Carlo Gironi

“Cycling in Milan means escaping from the chaotic everyday routine and going up into the hills and mountains and the lakes just outside the city, to explore the roads less travelled. Climbing a mountain in solitude and then ending up at a party with your cycling friends.”


Carlo's Ride

It's a loop of about five hours, straddling the province of Lecco and Bergamo. It rises to Valcava from the side of Torre de Busi, descending into the Imagna Valley in the direction of Sant'Omobono Terme and rising to Berbenno and then Gerosa. On towards Blello (the smallest town in the province of Bergamo), From the top of the hill at Forcella di Bura the road descends to the land of Vedeseta, leaving behind the Valsassina, and it’s all downhill to Val Taleggio (before the tunnel, take the road to the right to see the gorge of the Val Taleggio). Finally we cross San Pellegrino Terme and you fall into the province of Lecco the Val Brembana.

Download the GPX route

Tell me about your start with cycling.

I started to ride as a kid on an old orange steel road bike, but after a bad fall I thought I would lose it. I only resumed riding during the last years of university; I first started riding on a MTB that was lying in the cellar full of dust, riding dirt roads near the house, and shortly afterwards on the road, always for a hobby.

What anecdote of cycling history do you want to tell us about?

During the Tour of Lombardy 2013 I saw Peter Sagan on the first 18% hairpin of my favorite climb turn around and tell whoever pushed him: “Do not push me, I’m withdrawing”.

Who were the first people you used to ride with? Who influenced you?

My mechanic who has given me this passion and whose grit and attitude I envy. And then all the people from all over the world that I met, through the social networks and the Rapha Cycling Club, and with whom I was pedaling. People who are asking me to guide them in the area, or just to ride in good company.

Who is your bicycle role model?

I do not have special cycling models because I cycle for passion, without looking for results or performances. Cyclists that live cycling like a lifestyle, normal people who do so many sacrifices to find time to cycle, train, travel the world and climb new climbs.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in this sport?

To take it smoothly because it leads to addiction. More seriously, do not live it like a sport but as a way to “get rid of” the routine. I don’t know what to say… definitely to have fun while cycling.

Coffee ride, paceline, or a three-day epic?

Ten-day epic. I dream of doing a Cent Cols Challenge, and sooner or later I’ll do it. However, I do not dislike coffee rides or pacelines, it always depends on what you want to do, where you want to ride (and where you rode the day before and where you will be riding the next day) and with whom you are cycling with.
The important thing is to ride.