It was then I started hearing people in the distance; shouting, making jokes, laughing. Shortly thereafter I could hear the whining sound of derailleur gears just before a crowd of Italian amateur cyclists of various ages emerged from a bend in the road. They quickly passed me and soon vanished behind the next bend, but the impression they made on me got me to realise that cycling was something I wanted to pursue more actively.L'Eroica historic bike race in Tuscany
A friend of mine has got the hang of it. He is member of a cycling club called “The Wine”. They worship cycling, wine and good food, in that order. There are worse ways to stay fit, if you ask me. Needless to say, the wine drinking takes place after a hard day’s work on winding roads. The bike as a racing tool
When you start cycling, the choice of bike becomes important. It’s not only about finding the right level of performance output and comfort, but also about indicating what you stand for and how you wish to be perceived by others in the group.
In choosing an Italian racing bicycle of any kind, you cannot go wrong at all; they are all built with a passion and pride for racing and winning. The attention to detail is great; try to find an Italian bike that does not marry function with aesthetics into a beautiful and well-tuned instrument. A long tradition of craftmanship is prevalent in Italy’s cycling industry as it in Italian shoes, handbags and furniture.In racing form follows function, but with great focus on details and finish.
Some 40 different Italian high-end brands exist and they all have their own heritage and design philosophy when it comes to choice of materials and aerodynamics. All aim to achieve the optimal solution with regard to weight, stability, comfort and pace. Even if you are not particularly interested in cycling, I am sure that at some stage you have come across brand names such as Bianchi, Bottecchia Colagno and De Rosa; pure poetry in motion for dedicated cycling fans.
Today carbon fibre has taken over as the preferred material for high-end bicycles due to its lightness in combination with its rigidity. A high-end carbon cycle can weigh as little as 6.5 kg when ready to hit the road. However, steel continues to be a very popular material as it provides excellent riding comfort, while its slim tubing profiles create an aesthetic look.
Bottecchia Equipe 1992 vs. Bottecchia Emme 2012; “Beauty & the Beast”. Both are competent racers that will not disappoint you, despite the 20-year age difference.The bike as a fashion accessory
The recession in Europe, in combination with soaring oil prices, has boosted cycling interest since a bicycle is a comparably inexpensive and practical vehicle, especially in urban areas. I read recently that Italy now sells as many bikes as cars, which has not been the case for many years.Cinelli “Fixie” (single speed). Note that one applies the brakes by pedalling backwards.
Having had the opportunity recently to visit some of the major cities in the western world: London, Milan, Paris and New York, I would say that the number of people riding bikes has grown and become more diversified and, I dare say, hip.The colour coordination is impeccable. View the flowers in the basket on left-hand side.
Biking has become a life style, with people spending both money and time on designing bikes of their own preference, combining steel, with leather and brass, and going from no gears to many gears. To go with the cycling there should also be suitable clothing that emphasises and supports the lifestyle. I have just visited Milan, where some of the top fashion stores displayed bicycles in their front window. Some have even had their own bicycles produced; Hermès being one example.Design object or work of art?
The world famous British industrial and furniture designer Jasper Morrison was recently asked in an interview which design object he wished he had come up with. Jasper then replied that it would have been the bicycle, given its tremendous impact on society and its ingenuity as a means of cheap and efficient transportation. In my view Mr Morrison’s opinion captures both the historical significance of the bike in the growth of industrial society, but also its importance for the future, given the need for renewable energy and for minimising carbon emissions. Retro design by Björn Dahlström for “Skeppshult” and futuristic design by Mark Newson for “Biomega”
With the growth of mega-cities around the world, the bike should in my view play an important role in helping to create quality in people’s lives: the bike produces no emissions, no sound pollution, and is easy to park.
The Italian cycle manufacturer Dario Pegoretti
Can this design object, with the purpose of transporting people, in everyday life or in racing, also be viewed as a work of art? I believe it can. The Italian cycle manufacturer Dario Pegoretti produces tailor- made, high-performance steel bikes, made completely from scratch in his little workshop in Caldonazzo in Northern Italy. Here the craft is in my view reaching the sort of levels where it can be expressed as art.
If you in addition choose the “Ciavete” paint scheme, which is Dario’s own choice, you will get a frame hand-painted by Dario, in which the colours and graphics will be whatever he chooses at the time. Due to the unique nature of this paint scheme, each bike will be one of a kind where each frame is a unique work of art.
Details displaying hand-painted frames by Dario Pegoretti
His frames and bikes have been displayed hanging on the wall and have also been used in real life. Should you personally decide go for one, I can guarantee that it will create emotions in you and in the people you show it to. For example, should you invite friends and acquaintances to a dinner party, you will definitely find that they will be both moved and provoked by the art work displayed. Furthermore, they will most certainly have a relation to, or a memory of, the work and express an opinion covering many of the aspects elaborated upon in this article, and many more in addition.
Isn’t that what art is all about?