Cristian the Pusharder of homeward travel
12 luglio 2019
Passionate trailrunner and nostalgic cycle traveler with thirty years of experience on the roads of half of Europe
Cristian, 49 years old, pusharder DOP of the Veronese Lake Garda, passionate trailrunner and nostalgic cycle traveler with thirty years of experience on the roads of half of Europe not without extra-continental digressions (New Zealand 2001, Madagascar 2007, United States 2009).
Since he has a family, he continues to travel, but the goal, now and more than before, is always the return home. Failed perfectionist, as he likes to define himself, remains tied to a “Teutonic” vision of traveling by bike, that is, all “bags and luggage racks”.
Last October, on the occasion of the short cycle trip “From the Cévennes to the Alps”, he cycled for just under 900 km and 10,000 d +, on his American brand gravel bike with aluminum frames and single fork on the left.
Without exaggerating too much with the difference in height, slopes and thin air, preferring affordable and never too hard climbs: “Not all journeys must lead to conquering daring peaks or pedaling beyond one’s limits” – specifies Cristian – “but an adventure even if alone five days is a concentrate of emotions and discoveries that certain people don’t dream of enjoying in a lifetime and more”.
Essential in the route, strictly without a trace, Cristian relies on paper maps 1: 200.000 and topographical instinct: a cross-border cycle journey for unsubstantiated reasons of necessity between history, landscapes and tradition of the province and of the little-traveled roads, enhancing the sense of the crossing and of do-it-yourself.
Left without crowds and alone from the city of Montpellier, Occitania, Southern France, where he arrived with the green low-cost buses with orange writing, he immediately climbed Mont Aigoual, at 1567 meters above sea level in the heart of the Cévennes National Park .
Then always and only eastwards through Vaucluse, Luberon and Haute Provence. Small changes of program due to floods, interrupted roads and closed passes, brought him to Italy via Col de Larche without ever exceeding 2000 meters of altitude.
Following Langhe and the Po Valley, celebrating the secondary roads festival, moving from west to east in “solitude and self-sufficiency”, the cornerstones of his cycling creed. “Solo ride means generous set-up made of a tent to stay overnight, a stove for cooking, legs to pedal and a head to … make quick and effective decisions and indelibly fix colors, smells, efforts, visions, sensations, thoughts in the mind.
Cristian defines himself as “explorer of the comfort zone. In fatigue and discomfort, I seek harmony, fluidity, the pleasure of digression, pointing a direction and thinking all day about the end of the stage which is my personal icing on the cake. , you must have residual physical and mental resources, as well as something to nibble in your bags. If you get there crushed, you don’t need champagne, oysters and very fresh coquilles Saint Jacques to lift your spirits!
Cristian cultivates the natural propensity to “place himself in a wood, light a fire, prepare a soup, defecate in the bush, wash as best he can and above all fall asleep without fear of being eaten by the big bad wolf at the first noise among the leaves”. This is what he wants. “In your bags, in your frames, in your sleeping bag, in your pot and in your tent there are the things you need and if you want you can do without the rest of the world”.
The bike trip and the art of the hustler in freedom
Cristian travels and talks about himself by personal and unconditional choice and above all at his own expense.
That said, on this and other occasions, Cristian tested some iconic PH garments for us.
In particular, the NZ merino wool sweaters and the Atelier and Fast bibs, putting them to the test of long journeys, many hours in the saddle with their heads down, precarious personal hygiene and autumnal low and medium mountain environmental conditions.
He came out intact and satisfied, including buttocks and family jewels: the lower back especially thanks the pads and materials of the PH bib shorts with sublime ergonomics to reduce friction and chafing and resistant to pilling and abrasions.
Thanks to the high-breathability Gravity® membrane that is able to protect from wind and water, it was not even necessary to wear the second layer on sunny mid-mountain descents.
But when needed, in one of the three back pockets with a graduated cut of the NZ jersey, it is always good to keep the light WELL cape, rigorously coordinated in colors, reflective, windproof and splashproof, to which you can add a selection of snacks, including exclusive chocolates “Choco2Ride “made specifically for PH by TuttoCioccolato maître chocolatiers from Cuneo.
In the steep descents with the head down, the neck is always in place thanks to the slightly raised collar shape.
And where that is not enough, the seamless neck warmer takes care of it, which will amaze you with its versatility: as a tubular to protect the neck from the cold or to be worn under a helmet … always well fastened.
Finally, the “Italian style” CAP Pusharder, an iconic must-have to wear with pride as a peak, turned up or down, before, during and after cycling.
Head dry and lit at night and day. And warm feet, thanks to the comfortable Rock socks in merino wool, breathable, with graduated compression and high quality yarns. From the south of France, requests for PH essentials are no longer counted after our Pusharder transit home!
We like to think that this is simply true #marchettaisthenewtruth
Not just hustlers …
Cristian is also suffering from an irreversible defect in glucose metabolism, a condition called “type 1 diabetes”. “But – he specifies – this is another story, which you can learn more about on www.diabetenolimits.com“.