January is a time of planning, hatching plans and plotting adventures, setting goals and trying to lay off the sauce. Whilst trawling the internet for inspiration I stumbled across this chap, Giuliano Calore from Padova. He's not exactly what you would class as an ordinary rider, he's not an accomplished racer or adventurer either. In fact he is a bit of a lunatic. This man has descended the Stelvio Pass in Italy, which is the second highest paved mountain pass in the eastern Alps (2757m/9045feet) and the second highest in the Alps in a little over 27 minutes which is pretty fast but, he did it no handed! Navigating no more than 48 switchbacks down what Topgear rank as one of the most exciting and challenging roads in the world, he reached speeds in excess of 65kph! Ted Shred eat your heart outt.
This man is going down a mountain, no brakes and no hands! This video, filmed in 1986 is hilarious, the way he violently wobbles when he is scuffing off speed by jamming his foot in the rear tyre and how he throws his hands in the air in such a triumphant enthusiastic manner as if he has won a race. I think he had been preparing for this downhill exhibition in the pub after several large cognacs. To make matters harder they haven't even blocked the road so on top of manoeuvring his bike round each switch back he has to thread his way between oncoming traffic.
Giuliano is no slouch on the up-hills either, he pedalled up the Stelvio, up the same road on a bike without handlebars or brakes in a staggering 1 hour and 17 minutes. Not being entirely content with that achievement he later did it using just one leg. I kid you not. Somehow it made my plans rather pale in comparison but none the less it makes me want to try something new because if I don't try, I won't know.