(Poland) – United by the adventure
July, 2023. Somewhere in the foothills of the Jizera Mountains.
Somehow, this rag-tag group of bike racers, dreamers, and vagabonds has found each other deep in the wooded mountains of Poland. We all come from wildly different backgrounds, both athletically and culturally, but we’re united in our (chasing) of a common goal: to qualify for the World Championships in October. And so the road begins, unpaved and rough through the towering pine trees and relentless climbs and descents of the Polish wilderness, with 9 riders of 5 different nationalities in a 19th century farmhouse far from anything any of us know to be familiar. We have only each other and our eclectic backgrounds to get us through the test to come with the best chance of success.
Before we can even dream of pulling on our respective country’s national team jersey in October, we have to help each other get to the start, and interpret a course none of us have ever seen before. At 105km and nearly 2000m of climbing, we know it will be intense, but the truth is that is about all we know. We’ve been in the world of gravel long enough to know that when in doubt, you’ve just got to send it and see what happens when you hit your limit. Will you be able to push through, or will you find the ceiling of your abilities on the day sooner than you had hoped? There’s only one way to find out.
Our rich diversity is the best way to navigate these unknown waters. We can lean on each other, learn from each other, and occasionally not understand what is really going on, but we can do it together. “A qué hora comemos?” “How do you like the new X Project?” “Che si mangia?” “On va a la départ en vélo?” The cantado sounds of Spanish and Italian mix with the fluid elegance of French and English matter of factness to echo off the walls and through the halls. The Polish owners must have been scratching their heads asking “who in the world are these guys we’ve let into our house?”
The truth is, we couldn’t really give you a concise answer. We are all work in progress, both as individuals and as a group. As the saying goes, “if you stop evolving, you die”. So when you ask us, “who are we”, the best answer I can give is that we are who we decide to be, but that is never set in stone. We will be forever evolving, on our terms, defined by no one but us. This is Reverb. We are Reverb.
This is the attitude we will take away from Poland and onto the next races.
Podiums and world championship team births are secondary; this journey is about growth as a team and the knowledge that if we stick together, success will come, but it may not be how we expected, and it definitely won’t be defined by anybody but us.