It seams impossible… We took the bicycles out of our garage at home, started to ride and only with our legs’ power after 13 days we are in front of the church of Notre Dame, in the heart of Paris!
It was not really a weekend’s ride but we’d like to remind you that, even if it seems impossible, this kind of trip is possible for everyone (but remember to train your legs a little bit and adapt your back to the seat, before starting the trip…). What is really essential is having a strong commitment.
We rode in the Alps, with cold temperatures, on thin ice or several cm of snow, under the rain, climbing the mountains, always with our luggage containing everything necessary for ourselves.
If you look at our pictures you may see our trip as an epic experience or consider us like some heroes, but we only lived a beautiful adventure together and we really enjoyed it.
The real heroes of the bicycles are those who use the bicycle every day to go to work along roads thought for cars without any care for the vulnerable cyclist. We had the example in Venice where a safe connection between the land area and the island is still missing.
In Germany and Austria we saw beautiful bicycle paths meant to facilitate the movement by bike in town and between towns. The city councilor for light mobility of Strasbourg (the existence of this role is already an indication of a different political perspective) told us that bicycles are welcomed in the tram, without additional ticket. In France we experimented the effect of a law asking the driver to leave 1 m when overtaking a cyclist, with car and trucks driving behind us for a long time until overtaking was safe.
We felt the sense of respect for those who choose the bicycle as transport vehicle. Something that too often is missing in Italy and that asks for an important change in mentality and policies.
But now we go back to our immense happiness for our Venice-Paris tour. Last year just two of us arrived in Copenhagen while this time 12 of us stopped in front of Notre Dame!
But almost a hundred people rode with us during the first stage and totally more in the other stages, even if for few km.
It is impossible to report all the names but special thanks go to our personal bike guides, like Angela through the secondary (and safer) road to Bassano, the tireless Toni in the Trento area, the silent and great Maurizio to Glorenza, Mark and Karola of the Green Party of Friburg, the friends Thomas and Romain until Notre Dame.
A particular thank you to our friends of Girolibero that prepared our great route and rode with us in Bassano.
Selle Royal has always been close to us, in a particular relationship with our back…and after 13 days on a bicycle we really appreciated their new seat Scientia.
Thanks also to Schwalbe, Scavezzon, all other technical partners (Grafis, Gabo, Aequilibria) and the entire group of Pedale Veneziano that supported our project.
Matteo Zanetti, of Class Meteo, and his nice and reliable weather forecast has been with us every evening, when we prepared the following stage. Really appreciated!
A personal thank you to Alessandra for her final revision of our posts in English.
And thank you to everybody that rode with us, organized evening events, or supported our project offering a warm coffee (a “coffee for the climate”) when we were cold and under the snow, or got near us while driving (Merano) and asked us “are you the group that will ride to Paris for climate change? Well done guys!“
All these thanks come from all the Venice-Paris riders: Claudio Bonato, Roberto Laudati, Alberto Fiorin, Dino Facchinetti, Roberta Pierobon, Massimo Brocco, Gabriele Regini and Daniele Pernigotti (and also Alice Michielotto e Mauro Gambato that rode half the tour with us).
But the real special thank you directly from our ego goes to the French child that saw us 12 riders in line and shouted to her mother: “Mam, le Tour de France!!!“