Traveling together, hand in hand.

“Bike riding for Parkinson Italy 2021” (first part)

There are seven figures in the morning sun, walking towards the sea. They are the emblem of Bike riding 2021. At the beginning of the week they hardly knew each other, they had only seen each other online.

Now they go hand in hand, feeling part of a team, indeed, of a new family. And together they are ready to face their journey with new strength and new awareness. They have learned that limits can be overcome, because they are often only in their mind, and above all that from now on they will no longer be alone.

A week to tell

A whole week was needed to recover both physically and mentally from the fatigue of Bike riding, and to decide how to tell this experience. Initially I had thought of putting together the daily reports of some participants, whom I thank for the work done, I started reading them, but I realized that I had to leave them the pleasure of telling us. We will carry the wonderful days we have lived forever in our memories, generated by emotions and sensations that it is not so easy to put pen to paper. After days of stalemate, in which I put myself in front of the computer to write, but neither my head nor my fingers on the keyboard could give me the satisfactory answer I finally understood, even comparing myself with someone from the group,

“I take the lever and arrive”

We will do as last year, we will do it live one by one, resuming the good habit of meeting on Thursday evening at nine in the live interviews of PRENDO LA LEVO E ARRIVO conducted by me and our “Comet Star”, Samantha Vizentin, who this year she has always been with us, as a protagonist, pedaling and illuminating all of us with her light. The story could become an integral part of the new “ MOve ON Project ” by IRCCS Mondino Foundation and  Parkinson & Sport , which we presented during the event on 21 June in Pavia at the Casimiro Mondino Institute.

Magical moments and less

While for what concerns me, I will use the images as anchors to relive all the sensations of the week spent pedaling on the banks of the Po with my new friends. What I want to tell are the magical moments and less , which I lived with almost unknown people, from Saturday 19 June to Sunday 27, united 24 hours a day, by a rather unusual assumption, a neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s.

Difficulties combine, they had already told me, but now more than ever I have the proof. Together we shared: fatigue, joy, enthusiasm, fear, anger, surprise, pain, discomfort, combativeness, rigidity, courage, disbelief, fatigue, loneliness, hope, vitality, union. And also more physical needs such as hunger, thirst, sleep and yes, even bodily needs, which for obvious reasons had to be fulfilled at specific times not always responding to the needs of everyone. (I invite you to follow us to find out how our beautiful girls organized themselves to solve the problem)

A week from God

For my part, I can say that this was also this year’s Bike riding for me. The starting point is that of a film of twenty years ago with Jim Carrey where the protagonist finds himself receiving from God, played by Morgan Freeman, all his powers with which he can make order in the world, for a week. She soon realizes that taking care of everything is challenging and not always fun. Mind you, it’s just a starting point, I’ve always liked doing it and already as a teenager I took on the responsibility of organizing group activities. I have always done it with passion and I have already suffered the consequences, but this time it was very demanding. However, it was a wonderful week, where I learned something every day, also thanks to the mistakes made,

Everything went well thanks to the collaboration of the whole group, the relationship of trust that was created was one of the most important results we have achieved together. I want to thank in particular those who from February onwards, every day, have supported me by helping me in the choices and giving all of themselves as: SAMANTHA VIZENTIN, ANTONELLA BRUNACCI, ROBERTO RUSSO, MASSIMO GUZZI, FILIPPO MION, ANNALAURA MAURIN and FLAVIO BONINI .

Cycling in the VEnTO with Parkinsonauts

I begin by telling you that, like other endurance sports that I have experienced in the past, such as the marathon, this journey has also left this feeling. When you finish you are exhausted, you wonder how you did it and you tell yourself that you will not do it again, in the following weeks you take some rest to restore your energy and find the motivation to start over, then the strong feelings and emotions you have re-emerge. lived and you can’t wait to leave.

Fatigue and emotions of the last day

Is this better or that other?

Someone these days asked me this question. Despite the similarities, from the colors we wore to the sun that accompanied us and the sky that protected us, from a good part of the group members who also participated last year, to the fact that we were cycling, it is not possible for me the two experiences and I don’t even want to. It would be like comparing two beautiful women you loved, each one left you with something unique that you will always be grateful for.

Starting faces

The first thing I want to tell you is that, if I could rewind the tape and start from Turin, this time I would like to be any of the PARKINSONAUTI of this wonderful adventure, to be able to enjoy it without the tension for the responsibility that I have taken on. In some moments I felt alone, tired and I was afraid of making mistakes. The commitment to make everything work better every day, respecting everyone’s personalities and difficulties, generating the necessary energy, trying to make a smile arise, intercepting problems in the bud and trying to solve them is tiring. As the mayor of Crema, Stefania Bonaldi, taught me, we often find ourselves making decisions that create discontent.

Here is one of the questions we will ask during the interviews: what were the things you liked the most and what would you like to have improved next time?

The great river to protect us and the people to welcome us

The places of a wonderful Italy even on a simple embankment of the great river, which flows slowly accompanying and protecting you, this is the feeling I felt when I often found it on the optical horizon.

the blue river and the pink patrol advancing together

The welcome of the people we met along the way is another magic. They waited for us under the sun to hug us, feed us, quench our thirst and listen to our stories, discovering a totally different reality than what they knew about Parkinson’s. On two occasions we stopped and by chance we met some fellow pathologists who, incredulously and astonished, asked us who we were and where we came from. When we talked about the ride, the team and the project they were surprised, speechless, and then wished us the best and asked to keep in touch.

Thanks also to the associations, to the municipalities who welcomed us into their squares and cities, to the representatives of the administrations and to the police forces who have escorted us on several occasions:

  • Turin – Vice-president of the city council Viviana Ferrero
  • Trino – Deputy Mayor Elisabetta Borgia.
  • Community Exodus don Mazzi of Garlasco.
  • Casale Monferrato – Councilor for Sport Luca Novelli, Lucia’s Friends Association and Fiab Association.
  • Pavia – Councilor for Sport Pietro Trivi and Councilor for Health Anna Zucconi. Ass. Parkinson Pavia and Mondino Irccs Foundation.
  • Milan – Councilor for Tourism, Sport and Leisure Roberta Guaineri
  • Rivolta d’Adda – Mayor, Fabio Maria Martino Calvi
  • Crema – Mayor Stefania Bonaldi, Deputy Mayor and councilor for welfare Michele Gennuso, Pro – Loco president Vincenzo Cappelli, La Tartaruga Onlus Association president Marco Bartolomeo Mantegazza, Secretary Luigi Cerabolini, Panathlon, Pro Loco President Vincenzo Cappelli, Panathlon President Massimiliano Aschedamini, Mondi di Carta Cultural Association President Enrico Tupone, Don Lorenzo Roncalli of the San Bernardino Parish
  • Cremona, Councilors Luca Zanacchi and Rosita Viola, La Tartaruga Onlus Association President Giovanna Pigoli, CSI Cremona Claudio Ardigò and Antonioli Amedeo, Panathlon President Roberto Rigoli, Pierluigi Torresani, Giuseppe Denti.
  • Zibello – Deputy Mayor Davide Cappa and municipal councilors Gianluca Copelli and Elia Vighi, Paradiso del Sapore, Meat and cured meats boutique, Arbora and Leon d´Oro inn
  • Casalmaggiore – Mayor Filippo Bongiovanni Councilor for Sport of the municipality of Torrile Giorgio Faelli, Curator of the Bijou Letizia Frigerio museum
  • Viadana – Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Sport Alessandro Cavallari
  • Carpi – Guerzoni Social Center, Giulio Lazzaretto, Giuseppe Cattini, Antonella Preti and Luisa Baracchi
  • Modena – Councilor for sport Grazia Baracchi
  • Finale Emilia – Mayor Sandro Palazzi, Virgilio Garganelli, Pro Loco of Finale Emilia Antonella Diegoli, Association ¨Cuciniamoconamore¨ parish priest Don Daniele, Dario Braida farm, Ornella Poletti
  • Ferrara – Deputy Mayor Nicola Lodi
  • Porto Viro – Municipal Councilor Nicola Marinelli, President of the Pro Loco Antonella Ferro
  • Chioggia – Councilor Isabella Penzo

Angels in motorfiets

An immense thanks goes to Serianna Perosini, coordinator of the Brescia section of the “Angeli in Moto” , an association born in Rome in  2015  from the desire of  Maria Sara Feliciangeli  and today is made up of more than  800 motorcyclists  who distribute drugs and support throughout Italy to families in difficulty. Thanks to his help, the Angels escorted us to all the stages with their splendid motorcycles that reached us in the morning at the departure from the sections of the area closest to us.

The story continues in the next few days …

Friends, supporters and sponsors.

Meanwhile, I want to thank: members, friends, supporters and sponsors, without whom all this would not have been possible. Thanks to them, we were able to support all the expenses of the pink caravan, asking parkinsonauts only for the annual membership fee to the Association and a deposit to confirm their participation.TwitterWhatsappShare


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