Italy: Parte Duo
I promised a part two, so here it is. What else did I do in Italy? Well, as things wrapped up at Wilier I spent an extra couple of days riding some more amazing rides and discovering some new climbs that are all around, or close to, Bassano. The best way to see anything in Italy is by bike, so thats what I did. I rode to Marostica, which is a small town that has a live chess game within its walls. Also rode the Valsugana cycle route that stretches for about 80 km between the Trentino and Veneto region. It follows the river from Bassano, which was perfect on a +38 day. Eventually it turns into a dedicated bike path along the base of the mountains where you can cut off and hit the numerous climbs. I had a chance to climb Foza, which was last used in the 2017 Giro and is a great climb with lots of switchbacks and great pavement. You are rewarded with Gelato at the top as you continue onto Asiago. It’s a “must” route if you are ever in the area. Austrian influenced architecture and amazing views of the valley. Besides the amazing scenery, the Valsugan route is a designated cycle route, so lots of riders out on the weekend and many rest stops along the way with air compressors and beer. What else could a cyclist want? Oh and lakes. Big lakes, so on a hot day you can cool off before heading back towards Bassano.
Ok. Back to why I was really there, as it technically was a work trip... So, on my last day I was lucky enough to go visit our new friends at De Anima who are located in Pergine Valsugana, close to where I rode the previous day. The plan was to go check out the workshop and Gianni was going to paint a frame that was for an upcoming build of ours. Being 38 degrees I was advised to bring my swim shorts too. Sweet! The shop was exactly as I would expect walking into an artist-of-any-sort’s workshop, simple but with a bit of organized chaos. Along with Jimi Hendrix posters, there was some amazing history that filled its walls. The stories the various old frames and projects could tell would be able to fill a novel.
Since there was no AC in the workshop or paint booth I told Gianni that its way too hot to be working today and we should hit the nearby lake and do our “meeting” over drinks and a dip. There was no argument from anyone, so that’s what we did. Over the next 5 hours we hung out on a patio eating, drinking, and telling stories. When you got too hot you just dove off of the pier into the lake that was was absolutely gorgeous. Matt kept apologizing for lack of excitement, but it was one of the best sales meetings I have ever had. As the evening wore on and the jet lag kicked in it was time to call it a wrap. Gianni was kind enough to drive us back to our hotel as I faded in and out of sleep and conversation. Lots of head bobs…
I know I always have a story about each brand we offer but I feel its important to let you know what is behind the brands we carry as well. It is the people that make the brand, and when these people take the time to invest in a small road shop in Northern Alberta it means a lot to me. I also want you to know how passionate the whole De Anima family is about their craft and also about life. Bikes are a big part of my life and it is always nice to partner with people that share this. It is not about selling hundreds of bikes, it is about living. You can’t live or ride if you are a slave to the machine and we all need to be reminded of this. Gianni, Matt and Antonio are the guys you want to spend an afternoon with if you need to be reminded. La famiglia.