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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife and I are travelling to Italy next month to see the Giro. Whilst we are there, I plan to drop by Treviso and visit Pinerello.

I have been corresponding via email with Pinarello over the past few weeks, and I am hoping to be measured over there for a F4:13. If it all works out, I hope to buy it and ship it back to Texas.

Does anyone have any advice or suggestions would you give me?

I am practicing my italian, so I hope that I can get through the language barrier.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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Back in August 1991 I was doing a 10 day tour of Europe on a Harley. I made it a point to go to Treviso just to check out the bikes. It was a pretty small town but the hotel was nice (don't remember the name). Had pizza at a small casual place that I still recall as if it was yesterday. Entering the restaurant shortly after dark, dressed in biker leathers, attracted quite the looks from the patrons and staff. Not speaking Italian, I opened my mouth and pointed in (hoping to communicate that I was hungry), then motioned with my hand as if I was drinking from a mug of suds... Huge smiles erupted on the faces of everyone there, and the one I presumed was the owner ended up at the table, talking with us the entire meal (not that I understood a single word). The pizza was great too. Anyway, I tried to ask where Pinarello was to check it out in the morning and got some directions I didn't understand, but it didn't matter as like I said, it was a small town, and we were close. The next morning I found the small shop, but was disappointed that there were no bikes, only clothing and such. I asked the young lady as best I could where could I check out some bikes. She takes me out the back door of the store and down an alley several doors and we enter a workshop of sorts. Guess who's ? Yep, it was Giovannni Pinarello himself !!! This workshop was not the "factory", but appeared to be his personal hangout. Now as I said earlier, I was there more as a tourist than a shopper, but I recognized this as the once in a lifetime opportunity it was. Mr. Pinarello asked me if I raced, I said no, he measured me up, and I ordered my frame. (I still have this bike, in mint condition as I try not to take it out unless the sun is shining, although I did ride it in the rain/hail of the Solvang Century last month.
I asked Mr. Pinarello if he would sign my paperwork, which got me a seat at a table back in the store with him and one of his buddies where he autographed a poster, and gave me a jersey. What I recall from our conversation that was interesting was that although this was shortly after Indurain had won his 1st tour, and he was on a poster riding a Pinarello in the store, Mr. Pinarello was much more interested in Franco Chioccioli who had won the Giro that year. Oh yeah, I also came away with the impression that the young lady who helped me in the store initially was family, maybe his daughter (Carla was her name I think).

I'd be happy to show you around if you take me with you :) !!!

Lou
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What a terrific story you have to share.....

LouD-Reno,
I hope that I can experience just a bit of the wonderful time that you had spent in 91. Although, I am sure alot has changed now, and I expect that I will not have access to the family.

When we travel to europe, my wife and I try to blend in as much as we can, and try to speak the language and be humble.

I must say that the emails from Julia are very nice, and she is very very helpful and responsive.

We getting very excited about going, and your reply is adding to our anticipation.

Thank you,

Ciao!
 

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Giovanni who is now in his 80's is beginning to suffer from dementia, so it has become quite difficult to communicate with him. Back in the day, he was one of the greatest people that you could imagine dealing with. Cycling is his life and would love nothing more to kibbitz with anybody coming into the shop. He does still come into the shop on a regular basis (he lives 2 minutes away, so he couldn't really leave home without passing the shop)

I lived in Treviso in the early 90's and got to know the whole Pinarello family. Carla is indeed his daughter and she looks after the 'bike' shop up front (usually sitting at the cash register). His son Fausto is more likely to be found in the sporting goods shop that is just across the street from the back door of the bicycle shop. Beyond teh two shops, there is also a workshop where you can often see somebody looking after pro team bikes. There is also a warehouse where they store all kinds of bikes and parts (including city bikes and mountain bikes that are made elsewhere and marketed with the Pinarello name.)

The Pinarello 'factory' and racing bike division is actually located on the Strada Ovest (more correctly called Viale della Repubblica). If you do go into the shop, I would suggest that you try and avoid dealing with the tall fellow (about 6'2") as he has absolutely no understanding about bikes. There used to be a young fellow, Luca that was great to deal with, but after over a decade at Pinarello he left. If you send me a PM with your telephone number, I can suggest some other places to go while there.
 
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