Friday, 15 January 2010
Giro? Giri? How very Italian...
Almost 30 years ago the Terni motorcycle club reinvented the Motogiro as a Mille Miglia style tour for bikes. Given racing on roads was banned in Italy in 1957, these days it's a thousand mile timekeeping challenge for old bikes. And we love it.
In 2000 marketing company Dream Engine took over the running, going upmarket with a bucketful of Ducati cash. Sadly, being Italian, Dream Engine and Terni fell out a couple of years back so split up and now organise competing events. The relationship is almost down to horse-heads-in-the-bed, but at least they keep the two giros a week apart. This means minted folk can do both (and if you've shipped a bike over from the US I guess that's fair enough) but the rest of us have to choose.
The Dream Engine event is probably truer to the original, and tries to keep the modern bikes away from the classics (Terni seem to suffer from crashes where narrow tyred classics make tight turns, then get outbraked by modern triple discs) but the Terni organisers are more laid back so there's more of a holiday mood. On balance, we've preferred the Dream Engine thing.
But for reason's only clear to God this year Dream Engine's Giro starts in Monaco and spends two nights in Turin - Europe's busiest city. No historic connection to the original Giro or the Italian motorcycle industry. Terni on the other hand tour Tuscany, and visit two bike museums. And they're cheaper.
I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure...