by Angelo Costa
Pedale Bolognese celebrates one hundred years of life (tomorrow), but here it’s not just the anniversary that’s special: it’s above all the way of understanding cycling, which has never changed since day one. Special is little, one should say unique: for a century, those who wear the green and white jersey have been cycling for fun, spreading the message that cycling is a joy. It is also fixed in the statutes, written by hand and never modified by the foundation, even if certain rules do not need to be put on paper: in addition to respecting them, it is easy to transmit them when you are inside.
Giulio Gotti had this spirit on April 15, 1922 when at Bar Sport, together with thirteen friends, he took the first step of this magnificent journey: former promoter of the Bolognese football sports group, he gave the new company a single goal, ‘the culture and the spread of the sport of cycling’, leaving politics, religion and even sponsors’ money at the door. To guarantee this idea it was himself, enjoying his creature for about eighty years before leaving it in turn centenary. Then his successors thought about it up to the current president Gabriele Grimandi, as well as Paolino Cocchi who today holds the position on an honorary basis, but above all who has worn and still wears a uniform which has become the symbol of a way of play sports. and not just because after a century it’s the same. Then you explain why the life of a society changes from a simple story to a fairy tale.
The simplicity of the ritual is fabulous in the Pedale Bolognese: when winter arrives, the hundred or more members come together, establish the schedule of outings and from March to October they pedal together, discovering places and panoramas, enjoying good and rich tables. It has been like this for a century and there is no need to call it a habit or a tradition: it is the exemplary demonstration of the celebration of a passion. It was like that at the beginning, in the days of fascism, like in the post-war period, in industrial Italy and in the 3 or 4 point zero, if you prefer: over time the physique and the bicycles have changed, never the philosophy.
If it is true that the first love is never forgotten, not a single ideal has been forgotten here: pedaling for pleasure. In a century there is a lot, including illustrious members such as Girardengo and Brunero, winners of the Giri d’Italia and great classics. There are also eight national amateur titles, before cycle touring was chosen as the sole activity. But above all there is the ability to grasp the social aspect of cycling, to move forward together or even to start again, as happened immediately after the war when it was the “pedalini” who designed the first routes cycle paths in a reduced Bologna. .in the rubble.
By linking itself to these values rather than to a result or convenience, the Pedal is now taking a new step. He will celebrate it on the weekend of May 1, with a social ride and an inevitable toast to Barolo, the first appointment of a season that will continue with the usual summer and autumn trips. Nothing in particular, even if the particularity of this glorious partnership lies in the repetitiveness of small daily gestures: it is thanks to these that, when we speak of the Pedale Bolognese, after a hundred years the time has not yet come. to say ‘there was a time’, but we keep looking forward.