Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

“Il Ciuchino Bike Shop” recently opened in Villa Roma 48, Tavarnelle, facing the historic bicycle repair shop, Rolando. Thanks to the owner, Alessio Mulas, you can taste the atmosphere of shops from long ago.

Cyclists, chronic fans, children with helmets, etc. all stop here on their daily ride. They stop to ask expert advice, to buy a piece for their bicycle, to see how repairs are going….or simply to chat with another aficionado.

A specialized technician, Alessio, 34 year old from Sambuca, is an example of an unemployed person who reinvented himself. He did this looking towards the future of his children, Ginevra and Gabriel, who would live on a bicycle if they could.

“When I finished studying, I worked in the hospitality field,” tells us Alessio. “A very good friend of mine introduced me to bicycles. I bought one in a store in Poggibonsi and then worked there for seven years. Then I decided to open up my own business”.

“The shop was inaugurated on June 14, 2016,” he explains, “mainly for repairs, rentals, sale of gears, accessories and cycles. The two brands that I sell, assembled completely in Italy, are Olmo and Lombardo”.

“Why do they call me ‘Ciuchino’? We were in a farm stay in Garfagnana when, without me realizing it, a donkey approached me. My wife took a photo. We were identical! After that, Ciuchino became my nickname in cycling circles”.

“The thing I like most is the mechanics,” he continues with a gleam in his eyes. “A few days ago a customer brought me a bicycle which was missing a piece of its wheel. Since it was available only in England, I built one myself. When I saw that the bicycle worked, I got a chill”.

“Many people who live in Tavarnelle think I am a professional. I am, but that is not all. I also fix old cycles or inexpensive ones. Most of my clients are new: the impassioned, the parent,  young people, and renters from nearby farm stays”.

He continues: “Riding a bicycle means to disconnect. It teaches you how to reach objectives, do hard work, to help a friend in need and above all, to never give up. In the beginning I rode a mountain bike on the road. Over the last five years, I have been riding for endurance”.

“I would like to found a mountain bike school and create a safe track,” he concludes at the moment that future students arrive to have their wheels inflated. “I’ve always been crazy about kids. They come here often and are enthusiastic about the idea”.

Noemi Bartalesi