Monday 4 September 2017

Nico’s New Bicycle Riding Experience on an e-Bike

By Nico de Corato
Translated by Daniel D. Brecht 

An incredible series of coincidences has led me, Nico de Corato, for years living in Dubai to celebrate Eid al-Adha, an Islamic "Sacrifice Feast" festival, with two fellow countrymen also residents in the emirate looking for a bit of fun this day: on a bicycle. What offers a unique, indescribable thrill made my fantastic mountain training worthwhile and doing it in the best of ways for the true two-wheel fanatics we are. It was one of the most exclusive bike adventures.
I calm myself and reflect on how it all began. A few weeks ago, I was given a Fat Bike (purchased by Cicli Pellegrini Clusone BG), one of those special electrically assisted e-bikes, to leave here in Italy for the occasional times I come home. A few days later, Jacopo Tonucci contacted me, who after buying an e-bike in the same store, comes to know that "another guy living in Dubai is getting around here." Contact me and let’s meetup to ride together in the area. We will "organize something at the first opportunity". But then, unfortunately, we cannot meet.

Back for a few days in Val Seriana, I find out from a Facebook post that the "Milanese" Marco Bertocchi (personal trainer Iamcoachmarco) is actually in these parts, so I suggested we do a workout together. In doing so, I'm taking advantage of this summer break for an intense training phase. After a couple of days, he calls and Marco proposes to me: "And what if we do a ride with e-bikes? ? But do you mind if we go together and I bring a friend?"

What was the biggest so-called coincidence ... the friend was Jacopo. Imagine that… In a strange twist of fate, I accepted. And so, we arranged for a fantastic bike ride. I left my Fat-bike home (but just for today) to try my first e-bike. Yet, I neither done mountain biking nor ever tried an electrical bike that features a small electric motor to augment its forward movement. Nonetheless, I was ready for this adventure with the other two biker bandits to go on a ride.

While writing this article about our adventures together acting like bandits and pirates on this quest for fulfillment to discover the hidden benefits of e-biking by accident brought me my most cherished friends and experiences that pushed us to the limit; after all, this is a huge advantage to any workout and exercise. What was something new and cool, in reality, prompted a certain response: blood, sweat and gears. I am happy but worn out. (I mostly went to the appointment because my personal training schedule includes fitness cycling but do the workouts without having eaten in advance, which working out on an empty stomach can make or break a workout, experts say). Biking is no exception. 

And during the 5 h pedal we looked more like Fantozzi, Ragionier Renzo Filini and Geometra Calboni from the Italian comedy film Fantozzi contro tutti that invites its audience to laugh by putting in your best effort. From the many quotes of the film that will put a smile on your face is
Ugo Fantozzi (when the breath allowed him) do whatever it took to beat everyone where he’d cheat (by use of performance-enhancing drugs) and win the race that was organized between colleagues.

Well, my fitness journey is no laughing matter or involves cheating through doping. In a sport buffeted by cheater, I plan to win clean. That said, biking is about much more than winning, like Health and Training benefits. I figure the rewards outweigh the risks.
Looking back, biking as exercise offered me some level of emotional satisfaction at the end of the day apart from seeing the stunning views of the urban area away from busy streets. But this activity is also very technical and hard work by us bikers. After about 3:30 pm we decide to separate. I'm tired: I've been fasting for 15 hours and I did not foresee such a long and challenging ride.

And as usual, the first rule is "do not get hurt". So, I prefer not to risk with the last part of the bike path. I stand for half an hour before going back along the same pathways as a downhill rider: a trail that was difficult, technical and challenging descent.

While Jacopo and Marco gone ahead, I sat watching. But without hesitation and first being sure that I can handle the descent safely alone, I followed. We made an appointment to the car from there in an hour to meetup and regroup.

What came of it, I'm telling you was, in effect, actually a half-bike ride I’d done ... But only to end up with a few bruises, non-serious hematomas. Just a little soreness which can easily ruin a ride but did not. So, foot on pedals, brakes under control and off I go on the downhill, again.
I feel rejuvenated from this experience to discover the fat-bike and e-bike that gave the training benefits I sought and connection to a community I searched for, which is perhaps the most important (and fun) part of this journey. But now I just write ... and look at the photos (taken by us all) of our wonderful day together!

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