After a long season of racing we needed a quiet place to ride and enjoy some good times.After a quick discussion with Pauline Dieffenthaler, my teammate and girlfriend, we decided to book a flight for Sicily.

We had four main reasons for this:

  • We were dreaming about riding from Mount Etna.
  • There are not too many places close by where you can swim in the sea at the end of October.
  • The food and culture are awesome in Sicily!
  • Last, but not least, we know Vittorio Plattania (famous cameraman of Trek World Racing) andhis wife Nadia, who offered us four-star B&B accomodations.
  • The first day we were focused on Etna. We planned at first to go for just one day, but it was so amazing to ride on the volcanic rock that we decided to stay longer in this area. First we climbed as far as we could, then pushed our bikes to the summit of the 2001 crater. From there we had an amazing view of the top of Etna. (It’s forbidden to go higher because of the sulfur).
    We were lucky with this day, as the sun was out and we were above a sea of cloud. Who could dream of a better setting?

    When we began going down, it was like skiing in powder. The faster you go, the firmer the surface feels and the easier is it to handle your bike. Then you can start drifting and throw huge clouds of stone!
    At the end of the downhill, we saw the track we left in the ground and we had only one wish: to hike back to the top and do it again.

    However, the sun was already down and we enjoyed the last light before heading down and resting for the next days.

    The following days we decided not to bring a photographer and rode for ourselves all day from the tree line…

    …to the city.

    It was an amazing feeling once again with so much drifting between the trees and a ground full of chestnuts. We stopped several times to collect some and grilled them in the evening with a fresh beer.

    For the last days of our holiday we left our bikes and visited Sicily in an old Fiat Panda, visiting nice old towns and spending time on the beach — but this is private….

    See you soon for the next adventures.

    Cheers, Jérôme

    A big thanks to Vittorio and Nadia for their help, Gianluca and Vittorio for the filming, and Helmut for the amazing pictures. To enjoy and share the ride you’ll have to wait a video that will come out by the end of the year or contact

    Photo: Helmut Berta

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    About the author

    Robin Schmitt

    Robin is one of the two founders of 41 Publishing, a visionary and go-getter. While he now enjoys every second on the bike – whenever his busy schedule allows – he used to race against the clock at enduro events and a few Downhill World Cups. Besides that, Robin practises kung fu and Zen meditation, plays the cello or with his dog (which actually belongs to his girlfriend), travels abroad and still reviews numerous bikes himself. Progressive ideas, new projects and major challenges – Robin loves exploring undiscovered potential and getting to the bottom of new trends.