Mom and Dad, Tilde and Sergio, tell when I threw out from the fourth floor window my tricycle since I had grown up and it became small due to my height...!
I recall by my treadle go-kart, being bored with running into our house, I began going down fourth floor staircase, ‘till the main door of the house where we used to live...
So, I let out this first stage of worrying experiences, even if formative... to tell you about the smith who, from time to time, welded my bike’s rear frame, with the one I tried to follow my friends in the motor-cycle scrambling field close to our home.
On June 1970 at Città di Castello (Perugia), dad Sergio took me to see the acrobatic show of SIMCA cars.
French cascadeurs Jean Sunny and Josè Canga, pioneers in Europe for driving cars on two wheels only, presented the new SIMCA with their acrobatic troupe. I was 11 year old and for the first time, i saw cars go spin right round and only on two wheels...!
Motorcycle experiences, began with my Peugeot 104 48cc motorcycle and the Vespa 50cc Piaggio of my friend Bettino Mangani, converted into a 90cc special; with them we could stay on balance on the rear wheel for along hundreds of meters and to scramble in quite all Roman suburbs’ fields.
I recall with pleasure when, in an afternoon of lucid craziness, we went to Passo Corese, where there is the historic scrambling field, whose track runs from Sabina hills ‘till the city walls of Rome; arrived there, we decided to drive along with his Vespa the whole route, the quarry’s jump included.
Being not satisfied with such venture, Bettino decided to achieve the circuit’s whole turn on the reverse as to the ordinary direction; then he told, that way it was actually another lane and in fact he was right! But he was obliged to avoid the famous quarry’s jump, which due to its characteristics cannot be “copied” on the contrary with a 50cc, even if converted into a fantastic ninety cc...
That experience changed our lives. It was like, motorciclystically speaking, everything or almost everything could be possible.
Almost like stimulus coming from the road, dad Sergio, driven by his fondness for motors, thought to buy a marvellous second-hand Moto Guzzi California, with the one during week-ends led me to the sea, teasing my appetite and allowing me to drive it.
Mom Tilde followed us on her Mini Minor Innocenti together with my three sisters, who amused by those strange couple of motor drivers, supported our Mom, hoping that she could reach the destination before us...!
When I was 16 years hold, I had my first scrambling motorcycle, a K.T.M. 125 GS 2T first version having a Kappa engine.
With it and the other neighbour motorised funambulist for some years, we vexed via dei Gonzaga inhabitants, the street where I lived and where, from time to time, we used to experience various technical solutions.
Supported by Virgilio Assegna, called “Fife”, passion and friendship, a mechanic and philosopher of old past times, we daily kept busy his machine shop with our motorcycles, contributing with enthusiasm to the topics of “motors and alike”.
After years spent on testing, I began to scramble with a real motor ; I obtained Junior Roadrunners license at the Italian Motorcycle Committee and I enrolled to Younger Championship and Regional Junior 125 cc category and I began to take part in contests.
In those years Bettino worked as a mechanic, with our friend and guru of the scramble Roberto Paoletti.
Together we decided to give a maximum travel to dampers converting my Kappa’s rear frame, which being a regular motor, was a little bit “sitting” to be used for scrambling.
With Roberto reconstructed hand-made induction’s box, contrary to the original, I finally could use a washable sponge filter and reassemble it in a few seconds, worthy of an official motor.
I took part into several contests but notwithstanding scrambling kept busy almost all my thoughts and spare time, anyway I had a strange bent for asphalt and mono-wheel.
The latter one, has always been my measure to better understand cycling and any two-wheeled mean’s balance and sensations arising from it.
On September 1979 together with my usual group of funambulist friends, we went to see Holer Togni’s STUNT CARS show, which halted in our town.
The show ended, we stayed for a conversation with Holer, who after a short talk, asked me to test my motor in his arena for a first approach with jumping-ramps.
The day after, i was there with my Kappa to adjust the chain’s tension and fuelling, I did not Know yet how it would be, but I was really stimulated by the idea to overpass by flight about ten cars placed side by side between the starting and the arrival ramp.
I recall that for the first jump we get the two ramps very close to understand the motor’s reaction and to get used to the tieof landing on the arrival ramp.
Jumping with those ramps was a joy which would have made happy any scrambler driver, but you were forced to land on the arrival ramp’s higher side, otherwise you risked at the end of the ride the “pack” of the shock-absorbers and a stunning tossing on your back.
To regulate my speed, first I made a test drive driving at the ramps’ side so, in the meanwhile, listening to the engine revolutions, I kept in mind that getting into third gear at ¾ of the accelerator, I could jump across 8 cars, getting into fourth gear half speed I could jump across 11 cars, always getting into fourth gear but at high speed the cars became 15 and so on.
That strange attraction for asphalt and one wheel, turned into a profession giving me the chance to join STUNT CARS troupe touring across Italy.
After Rome we made our début in Milan in the large square before San Siro Stadium.
I mounted two ramps to jump, placing 11 cars side by side to fill the empty space parting them; I get the mixture ready, I fill in my Kappa tank and after having put on my scrambling outfit, I began warming up by long one-wheels and then I broke lose with a series of jumps.
So long I stood saddling on my one-wheel and jumping, to empty my tank and inevitably my Kappa switched off.
While still saddling, I thought about what happened, holer got close to me and smiling he told:
“...hey young stuntman! The tour is still long, try to keep unbroken...”
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