Italian Cycling

Gocce de Vita    Drops of Life

66A river is born drop after drop… you will be disappointed and saddened, but fate is a sort of hinge on which much else depends.”  “Dewdrops” theme for 2007 gran fondo ride, Maratona dles Dolomites

Pantani, poet of the mountains

I miss the lion that was Marco Pantani. I never knew him personally, but as a climbing aficionado and ex-wife of a cocaine-addict, I felt his passing most keenly. It was to manage the shock of relationship with a crack addict that I chose the intensity of bike riding initially. To treat post-traumatic stress, cycling transported me to a healing place. So Marco’s discesa pericolosa, “dangerous descent,” into hard drug use was poignant, connecting my beloved and victorious velo-world with distressing personal memories.

My relationship with Italian cycling took on new meaning after his demise. I regretted that I didn’t know Marco. Perhaps even one understanding, gracious conversation would have made some difference had I had the chance to speak to him. Camaraderie and communication do matter. We know that cause and effect are important to destiny:

67“Many a factor helped the team to stay united and keep motivations high: the pride of being part of the national squad, the eagerness for redemption in such a bad moment for Italian cycling, and the long time the ‘Squadra’ had been spending without taking the title. All these key-factors played their part in the masterpiece the boys accomplished on Sunday.”  Franco Ballerini, on directing 2002 World Champion Italian team

Think of a few past Italian contributions: language, politics, romance, design – and their effects on current influences of culture – food, wine, art, world religion. In Italian cycling, there are numerous distinctions: such as quality frame and equipment manufacturers, a steady stream of cycling coverage broadcast worldwide, and cycling passion. The appassionati gather grupo compatto to participate and watch cycling – and why not for such scenery?! Dura, dura…hang in there!

Prayer for Italian Cycling

“Let us not give up meeting together…but let us encourage one another…” 68Hebrews 10:25

We are thankful for tears to mourn our losses and feel our passions. We confess we sometimes harden our hearts when softness is demanded. We pray for passionate dialogue and ask blessing upon Italian cycling.

Ponder Is there anyone whose pain may be alleviated or course straightened if I intervene? Affirm I care enough to confront, making a difference in another life. Watch how words have impact; caring is received, though one may have to wait for this result.

66Preparations for the 2007 Maratona dles Dolomites,” Angelo Senza La O’s entry of January 11, 2007 on http://www.italiancyclingjournal.blogspot.com. Gran fondo is the Italian version of cyclosportif. The website for this gran fondo is www.maratona.it

67“World Road Championship – Italian Interviews Wrap-Up,” By Fabio 10/15/2002 www.dailypeloton.com

68Holy Bible, New King James Version, Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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