PRO' line EXPERIENCE! Mangia, prega, pedala!

PRO'line EXPERIENCE! Eat, Pray, Ride!

The alarm clock is scheduled for 5:20, the meeting is set at 6, no latecomers, we count ourselves and go by car to the place where we change clothes and set off on our bikes. Once you arrive, you get ready, vest for the cold downhill, some sandwiches and bars for the first pangs of hunger, someone adjusts the odometer and off you go, you start pedaling! Two flagships open and close the group of the ASD CLUB 90 team which today is planning a 180 km cycle-pilgrimage to get to San Giovanni Rotondo, to the Sanctuary of San Pio starting from Polla, in the province of Salerno.

The first kilometers are immediately uphill, the group tackles them compactly, at least initially, then, the youngest, the freshest, lengthen their pace and take a little margin. The group has 13 cyclists, of various ages, we go from 25 to 70 years old. Once over the hill, the guys in the lead stop to wait for the others and take advantage of it for a first quick refueling.

Compact group, refueling completed and we set off again to face the descent, there are still 150 km to go…

The descent runs smoothly, the group jokes and has fun, once finished we find ourselves in the plain, on the border between Basilicata and Puglia, there is still a lot to go, the most active ones take the lead and dictate the pace, the group is compact and proceeds in two rows with cadence and harmony, everyone gives their contribution, 30 km go by like this, without jolts ... the time has come for the second refueling break ...

Snack break and coffee break for everyone, 3 hours have passed since the departure, everyone is determined, tired yes, but determined to complete the journey.

We set off again, there is still a long way to go, slight slopes with a headwind and the final ascent of about 20 km towards the sanctuary.

The group continues to proceed quickly, all together to "beat", in this stretch the headwind is felt a lot, we have entered Puglia, it is the "welcome" wind.

A small unexpected event, a puncture, the group splits into two sections, whoever is behind stops to wait for Nicola who has punctured, a few minutes, we start again, whoever is in front pulls the brake and within a few kilometers we are all back together to pull.

The road accompanies us towards a new belay, we are less than 50 kilometers from the destination, the group has faced another unexpected event in the meantime, Giuseppe has broken a rear spoke of his Trek, but this time too after a few minutes and with the help of companions and the following flagship, the problem is solved.

While we are still, the group refreshes itself, more sandwiches, bars, mineral salts to replenish liquids, the day is pleasantly warm, but all the conversations seem to go in one direction now…the final climb!

After all these kilometres, the fixed nail, the enemy to be defeated, the last effort before a well-deserved rest.

We are on the march again, the group proceeds at a regular pace, facing the last kilometers before the final ramps. They see the longed-for destination there, in the distance, San Giovanni Rotondo stands on the hill, it almost seems like a mirage…

The climb begins, the pacts were clear: "Uphill, everyone proceeds at their own pace!" And so, within a few kilometres, the peloton literally collapses, Antonio and Simone have another step and go further than the others... gradually they all pass on the hardest bend... the flagships escort the last ones who with all their residual strength cling to the bike and despite a monstrous effort they reach the top.


Here we are! The group has regrouped in front of the Sanctuary, there are even those who arrived earlier and came down again to support the companions left behind ... they call him "team spirit", Antonio knows him well and in fact he goes back to incite and dictate the rhythm to Fabio and Claudio who, thanks to the "psychological" contribution, seem to struggle less on the last stretch.

Now they are all there!

Lorenzo, Gerardo, Nicola, Fabio, Antonio, Giovanni, Claudio, Gerardo, Angelo, Simone, Giuseppe, Alejandro, Antonio… they are all ready for the visit to the Sanctuary, a prayer and a well-deserved lunch consumed later than usual yes, but remembering all the way, all the effort and all the joy and satisfaction of reaching a goal together, as a team, with desire and sacrifice, just like San Pio teaches!


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