3 June 2023
As we celebrate World Bicycle Day, we had a chat with Paolo Calabresi, Marketing Director of Enervit’s Sport&Fitness Division.
We asked this passionate athlete to tell us about his love for this very special vehicle!
Q: How did you end up with a passion for cycling?
P.C.: "When I was a boy I was given my first bicycle as a present. With it I began to explore my world: first the block around my house, then my neighborhood, then the next neighborhood over… going a bit farther away each time, on a discovery of the world.
I often rode alone, because the enthusiasm for cycling was an individual, personal matter.
What made me fall in love with it was the sense of freedom and the opportunity to discover places I’d never seen before. In some ways I feel this sensation even when I go out on my bike early in the morning, to train before going to work."
Q: What values do you think cycling expresses?
P.C.: "First of all, freedom. Next, environmental awareness. Also, not least, togetherness. Cycling makes you meet new people. On certain occasions, it also lets you share your important and exciting experiences with new people with whom you sometimes establish strong relationships. Another really important value it expresses is the pure enjoyment, the fun."
Q: Have you ever thought “That’s it! I’m giving up!” and if not, why didn’t you?
P.C.: "No, I’ve never thought of giving up. At times I’ve thought of giving up my most demanding and competitive activities, the ones that require specialized, intensive training. And in part, that’s what has happened: in different periods I’ve cut back on the professional-level training programs that cost me commitment and stress, also mentally. I’ve given up that kind of biking only so I could go on experiencing cycling in a different way, a more relaxing, more positive one, to feel good, to enjoy it. I’ve always had inside me the joy of riding bikes."
Q: Any suggestions for someone who wants to take up cycling?
P.C.: "Start pedaling! No matter what kind of bike, what kind of equipment, what kind of accessories... You need to pedal to find out if you like it, to gain experience and cover kilometers, to feel the sensations. Later on you’ll have time to think about the bike itself, the clothing, the gadgets. Too often I see people who start out focused on the less important details, before they’ve even started actually pedaling, before they’ve begun a meaningful experience, with just the road and their effort."
Q: Does cycling help you “turn off” your brain and free your mind? Or does the effort end up catalyzing your attention?
P.C.: "Pedaling helps you turn off your brain, especially from certain conventional ways of thinking. Your thoughts free up, because you see things from another perspective, almost with another mind. When you’re pedaling, your thoughts flow on their own. You don’t control them completely. They’re spontaneous. Several times I’ve returned home from a trip and found that I’ve come up with a solution, which I found because I was thinking unconventionally.
In some situations there’s also another mental effect: you go back to thinking about your basic needs, which is such a rarity! You think of where to find water, where to take shelter from the sun, how to make it through a difficult area, how to manage your supplements and where to get food or something else.
This happens more in bike packing.
On the other hand, if you’re in a competition, fighting against the stopwatch and you’re pushing yourself to the limit, all your concentration goes to your performance."
Q: In the end?
P.C.: "In the end, I think the bike has had an even greater revolutionary effect than people imagine. It’s been and continues to be, for entire generations all around the globe, a means of freedom, discovery, work or pleasure."