Cycling with Ferrari

17 10 2008

In which a plethora of supercars make my regular cycling route more interesting

After my recent encounter with a group of Ferrari Californias during my usual bike ride, I discovered that Ferrari is holding the official test drives and press previews of the new model in my town. Automotive journalists are coming from all over the world to try out the new model and they are trying them out along the stretch of road where I usually go out riding my Wilier.

Ferrari California - more exciting than the Fiat 126s I usually see
Ferrari California – slightly more glamorous than the Fiat 126s I usually see


Since the excitement of seeing the Ferraris last time was followed by a bad (Mercedes) driver’s attempt to run me down in front of my house, I increased my visibility this week by wearing my bright yellow ‘bad boys of cycling’ kits – first a Riccardo Ricco style Saunier Duval outfit and after my retro Marco Pantani-Mercatone Uno kit.

I usually go out (when I can) around 5pm after a long day at work or sitting in front of the computer working on the final revisions for my book. On Wednesday in particular, a number of Ferraris were going up and down the road the entire time I was out. I saw red ones, blue ones, grey ones, with the tops up and down, with and without camera crews, going fast or slow. Wow! My favourite moment was watching a group of excited local Fiat drivers pass one particularly slow moving Ferrari. The locals were punching their fists in the air as they managed to pass the supercar (at approx. 30kmh). For you car buffs, I can only say that the new model looks nice and makes a very loud roar as it passes…

Meeting the stars

As I was coming up to the top of the steepest hill on my route, winding my way around the switchback curves after 35km of fun, I came across a parked car and camera crew. Curious and always keen to talk to the stars (I met Angelo ‘King Kong’ Mosca twenty years ago), I felt I recognized the ‘motoring journalist’ from somewhere:

Me: Are you the guy from the car show on British tv?

Star: Yes.

Me: Cool.

As I was speeding down the other side, by racing bike standards, the Ferrari zoomed past and the driver waved at me. After I got home, thanks to Google, I connected the face with Tom Ford from the tv programme Fifth Gear.

All in all, an interesting afternoon on the bike.