How I became ultracyclist in just few years
My first experience with cycling in adulthood dates back to about ten years ago, when I was living in Rome and on a very hot afternoon, to fight boredom, I decided to take a ride with my old bicycle that I had since I was a kid . I cycled for 5 km and I came home walking, dragging the bike, because I was destroyed and totally out of practice. From that exact moment I think it was born, instilled in my heart, my passion for cycling, but after a year of intense training I would have set aside for a while because of a disappointment of love for which I decided to leave Rome and move to Athens, in Greece.
In 2011, while I was still living in Athens, I took the decision to convert myself to veganism. I was vegetarian since 2005, moved by a deep respect for animals, none excluded. Since then I discovered that a plant-based diet had brought about a marked improvement in my health, so much so that I had not had a fever since those years! Benefits that have increased again after my transition to a 100% plant-based diet.
At the end of 2012 I decided to return to Italy and after some time I began to hang out with a girl who lived in Pescara. Within walking distance of her house there was a bicycle shop, whose Greek name immediately attracted my attention: Kyklos. So I decided to buy myself a present for my 40th birthday: my first racing bike. So I started training again. Unfortunately, after a few months I was hit by a car and had to leave my passion again because of the fear and my destroyed bike.
The spring after, in 2016, I took courage and bought a new road bike, I met my friend Dimitri, a faithful companion of cycling, I quit smoking and a wild life, and began, after some time, to train seriously in order to get ready for my first amateur competition of the following year’s spring. Since those first months I train every day, with even 3 or 4 long training sessions per week (over 150km). On Strava, if you want to follow me, my nickname is Gianni Vegan ☺
Week by week I plan my rides and distances. I hardly change program or ride for less km (if it happens it’s because of bad weather conditions). If I plan a certain number of km, I don’t give up. I really love the feeling of fatigue, even when I do shorter laps but at higher speed. Fatigue satisfies me, it makes my day. When I arrive at the end of a climb I feel proud of myself and this makes me feeling so good.
The pride, the challenge with myself is the engine that drives me. I know where I started and where I am now. I know that I started years ago with a 5km ride and that today, in just one race (Everesting), I made almost 100 times more. This is a lifestyle for which I am willing to let everything else, like late night datings, or mundane life. But I do not call it a sacrifice, because I really prefer and love cycling and waking up early on Sunday mornings, rather than hanging out on Saturday nights.
During 2017 I cycled 27'000 km
This year I would like to reach 30’000 km
At 43 I can be proud to be the only vegan in Italy that has completed three Everestings - gathering more than 8848m in altitude in each of the 3 races.
What pushes me, more than anything? The desire to show that the vegan diet does not take away anything: even through this type of nutrition you can have high-level performance. I train seriously since just 2 years and, at 43, I can compare myself with high-level ultracycling athletes I meet at the races.
The vegan diet does not take away anything, on the contrary, it gives you a lot.
I don't need any athletic trainer, I follow only my sensations and my body, I train and I nourish myself in a very balanced way. I fully rely on Crownhealth for integration. It is difficult to find on the market better products, both for excellent taste, excellent digestibility and high nutritional properties, qualities that are fundamental.
My main goal is to become a strong ultracyclist, to get to be among the 10 best Italian ultracyclists. Veganism, cycling and ultracycling have definitely changed my life for the better.
For animals, health and the planet <3