Getting through with the proper introduction, I shall now start telling you something about my journeys.
Trusting in your understanding, I will use this space instead to thank all those people who somehow have contributed to all of this! How? By teaching me to love motorbikes and to “ride” motorbikes, in it’s real meaning. That’s the least I can do, a little proof of my gratitude.
The first ‘thanks’ goes to my uncle Fabio who, since I was a child, introduced me to the world of two wheels. At that time he was running for the Italian championship with a legendary Ducati 888 EVO, an exclusive “ducatista”. Without him I would have never even thought of working in a Ducati garage.
The second person I want to thank is Massimiliano. It was he who decided to take a toddler to his Ducati garage, that was dying to bustle about the engines and frames after school. A wonderful guy met at the time when, despite his undeniable talent, he decided to put aside his professional rider dreams. He had been partner to Gianfranco Guareschi with his Suzuki GSX-R 600, when he won the Italian Championship in 2000 with Team 2000 Racing.
Working with him and for Ducati was an experience which definitely changed my life. Back then I indeed decided I was going to be a biker for the rest of my life and “ducatista” in my heart (it was the time of the 996-998, the most awesome and successful bike in the world). I will never stop thanking Massimiliano for giving me this chance. Unfortunately, I cannot do it in person anymore and maybe that’s the reason why I do my best to spend my time on a motorbike. I like to think that this is a way to remember him and to thank him in the way he would have wanted to.
I can’t leave out my team mates from the Sunday joyrides. People, as it is known, who happen to meet others by chance. And it was by chance that I ended up meeting Massimo (called The Captain) during one of my first Sunday rides with my Yamaha R1. That day, he was a guest of the group I joined. Eager to understand who to follow in order to learn how to ride for real, I immediately realized that The Captain was my landmark. I also understood why he deserved his nickname: he was the strongest, had the most expertise and he was leading the group. He was The Captain indeed. I still remember the talk we had at the end of a strenuous day spent following him: “You are trying your best and you’re not that bad. Next Sunday you can join my group.” And I did. The result? For two years I kept driving an average of 500km each Sunday. It was such an adventure, guys! “Thank you Captain” and thanks to all of the group, great friends even today. Thanks to Lillo, Daniele, Andrea, Gaia, Gaetano, Pasquale and Tony. So many kilometers are still waiting for us…
Last but not least Tommaso. A professional lawyer, old friend and GS fan. With him I shared so many adventures. He’s a person rich of culture and experience. It takes a while to get to know him well but once you do, you will discover the goodness inside him despite his “bear” appearance and the tendency to enjoy being on his own without socializing with anybody. A crustacean oblivious type, reluctant to do anything that involves manual labor. Good thing that I am there on our trips: at least one of us knows where to put the hands in case of an emergency. And it’s maybe because down to our diversity that I can’t leave without our daily chat, our harsh debates about the universe with an ice cold beer in front of us (one for me, much more for him), our arguments in which I often end up facing – that’s the irony – the same existential issues I always try to run away from when I am taking a ride.
Who of us hasn’t had someone like this in his life? I am sure that with years passing by a lot of people will be forgotten, but it’s thanks to them, if today we have ended up riding our true passion!