Alex Bellini: “Motivation is a cheat”

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

We live on a planet we call Earth, even though 3/4 of it is covered by water. There have been more men to walk on the moon than who have rowed across an ocean. Alex Bellini has never been to outer space, but he has rowed across the Pacific. Twice.

Alex-bellini-motivazione

Alex Bellini

I’m only jealous of this guy because his profession on his ID card reads: explorer. Whereas I am just a journalist, who rows. Or at the very most, a rower who writes. But because of my job, I met him and asked for his help to find the right motivation, with the aim of spending more hours rowing than in front of the TV. It’s a pity he took the wind out of my sails, telling me not to believe in motivation. Because motivation is a cheat. Continue reading

Now it’s September, what next?

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

imagesSeptember’s the month when everything starts again: we get back to our usual work schedule, kids go back to school, football starts again, even the winter TV schedule begins…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always lived September as if it were a magical month, full of promise, the right time to start something new.

Now, as a cyclist, September represents a ‘middle ground’.

Weather conditions are Continue reading

Mario Palmisano: “Sweep to victory!”

by Mario Palmisano and translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Rowing a sport made up of choices. But most of the time it won’t be you who’ll make them – it’ll be your coach. One of these, and possibly the most important, is whether you choose to row sweep oar or to scull.

boat classes

Usually your coach will decide this based on what the squad needs or which boats are available.  It can also be down to his/her personal choice. For example, sweep oar was my coach Aldo Calì’s preference, even though he had won in the 2x with Davide Tizzano.

Sweep to victory! Continue reading

Majesty

by Giacomo Pellizzari, translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

The Stelvio – who is that?
Of course, now that Alfa Romeo has named a car after it, everyone knows what ‘The Stelvio’ is. A bewitching mountain with all the required ingredients to strike terror and to make history. A kind of pagan temple shrouded between the clouds of Mount Ortler and the glaciers of Monte Cevedale.  An impossible dream, a surfaced route that goes straight from Austria to Italy. From Vienna, down to Milan. A non-stop road, that takes the most direct course. But before that, who knew what the Stelvio was?stelvio
It took an Italian engineer – the best there was – to build this road at the behest of Emperor Franz I. The Austrians would only have the best, after all. His name was Carlo, Continue reading

Mattia Trombetta: Devil’s Bowman

by Mattia Trombetta, translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

I have always loved rowing because it teaches us about life. A sporting career only lasts a short time and the art of rowing  gives you a heightened awareness and focus on the difficulties to be overcome in everyday life. This is what happened to me.

coxed pair

Mario Palmisano (stroke) and Mattia Trombetta (bow)

In 2004, I became the World Champion in the coxed pair with Mario Palmisano and our cox Luigi Longobardi, on the Spanish lake at Banyoles. My name is Mattia Trombetta and I am an Italian rower. I had never believed in the existence of the devil until the day I became his bowman. This is my story. Continue reading

Etna calls, ‘El Pistolero’ replies.

By Giacomo Pellizzari, translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Below the volcano.
They call her Mungibeddu. And she always does things big. She wasn’t messing around even with this year’s eruption. The road that goes up to the Sapienza di Nicolosi mountain hut has never been the same. It has to be sorted out every time Mungibeddu has some fun with volcanic rock and rivers of molten lava. Her summit craters are vast and immense, true. But the most dangerous at least for the road, are the fissures, that open up like rifts going right down into the valley. Someone was hurt this year while they were out on a trip and playing – a little too much – with fire.

Etna
At the top of Etna, there used to be a tower. It was called the Philosopher’s Tower and Continue reading

Breathing when Cycling

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

A few years ago, right at the start of the CiclismoPassione adventure, I had the pleasure and honour of interviewing Omar Beltran  – the innovative and open-minded teacher and athletic coach.

When I read his book “Il doping ecologico.  I segreti per vincere con l’allenamento mentale” (tr. Eco-friendly doping. How to win by mental training), I was very impressed but also taken off guard by Omar’s approach to addressing issues related to cycling training.

It was completely new, unheard of.

The book is a mine of high quality information and provides alternative methods to increase your energy levels and as a result your performance on the bike. Just using the tools nature has given us – our body and mind.breathing

So, a few years later, I got back in touch with Omar and a dream was born – we started work on a project that I will tell you more about in the coming days.

In the meantime, to refresh your memory, I am republishing the first part of my interview with Omar Beltran in 2011, when I asked him to advise on a specific issue that I consider ESSENTIAL and much undervalued by cyclists: BREATHING.

Here’s the interview:  Continue reading

How to use gears correctly

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

uphill

Using gears correctly is one of the most important technical aspects of cycling.

We have already talked about how important it is to pedal with ease in other articles and to do this we have to do this based on the type of terrain (flat, ascent, descent), our own physical fitness and not least our own ‘feel’ and ‘habits’ when cycling.

We are not talking here about the pedalling speed, but we are focussing on the correct use of the combination of the front chainring and the cogset. Continue reading

10 Crimes against Rowing

by Giuseppe Lamanna translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

The writer and satirist Antonio Amurri argued that: “The fight against organised crime is really tough, because the crime is organised and we are not”. Thinking about it, he had a point.

Crimini-canottaggio

In rowing’s case, finding those responsible is much simpler: it is us. And the crime is always the same: misdirected energy. So oarspeople, here are the ten crimes against rowing:

Rowing: 10 crimes

1) ROWING OUT OF TIME. A sense of rhythm and coordination are essential in this sport. There is only one mantra for rowers: arms, body, legs – legs, body, arms. Continue reading

Cycling in the wet – 7 handy tips

by Davide Pettuco (translated by Gillian Shaw) source text

September should be the month when we enjoy milder temperatures, long days and a fitness level that is still good enough to relish the last rides of a beautiful season. Unfortunately, the weather conditions are more like October.

cycle raining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember the Worlds road race in Florence in 2013? I went along to watch and was rewarded with a fantastic show – from all points of view – starting with the weather.

Heavy rain fell all day on the riders, to show us once again just how unique this sport is, that takes place outdoors, on the streets designed for cars and not bikes. Continue reading