Padua – Finally he did it Gianni PaganinThe intrepid cyclist from Montanayana who completed all “Coast to Coast” United States, the journey from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast. In 32 days he traveled 5200 km, From Santa Monica to New York: a solo pilgrimage through the many souls of the United States, the great heart of America and its contradictions.
He tried it three years ago, but his dream was shattered by a truck that hit him hard while pedaling in the Arizona desert. Doctors did everything they could to avoid infectionarm amputation: It took three interventions – led by Professor Daniel Cockmayer of the University of Las Vegas – but in the end all went well and it wasn’t one infection Of this magnitude he did not beat Paganin, a local police officer in Venice and close to retirement.
After many months Rehabilitation, extensive training sessions, and tests of new equipment, in May Gianni loaded his bike on the plane and left for Los Angeles. Needless to say, the first part of the journey is dedicated to legend Route 66The mother of all roads and the mirage of the “easy rider” generation. “I traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico – he says – now only tourists pass it and they are deserted. There’s a motel every 200 km, a gas station every 50, and the extremely high temperatures make it very difficult. I was wearing a head-to-toe white uniform and stopped Bikers to give me water.
in Texas The thermometer hits 56 degrees, with scorching winds threatening to sweep the bike away. Terrible conditions even in Arizona, down Grand Canyon, where in the morning the temperature is close to zero and during the day there are picnics the temperature is 40 degrees. Moreover, the road runs in a straight line for tens of kilometers and goes on without going crazy: “You have to separate the brain,” says Gianni. Deep in America, he captures all the nuances of a diverse and deeply divided people: “I saw Navajo Natives living in enclosures, banners praising Trump and people who went shopping armed. I stopped one day to talk to a cowboy who had a wolf rifle and two gunsOne for vipers and one against potential aggressions, he says, is a great restriction for Americans, they live in almost limitless freedom and this concept also includes armament to the teeth.”
But the United States is above all else: the worship of Elvis, blues and country music at any time: «A Nashville, a city of rare beauty, you can dance and sing all day long. The building is full of people and the sound of guitars can be heard from outside. I inhaled a healthy atmosphere of fun.” Despite the endless hours spent pedaling, there is also time to stop in some places emblematic of a generation such as a statue rocky In Philadelphia: «Unbelievable, there was an endless line to take a picture next to the cheerful boxer. It has become more famous than the nearby museum. Then Washington and New Yorkthe last stage, where Gianni stopped for four days.
“It was the only way I could understand how welcoming the city was – he says – you can go anywhere by bike, even inside the shops. I could not leave it unattended, though I felt very safe: no one touches anything that does not belong to them ». This was all made possible thanks to a custom-made bike with a light and resistant steel frame: “If the bike reflects your metrics, you avoid back pain and joint pain,” he closes. Gianni’s Instagram Profile (gipaco64) is a diary filled with photos and notes of a lifelong dreamed journey. With the head and heart already turned to the next target.
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