It may happen at the beginning of the ride, after the first kilometer or at the end of it. The moment when that journey which gathers hundreds of people becomes your personal moment: the moment when a light turns on inside you and you understand that taking part in that journey was the right decision because that was the feeling you wanted to have. That feeling will not arise when you cross the Alps, when you are striving, when you are cycling on the gravel or when you are focusing on your direction; that feeling will not arise when you look at the GPS track. That unique feeling will arise only inside your, because it belongs to you.

After eight editions of the Rando Imperator ride, we have understood that forecasting when that light turns on is impossible: we just know it will happen. Every edition is different from the previous one and this is why every edition is unique for all the women and men who take part in the journey from Bavaria (Germany) to the Emilia Romagna region (Italy). In that moment you surrender and say “Yes, it was worth!”. It was worth getting up at 3,00 a.m., making sacrifices, training yourself during the weekends, travelling many hours by bus or train to get to Munich, feeling the water that wets every part of your body, struggling against the knees pain, facing the hunger, the pollen, the bumps on the road and any other inconvenience that may happen to you on a 600 km cycle ride. That specific moment may come while you are appreciating the silence in a wood, when you receive a hug at the arrival, when somebody helps you; that moment may come while you are cycling and making efforts with your head down, it may come with a friend’s funny words, with a thought that had never occurred to you before and comes to your mind just after so many kilometers. And, once again you will understand that it was worth: all you need to do is hit the road, travel and wash the dirt off your face. The rest will happen.

Keep riding. Even when the wind which blows in the Val d’Adige will try to push you off your bike, the mud on the cycle path along the river will dig into your wheel rims, the cold night in Val Venosta will freeze your fingers, keep riding . You won’t even pay attention to all this; your hand will take off the dirt and the tiredness from your face, you won’t feel the hunger nor your back pain anymore, that pain that has been radiating into your back slightly and continuosly.

Were you the same person when you left? You think about the moment when you started the ride: it seems like a lifetime ago but only one hour has passed, maybe four hours or a day, not more. Time runs and suddently you open your eyes and you realize that the voice you think you heard coming from an hairpin bend on the Reschenpass is real, you realize that the person you think you saw in the desert square of Garmisch is real and also the hug you received in Waltherplatz is real. You hear an encouragement shout, you see a banner prepared just for you and then you see the arrival. That is the place where you pull yourself together and you are not a “randonneur” anymore, you are a “person” again! All the efforts, the training, the pain will make sense: you had to pass through all that in order to turn the light on and everything will be clear to you; you will be hugged by the people who love you, you will be encoraged and supported.

You don’t know when, but sooner or later, at the Rando Imperator, the light will always turn on.

🇪🇺 🇪🇺 Rando Imperator 2023 🇪🇺 🇪🇺
May 6th-7h
8th edition
München – Bozen – Ferrara
Cycling from Germany to Italy in 2 days

Partner: PH Apparel