Marostica (Italy), 5 – 6 of May 2012
Organized as a special awareness event within the EU-funded PanCareSurFup-project was a very special bicycle race at the small Italian town of Marostica.
Marostica (about 70 km away from Venice) is known by bicyclists as a perfect training area as it offers different levels of challenges: form flat to hilly and very steep courses. Once a year thousands of cyclists join in a big race for non-professionals. The whole town is involved, flooded by cyclists and visitors. And this year – for the first time – it had yet another attraction: a bicycle race for survivors from childhood cancer. Long term survivors from different European countries had been invited for this awareness campaign, kindly supported by several sponsors. 20 young people (from Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Austria and Germany) accepted the invitation and came all the way to Marostica, excited to be part of this happening.
The meeting started with a round table at which members of PanCareSurFup explained the design of the project and its goals. At the informal dinner everybody had the chance to meet and get better known to each other. Email addresses where exchanged and promises given to stay in touch – there is so much in common.
Equipped with (almost) professional gear such as tricots, cyclist pants, helmets and bikes the ‘Brave Bikers’ assembled the next morning at the starting line and took off. Much to the surprise of the organizers the assigned course of just 10 km was much too short for all of them. Thus they kept on riding around the town and into the country side until it was time for lunch (luckily shortly before the rain started). They all had so much fun that it was clear: there has to be a follow-up. First contacts with the sponsors seem promising. But next time there should be many more participants and a ‘real’ challenge. Most of those attending would have been able to cycle at least 50 km (including some of the hills) and would love to demonstrate: Yes, we can!
More information about the project and pictures of the race of brave bikers: www.pancaresurfup.eu