I reach the hotel at 6:30 pm, just in time for a shower before attending the presentation of the event.
After introducing all the sponsors that helped make this wonderful event come to life, the organization illustrates the HAT 2018, the only Enduro Adventuring event in Italy recognized by the International Federation.
This is the edition of records: 480 participants from 16 different countries; the famous lady rider Amy Hardburg coming from Australia after riding through Asia and Europe; many ex-Dakar-riders like Bruno Birbes, Aldo Winkler and Brenno Bignardi who kicked off the rally at midnight with the Extreme category; the youngest participant of all editions, only 10 years old; Mario Ciacca who participated in all 10 editions; Nicola Dutto, champion in life and on the bike, who teaches us that life is a gift and must be lived even through difficult times.
As already stated, the HAT is divided into 3 categories that have different itinerary difficulties and lengths: Extreme – 900 km; Classic - 580 km, the one I chose; Adventuring – 480 km, that sees a very large number of women participating, a tangible testament that enduro is not a male “thing”.
The icing on the cake of this edition is the world premiering of the Yamaha Tenerè 700 prototype that will be rode at the HAT by none other than Alessandro Botturi.
My category leaves the following day at noon and a few minutes later I’m off too with two travel companions.
There are all kinds of bikes, some purposely outfitted and I start worrying about my choice of bike. Furthermore, my backpack is filled to the brim, including a sleeping bag, to be prepared for any mechanical or oneiric circumstance.
The road climbs towards the mountains heading for Sestriere and soon enough we are off-road.
The trail isn’t that easy, but my K does just fine even if its weight is a bit much.
The kilometers rapidly go by immersed in the magnificent nature of Liguria and Piemonte.
While I’m finally going at an excellent pace, I feel that something is wrong in the back; I lower my eyes and see that the tire pressure light is blinking a bright red indicating that the rear tire pressure is low.