“Poli, like the grappa!” laughs serial Pegoretti owner Ezio, pointing to a nearby bottle of aged Sarpa Oro di Poli to explain how to spell his last name. And then he’s off, hailing Pietro from the other side of the Officina, backslapping Andrea, joking with Leonardo and generally spreading bonhomie in spades before catching sight of the freshly repainted Pegoretti New Love #3 he’s here to pick up, one of several models of Pegoretti Ezio has owned or sold throughout the years. “Ah, she’s beautiful!” he marvels. “The paint came out exactly as I imagined. What a job you did, boys!”
After much admiration, more jokes and enough backslapping to see us through the year with good vibes to spare, Ezio sits down to reflect on his long history with Pegoretti. “Dario, he was a dear friend, but he could also be a real arsehole!” he snorts, laughing again. “Of course, I miss him terribly, our arguments: ‘Make me a frame! No, I will not! Make me a frame, god damn you! I said no!’ Haha, how I miss those times.”
And when did he get his first Pegoretti? “Before, way before ‘Pegoretti’ as we know the brand today,” he reflects. “And my first was also a first for Dario. He was still working for his father-in-law at Milani, and I asked him to build me a bike without lugs – a TIG-welded frame. It was a test for him because while he knew of TIG, he wasn’t sure if it was a suitable method for a bike frame. But, you know, he had this insatiable curiosity, so he wanted to try it out. Of course, today, Dario is recognized as a TIG pioneer in the bike world, but he never thanked me!” he quips.
Over the years, Ezio has bought and sold more Pegoretti frames than he can remember. “I like to get a new bike, like everybody,” he explains, “but it’s also nice to let one go for someone else to enjoy. There’s endless variety – in the geometric paint schemes, in Ciavete – and I get so excited when I see new colours that might render well on a bike frame that, before long, I’ve ordered another!”
And at that, we arrive back at Ezio’s repainted New Love #3, an arresting blend of beguiling green and gold that looks especially radiant when photographed in front of the flowers outside the Studio La Citta gallery next door. “It’s perfect, just perfect,” he declares. “Pietro and his team are magicians. I’m so happy to see the Bottega like this, creative and forward-looking as Dario always was.”
Then he’s heading to the door, one arm in the air to wave while the other pushes his bike, laughing each step of the way. “See you all soon!” he shouts from the door. “I might need a new frame for summer!”