A TRAVEL IN FIXED GEAR
Pietro and his adventure
FROM MILAN TO CAPE NORTH
In fixed gear for charity
06 Ottobre 2022
Arriving to North Cape by bike has always been on my wish list. But there was a problem: I wanted to do it in fixed gear …
What gave me the strength to do all this? The choice to do it for charity!
In fact, with this adventure, I decided to support the Lombardy Food Bank which for over 30 years has been involved in recovering food that would otherwise be wasted to provide meals to those who need it most.
The first fear
I have made many trips by bicycle in recent years, but going to the North Cape alone was a challenge that I had never faced before. The first part of the journey, the one from Italy to Denmark, is quite easy and simple, but when you enter in Scandinavia the things become more complex. I was particularly afraid of the rain, even if statistically is less in the summer, because for me it would have been a great obstacle to face. Distances increase between one city and another and the weather begins to become increasingly uncertain and cold.
How to dress
Another precaution was to equip myself with resistant and comfortable clothing, to ride both in the scorching heat of the Po valley and in the forests of Lapland. But let's go in order, because that is the final part of the journey and then “you can shelter from the cold but not from the heat”, as my grandmother always says.
Let's start with comfort: to stay on the saddle for an average of 7 hours every day for 40 days, you need shorts equipped with a high-end pad. My choice has been Push Hard's “FAST” bib short which never made me feel pain for the entire duration of the trip, thanks to its Elastic Interface pad and the choice of comfortable and delicate materials. Of course, my habit of sitting in the saddle for many hours in a row and a biomechanical visit made before leaving certainly helped, but I would not exchange the “FAST” shorts with anyone else in the world. And that's why I brought two.
Over the bib short you put the jersey, which also must facilitate the movements of the body and follow them, without bothering. I used two jerseys from the same series: Push Hard's “AERO RAINBOW”. I found them both very comfortable and pleasant to the touch, above all able to stay fixed and in position without ever creating rubbing on the body, thanks also to the construction made with different fabrics depending on the area concerned.
Another problem for travelers who sleep using the tent is the bad smells, especially in the socks we use all day. In the evening it is never a pleasant feeling to remove the socks in the tent, but thanks to the use of natural and high quality materials, such as merino wool, my socks from the BLADE series by Push Hard never gave me that unpleasant feeling that bike travelers know well!
The unmissable jacket
As I said, little by little, as we approach the north, the clothing’s needs change. Here the jersey is no longer enough and an additional layer is needed, light and comfortable but warm at the same time. If there is a Push Hard product that I love, it is certainly the merino wool jacket from the WILD series that I have been using for more than a year and that I would not change with any other mid layer on the market.
When I started using the merino wool jacket I was still more than 700km from Nordkapp and I must say that in the end the temperatures were very kind to me. In any case, from personal experience I prefer not to leave anything to chance in case of a sudden drop in temperatures, a phenomenon that can happen even in the height of summer in Lapland. It is “Power” the jacket in a mixture of Primaloft of Push Hard. A compact and very light product, but which ensures total protection even in the event of temperatures below zero. The waterproof rear pocket and the sleeves are completed with the predisposition to protect the hands, increasing the sensation of warmth.
Following the teaching of the founder of scouting Baden Powell: "There is no good or bad weather: there is only good or bad equipment" I am happy to have chosen Push Hard products, which helped me ride 4,700km from Milan to the North Cape in fixed gear without ever a pain or discomfort in my body. With the best of the best equipment I just had to go north and push hard.