by Casey Thompson © 2017 Bike It! Bellagio
Benvenuto a Bike It! Bellagio! Luca and I are excited to open our new bike shop in Bellagio this March. One photo that has always inspired both of us is the famous image of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali, two Italian cycling rivals, where one is passing a water bottle to the other along the Col du Galibier during the 1952 Tour de France. The legend is that still today no one knows who is passing the water bottle to whom. This represents the values of the sport of cycling: integrity beyond the competition, friendship, sharing, and brotherhood through the efforts. As the motto of the Giro di Lombardia 2012 reminds us: Il cielo e' in cima a una salita or “Heaven is on top of a climb.” Reaching the top of the climb takes teamwork, even if you’re not necessarily on the same team. Coppi and Bartali were always rivals in the postwar years; they were only on the same team in 1940, Cicli Legnano. After the war, Coppi raced for Bianchi for more than 10 years! The tifosi (fans) of the two champions were quite divided, each party completely dedicated to their champion; however, together the fans found positivity and glory in the sport of cycling during these years. Cycling was an opportunity for success and well-being, taking advantage of one’s potential and training hard through the heat, the cold, and risk of falling along the dusty and muddy postwar streets. Cycling also served as a symbol of the Italian effort to readapt the country to normal lifestyles and to open doors for a patriotic future through sport. This unification of Italians through their love of cycling brought together the divided Bartali-Coppi fans because, in the end, everyone was just rooting for Italy. We also believe in the unification that the many cyclists and cycling communities share around the world. We all ride for the love of our sport, and we love to share the sport with others. Thus, the Bartali-Coppi photo was the perfect image to use as the basis for our logo.