Every once in a while I consider myself so lucky to have the friends I have. All the torrents of abuse that I seem to attract on this blog and on twitter from certain members of the cycling world fade into insignificance when I remember I have some really good friends and people who just want to share stuff with me because they, like me, have a massive love of cycling and don’t really care for all the bullshit that comes with a lot industry people. Paul Whitfield of C3 products is one of those people. Paul is not only interesting and genuinely passionate about cycling but also, more rarely, he actually gives a shit about the stuff he sells. If Paul recommends a product to me I take immediate notice and sit up as neither himself or C3 deal in rubbish. Everything they distribute is the best and there is a reason for that, it’s because they are all serious fans and lovers of cycling and like any fan they want the best they can get their hands on and the best they can put their names too.
However what I got in the post today is nothing to do with a product to review or an item to promote. Paul sent me this because he knows how much I love Italian cycling and wanted to see it go to a good home. Last weekend saw the Ballerini memorial race which, the main man PIPPO won. Whilst we were discussing the event Paul said “I have something special for you and I’ll pop it in the post.” What you see below is that something special. Sportful, one of Paul‘s clients have a well known connection with Italian cycling and the Cremonese family who own Sportful and all those at Sportful were proud to have known Franco Ballerini personally. Whilst at the launch of the Sportful new season range Paul was very lucky to be given one of these specially commissioned books by the family celebrating Ballerini’s life which he has now given to me. Italian cycling has a lot of critics but what some people don’t see is the amount of love families like the Cremonese family put into their product, their history and the sport they love. Ballerini was a great man and this book goes some way to illustrate that.
I am extremely proud to have been given this and I will cherish it always. It’s written solely, as you would expect, in Italian so its going to take me forever to read it as I average about one sentence per minute at the moment but that just means I will cherish it even more.
As a person I love to put my faith, energy and trust in people I think deserve it. Paul, C3 products and the Cremonese family of Sportful are just such people. In life I don’t really care for much outside of my family and friends and I hope I can include these people in that small but valuable list.
Thanks so much for sending me this book, it is amazing.