The year 2021 was also a challenging year for us as for everyone. Compounded by the uncertainties dictated by the pandemic, the boom in the bicycle industry and a flood of ideas that prevent us from resting even when we would like to, we have spent the past 12 months working belly-to-belly without even having time to tell people what we do.
We take advantage of these festive days to take stock of the activities we have carried out during 2021.
For us, the year opened with the launch of an online course dedicated to all those who want to bike home even when everything seems to be roiling against them. The“Emergency Bicycle Mechanics” course was a four-handed collaboration with Sergio Borroni, a physician, videomaker and bicycle adventurer who put his half-century of bicycle travel experience at our disposal. The course immediately became one of the best-selling courses in our catalog and, judging by the 35 reviews it received, also seems to be very popular with the public.
In February, we took advantage of the closure period dictated by the pandemic to organize and execute a digital symposium dedicated to urban mobility management in the 3rd millennium: mobilitARS. MobilitARS was commissioned from us by the Selle Royal Group to raise the level of debate in our country, and we got a little carried away: on the four Wednesday mornings in February, 50 top experts from all over Italy took turns on the digital park we set up to address the challenges of the healthy city and the resilient city for a total of 16 hours of live streaming that was watched live by an average of 300 people including insiders and enthusiasts.
With the arrival of spring, we started a collaboration with a formidable athlete, Paola Gianotti.
Paola is one of the most bubbly women on the national cycling scene, not only because of the 4 Guinness World Records she has achieved as the fastest woman to go around the world on a bicycle, among other things, but above all because of the energy she manages to transmit and pour into every activity she does.
By trade, Paola does coaching, and in a time as full of uncertainty as the one we are currently experiencing, we imagined that a path was needed to help people achieve their goals without being discouraged by the gray clouds on the horizon.
Thus was born the online course“Reach Your Goals with Paola Gianotti,” which, in 5 hours of video lectures, accompanies the trainee in defining his or her own goals and devising the best strategies to reach the set goals.
The month of April was a source of particular joy and satisfaction for us because after years of working exclusively with foreign tourism promotion entities, we finally managed to work for an Italian entity as well. So in April we published the guidebook“The Parks of Calabria by Bicycle,” a 64-page ebook chronicling the 540 kilometers of the newly formed Parks of Calabria Ciclovia. The content was especially popular with Bikeitalia readers, who downloaded it about 1,700 times.
As mentioned, sometimes it happens that we have a few free moments, and in these moments we are certainly not sitting on our hands. In May, we wanted to launch a somewhat Dadaist provocation: on the morning of May 12, we hung a banner from the balustrade of the Bussa overpass in Milan with the unambiguous content,“By bike you would have already arrived.”
We did not claim the action, but the font and color used for the lettering did not go unnoticed and someone noticed the signature. In any case, the banner was photographed and shared several times on social media putting in front of everyone’s eyes such an obvious fact that 3 days later the banner was removed by some citizen upset by the message. In the meantime, however, major news outlets have been talking about it and addressing the issue.
The month of June opened with Bikeitalia Day, a festive Republic Day pedal ride in which 60 cities throughout Italy (including islands) celebrated World Bike Day a day early. Bikeitalia Day was free and involved a few thousand citizens sending a message of unity and brotherhood also to enshrine the end of a period of confinement and exclusion.
Participation was free of charge. We gained nothing from it, but do you want to put the satisfaction and pleasure?
Also in June, we launched the guidebook“Southern Finland by Bicycle,” a free ebook chronicling the beauty of southern Finland.
In the month of July, we rolled up our sleeves to assist Shimano Italy in the corporate mobility efficiency process by carrying out for them, in addition to a study of corporate mobility demand, the Mobility Hub: a parking lot for employees who want to bike to work equipped with showers, lockers, and all the amenities for cycling to work. We have discussed this in more detail here: click.
The project was launched during the European Sustainable Mobility Week.
In August we rested or at least tried to.
The return from vacation for us has been the usual whirlwind of activity partly because of European Mobility Week during which a thousand activities are always concentrated. Among those we would like to highlight was the presentation of the short film“The Raiders of the Lost Cycleway: mission parks of Calabria,” directed by Sergio Borroni and featuring Paola Gianotti, as well as “our” Pinar and Paolo Pinzuti, for the first time as actors.
Just a few days later, we presented the ebook“Discover Cuneo and its surroundings by Bicycle,” a free publication produced on behalf of the City of Cuneo to tell about family-friendly cycling tourism, with 4 itineraries specially designed to combine slow cycling, with nature and good food.
With European Mobility Week over, however, our commitment to the issue did not end, and we continued to talk about mobility by presenting a new ebook produced in collaboration with Metalco dedicated to young children:“School Streets, New Squares for the City.” Within the ebook we have included a ready-to-use communication campaign for parents and teaching staff to request a school road from their mayor.
Also working alongside the City of Cuneo, we were responsible for producing a guide to discovering the “Mediterranean Alps by Bicycle” to present a territory between France and Italy with five proposed routes for cyclists in good shape who want to challenge the climbs that have made cycling history. The ebook made (and free downloadable) covers MTB, road bike and gravel bike practice with a very adventurous slant but with a key that would enhance intermodal connections by train.
And with the arrival of the bad season, we also wanted to turn our thoughts to all those cyclists who do not want to lose their shape as temperatures drop, and that is why we have created, in collaboration with Marta Fovana, a video course of “Indoor Preparation for Cyclists“: 40 videos for 19 lessons and 3 training plans.
At the close of the year we also wanted to devote special attention to the bicycle as a tool and published, in quick succession“The Guide to Choosing a Women’s Bicycle” made in collaboration with LIV and the“Guide to Choosing the Right Saddle for Traveling” in collaboration with Selle SMP.
Other things about 2021
And then there are the other small milestones achieved throughout the year that are independent of dates.
Bikeitaliait continues to be one of the most widely read bicycle news publications in the Italian language, and the millions of readers who have chosen us are proof of that.
During 2021 our network of cycling biomechanics (the Bikeitalia Labs), with the opening of Verona and Cosenza has grown to 8 centers to assist cyclists throughout Italy.
Our Training Service has reached the milestone of 50 followed and satisfied athletes.
Also in 2021 we moved to a new location in Sesto San Giovanni (but we will tell you about that later).
And for those who are primarily concerned with the income statement, we are especially happy to report that for the third year in a row Bikenomist grew by 35 percent year-on-year.
What about 2022?
2022 if possible will be an even busier year than the one that just ended because we have decided to organize the Cycling Fair (to be held on the March 12 and 13 at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan) and the new edition of the mobilitARS to be held in Reggio Emilia from the May 26 to 28, 2022.
And then we will continue with business as usual, continuing the editorial activity on Bikeitalia.it, delivering our courses in mechanics, biomechanics and training, with bike fit and everything that helps cyclists feel good in the saddle and on the roads.
And Happy 2022 to all of you who follow us and, like us, want to turn Italy into a bikeable country.