Monday, October 29, 2007

João how did this all start

I get asked two questions a lot. The first one is "João how did this whole thing start" and the second usually is "Jesus man how did you get so fat". I'll start with the first one now and leave the second one to another day.

It was May of 2006 and I was doing the Dieci Colli Granfondo in Bologna with the Pinarello team. Somehow I ended up riding with Fausto Pinarello (see picture) and a before I got popped on one of the climbs (getting popped on climbs is a theme in this blog) I was pacing him a bit and he asked me if I had ever raced. I said "yes as a matter of fact I was a pro in a Portuguese team" (I say that a lot but nobody cares). He told me that he could tell that I was an ex-racer and said if I could drop the weight that I would probably be able to get over the hills. Then he dropped me. The Dieci Colli Granfondo is extremely hilly and I remember that when I crossed the line many hours laters I almost started to cry from happiness. Happiness that the darn thing was over.

A few months later I was at the Pinarello Granfondo and during the warm up ride I was riding with Giorgio Andretta and Sandy Nicholls of Gita and Giorgio says to me "Hey you should race again, I am sure if you dropped the weight you could race again." For some reason I went with it and thought "Yeah I can do this again" I mean the heck with the fact that I am a fat pig (being fat is a secondary theme on this blog) and like to put away 5 course meals with one or two bottles of wine a few times per week. But the idea went into my thick head and that's how it started. By end of October I was seeing Max Testa and Nanna Meyer and I've been hungry ever since. Thanks Giorgio, really appreciate this one.