The Man From Modena

13th February, 2023
The door to the Bottega is always open. From Monday to Friday, friends, old and new, drop in to talk bikes, life, and often, a whole lot more. Visitors from places we have to look up on the map and locals bringing us lunch. Recently, we hosted Luca Campanale, a Modena-born longtime resident of New York, who walked in with a film camera, a question and a badly bent Marcelo. Like many of the people we have the pleasure of getting to know in person here at Pegoretti, Luca told us a story about his long relationship with cycling and our bikes, a tale he added to with the simple, soulful film he created as part of his visit, which you’ll find below. We’ll let him take it from here.

“I went to visit the Pegoretti team because my Marcelo was crushed when I moved back to Italy from NYC in 2019. I lived and worked in Brooklyn for ten years, and in December 2019, I flew back to Modena to visit family and friends and ended up staying when all of the flights back to New York were cancelled because of Covid. Eventually, I had to settle back in Modena, so I had my stuff shipped to me from Brooklyn. Unfortunately, when I received my belongings, my beloved Pegoretti had a large bend in the frame. I wrote to Pietro to have it fixed, and after a while, I brought the bike to Verona to have the tube replaced and the frame repainted.

“The original paint scheme was a Faema, but for the repaint, I wanted a different one to have a fresh start with the bike. So I had Pietro put “enzo e dario” on the frame because since I had that bike, we lost both of them, and they are very important people in my love and passion for bikes and cycling.

“I met Dario a couple of times, once in NY when he was there for a short trip, where we met for coffee, and once briefly in Verona. I know about him through a friend Paolo Chiossi, who’s a great connoisseur of bikes and whose father, Enzo, was a famous bike mechanic here in Modena. They are why I love cycling in the first place, as I used to spend many afternoons in Paolo’s shop near my university in Modena and at Enzo’s garage, where he used to fix bikes. I purchased my Pegoretti from him as, at the time, I didn’t have money for bikes at all. He took it to Verona, had Pietro or Dario repaint the bike in the Faema colourway, and had the Falz installed.

“All in all, I knew Dario’s story from reading, watching “of steel” and many other films, and hearing the story from Paolo, who knew Dario. And like I said, I got to meet him for the first time in NYC. That was quite amazing for me, to be honest.

“I decided to do the video because after Dario passed, I wanted to answer a question that had been preoccupying my mind: “what happens now to Pegoretti bikes?”. So I decided to ask Pietro and Cristina myself and show that the future, just like a bike ride, moves forward. I hope this message comes through in the video. Looking ahead and moving forward is not about forgetting the past but a solid base to provide a future to those roots. Dario’s idea and contribution to cycling and bike-making deserve a chance to live forever. And just like other great names, like Ferrari, the loss of the founder should not mean the end of his ideals and vision.

“I love the Bottega, and having the privilege to spend time there made me love it even more. There’s so much to be inspired by, lines, colours, sounds and people. Also, the idea that it is not a “romantic” place. Yes, there’s character, there’s poetry, but there’s also work, and production and bikes are made to be sold and ridden. So there’s a sense of “yin and yang”. A balance of delicacy and weight, like a bike frame. Steel and colour, art and substance.

“I currently own two Pegorettis: A purple Buena Vista alloy frame that I use most of the time and a Marcelo that went through many ups and downs but always forward. I owe both bikes to Paolo Chiossi. He gave me the Buena Vista first when he stayed at my place with his daughter Valentina back in 2013, I think. And he then sold me the Marcelo that was originally repainted to the Faema.”

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