? But all this obviously also pleases those who are not motorcyclists.

Peaceful coexistence with others

Let’s start with the most important thing, then, that comes first and goes beyond the technical considerations: it often happens, very often, practically always, to cross many other nature lovers like us (true?) On off-road routes: mountain bike and trekking enthusiasts , mushroom hunters, hunters, Sunday walkers with small families in tow, and people who by choice or by circumstances, in certain places that sometimes seem forgotten by God, live there. And then you see smoking chimneys, animals in the yard, and gates with the private property sign that we must consider impassable (right?). For all, maximum respect.

So it is a good rule to immediately slow down, proceed with a thread of gas sitting on the saddle, if necessary stop, especially in the presence of horses or dogs (keep an eye on the Maremma if guarding the flock). And always healthy, that a smile opens a lot of doors, predisposes to dialogue, and maybe you learn something, it was just an indication from someone more experienced than us in the area. Yes, because at the moment, as long as the electric motors will not take over, willy-nilly our bikes, although in a totally original configuration (right?) They make noise and stink, and we must live together and let ourselves be loved by many other people which probably do not appreciate, and which by the way are much more numerous.

Contrary to the elementary rules of good education and inadequate behavior could activate a mechanism of word of mouth that could soon reach high-placed ears, and at that point any assessor could estimate how difficult it is to close the factory that leaked sewage into the stream, as much it is easy to issue a beautiful order prohibiting access. And the beautiful game breaks.

Technical clothing

Oh well, any biker knows that you have to travel protected. And if the asphalt is hard, even more so are the stones, with the aggravating circumstance that are often pointed, and perhaps the little road is not level but it is a stone who would do so by putting Messner in difficulty, and in short, sometimes a sudden change, perhaps recoverable with a nice kick on the floor, turns into a circus tumbler. So here is that proper boots (with a sole suitable for the type of footboards that are mounted), anti-lashing branch gloves, anti-bristle knee pads, and various anti-all protection are indispensable. Very good are those light knits that integrate bib, back protector, and protections for shoulders and elbows, so there is not even an excuse that in summer it is hot.

Never alone

It looks like nonsense but it is not so obvious. One might want to go on paths that are hardly beaten because of the desire to look for a beautiful place for universal contemplation where one can spend some time in the company of his own thoughts. Noble and understandable intent, but not advisable.

Because the unexpected is always lurking, and even simply placing the bike on the ground could become a serious problem, especially if the bike is heavy and you haven’t seen the online tutorials on how to lift it. And anyway those videos are always made in the backyard on the horizontal and compact ground, I would like to see that same young lady pull up the GS Adventure by herself from a cliff or get out of a field of soggy grass.

But there is another reason why it is better to go out with friends: put the inconvenience to the point and we have to call to get us to recover. Yes, but where are we? Ok, we can send the position with uozzapp, but you understand that it is not the same thing as communicating a simple via Garibaldi.

By the way, it is important: the mobile must be kept in some pockets, and not in the tank bag or on the handlebar support. Because if for any reason you are unable to move and away from the bike, the matter becomes a serious mess.

Equally important: never alone, but not too many. When we set the group release, be careful not to get carried away, unless events are organized with all the necessary authorizations better not to overdo the numbers. Even if it is made up of the most educated motorcyclists in the world, a large group will give more and more “annoyance” to a group.

Tools to always have with you

Allen wrenches and screwdrivers, spare levers, anti-puncture kit, cable ties, American belt, elastic bands, the rosary. Small suggestion: having a whistle in your pocket could help you make your friends hear if they went too far.

I do not add anything else for good luck.

The bike in perfect efficiency of course

But above all the tires, the tires! Remember that old Pirelli ad with Carl Lewis on the starting blocks with stiletto heels? “Power is nothing without control”. Here it is. You could be Antonio Carol…no, he is also with the slicks … in short, a very good one, but if you don’t have series tires don’t go anywhere, or go there but with much more effort. And the less you are, like myself, the better and more efficient they must be.

Notwithstanding that the total tire does not exist, and that a compromise, above all on the duration, must be accepted, once the intentions of use of the motorcycle have been established and the percentage of on-off that is expected to be faced, to choose an appropriate tile changes the bike from so to so. Consequently, it gains the pleasure of driving, but above all the satisfaction of arriving at the top of the hill.

The traces

Going off-road often involves a good deal of improvisation. Every crossroads is an unknown, you try it, you explore it, sometimes you scrolling and you arrive somewhere, sometimes not and you have to go behind it. And if you have not sown beans the path behind us may not be easy to hit the road back. Or in a certain dream place, you would like to return, but the memory is what it is, and as we said before it is not that there are signs on the trees with directions. And here comes technology to the rescue, in the form of GPS navigators on which to load routes downloaded from the network or previously studied at the table. Or the now essential smartphonehandyman on whom some of the many available applications have been loaded. I, for example, keep an old cell phone on the handlebar, a failure in its primary telephone functions, but perfectly functioning as a localizer even offline. And I try to keep track of off-road routes through the Geo Tracker and OsmAnd apps.

On the trail, there is another aspect to underline, only apparently secondary and with which we have all been confronted at least once: whoever has them is extremely jealous.

And it is understandable because maybe he made a bunch just to find a nice way to get from A to B, he cleaned it up, he socialized with the wayfarers mentioned at the beginning, he asked permission to go through an uncultivated field but anyway private, he has lost a lot of time and effort, and obviously he is sorry to share with strangers what for him is a kind of small “treasure”. Among other things, when you are on off-road routes even where no bans have been sighted, it is not obvious that you are in the full legality. So when on facebook, among the comments to some nice photos in the woods, ask “would you pass me the track?”, Don’t take it badly if the answer were to be vague, hesitant, and in any case negative.

Refrain potential world champions

As well as on the Apennine asphalt roads, even on off-road routes you may encounter phenomena , those that have never been able to get on the podium of some championships due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, those that pass you on the white roads and drift in front of you, strafing in front of you. of pebbles and raising a fog from fog in the Po valley. Here, let’s try not to imitate them please, and to have brains for them too. For example, taking the right side as much as possible, than to do a frontal with one of them I risked more than once.

And, always as far as possible, let’s go slow, that white roads are generally open to free circulation, and if it is not the phenomenon of turn it is the peasant with the Panda of ’76, and there are a lot of side roads that lead to the farmhouses, and from the side roads able tractors to go out , and the tractors are quite hard, and when a man with a motorcycle meets a man with a tractor, the man with the motorcycle gets very sick.

And to finish the lecture, a last autobiographical reference: eternal big boys, motorcyclists generally love to slip into the pools. And incurable narcissists like to be photographed among choreographic sketches that not even the rocks of Calafuria. Here, in the case of swimming pools, first check the depth and consistency of the bottom, which I have seen of things that you humans …