How three Czech bikers went down the iconic Stromboli volcano, two of them were only 12 years old! A MTB bicycle story, by Gaspi.
A couple of years ago I realized that if we did not do anything to support young talent, we would have only one big sad hole in the teenagers who are looking at mobile phones with a broken face for slow data.
In cooperation with company FUNN we have started the project youGUNS three years ago to support beginning bikers. But the idea fell asleep soon just like my long plan to get off and ride the iconic Stromboli volcano, which belongs geographically to Italy.
Young people go into it
Until this year, after long preparations and communication with the local authorities, it goes out in the right direction and the dream begins to roll to a successful end. The event involves 12-year-old young Adam Franc and Vojta 'Klokan' Klokočka.
In the middle of April 2017, we are preparing an adventure car and throwing it in baggage for unbelievable 11 people: a ride in addition to the riders include cameraman Márty Smolík, photographer Miloš Štáfek (finalist of Red Bull Illume International Photo Competition), fathers of both young boys and things for a support team. The first camp is in the amazing resort in the shadow of the Sicilian Etna volcano below Biancavilla, where during the Second World War a raging battle between the Wehrmacht and the Scots troops was raging. Despite the deposits of rusting shells and shrapnel, this is a freeride paradise here.
We make it to the top
The day is coming and I get up in 2.30 in the morning. We have only the necessary equipment, sleeping bags, film equipment and cameras. Excitement from the anticipated moments we jump into the car and drive to catch the morning ferry that takes us to the mysterious Stromboli volcano. Although it is just over nine hundred meters above sea level, it is impressive when viewed from the sea level. The boys stared at her with an open mouth, but surprisingly no one would ask - how do we get up there?
At the highest point of the island - the Vancori peak, 924 m high - we climb under the guidance of a volcanic guide and with the support of the local community. The trip takes three hours, and I have to say that I admire to two boys' fathers who pull their backpacks and wheels up to their young riders. The more we approach the peak, the more often our 'guide' calls the radio to the center to control the volcanic activity around the craters. The volcano is active for the last two thousand years, and the lava's splashes can be seen at peak activity two to three times per hour.
In spite of exhaustion, I try to keep the two boys in psychological well-being, and I encourage them to overcome other difficult meters to the very top. Now we're going down! The guys are a little nervous, but after a few turns and a few freeride races, they calm down and run faster, so the media team with cameras and cameras must guard the lenses to avoid getting them. Back to the sea we are as fast as we can to get the afternoon ferry. Finally we can say - yes, we gave Stromboli! Somewhere in the distance, another destination is waiting for us: the island of Vulcano, which gave its name to all the volcanoes of the world.
(Photos: Miloš Štáfek)