First it was Bikevibe Tuscany, then Bikevibe Northern Italy and finally we ended on Bikevibe Milan. The naming process of this issue has been as complicated as the issue it self, but in a good way.
When we decided to do an Italian city as our fourth issue I thought this would be a walk in the park. It’s Italy, the capital of bicycle history, culture and some of the most beautiful bicycles ever built. But it proved to be more complicated than that.
Old frame builders, the sport and the culture of cycling go hand in hand in Italy. In the 60’s and 70’s the Italian frame builders where running the show. Masi, Colnago, Bianchi and Cinelli all made frames for the top riders and teams. The problem was that when the legends retired or passed away, there was an automatic gap in the cycling industry and culture. The Italian cycling culture continued to gain credit outside of Italy, but by the natives the culture slowly faded.
What is left of the Italian cycling culture that we hold in such high regards?
Here you have the elder trying to tell the story of the past and the young trying to learn and keep the tradition alive. They have the same mission, but they don’t always talk to each other. The gap.
I understood that in order to get the full perspective of this culture we had to talk both history and the present with both sides and maybe remind them what we all have in common; the love for bicycles.
There is no doubt that heritage and pride is something Italians care for. They are so proud of what they do and where they come from that it’s sometime hard to believe. At the same time it is so inspiring to listen to. This may be the reason why they have the international reputation of being the best. I decided to do the Milan issue with the intention of showing the root of cycling history. Although it was a bit different than I first expected, you cannot argue that Milan houses some of the most influential people in cycling.
We talked to legends and newcomers, old and young, men and women in order to try to fill the gaps and show you the Italian cycling culture trough a new perspective.
Mari Oshaug Editor-In-Chief