Interview with Stefano Udeschini
We asked some Effetto Mariposa’s athletes, clients and friends to show us how they live their passion for cycling. We’re going to meet 12 personalities who are going to share with us their experiences, skills and tell us how much they love riding a bike. Today it’s Stefano Udeschini‘s turn, ICF’s (Italian cycling federation) MTB guide and Dolomites Paganella Bike Accademy‘s trail builder.
« Steep! » If you are familiar with some Stefano Udeschini‘s videos on his YouTube channel, you have certainly already heard this word while he’s dealing with extreme trials on his full-suspension Enduro bike. That’s because, according to Stefano, the bike is adventure in its purest form: his conception of cycling does not impose to stay in the saddle but to seek the limit, wherever is required to dismount and walk with the bike on the shoulder. Searching for the extreme, but just to have fun. Stefano in fact, does not shy away from playing and trying MTB’s tricks and stunts, considering that he worked as stuntman in « Ride », the movie. « I’ve got many point of reference among the athletes. I can mention Danny McAskill. and Kilian Bron, they’ve got a really nice mood » . Not a coincidence they are two bike’s acrobats.
Affable and with a sparkling wit, for Stefano doesn’t matter the annual travelled distance but the annual elevetion difference. He tells: « in 2019 I’ve achieved almost 250000 metres of elevation loss. Some years I’ve also reached 320000 metres« . Then he humourously adds : « also write, to be honest, that sometime I used installations to facilitate the climb, otherwise people will think I’m crazy.«
We have met him for a chat while we were cycling in Holland along gravel trails with some friends. We could hear the wind from the phone and we understood that he was not having fun : « Here there are 12 meters of elevation every half a mile. It’s not my cup of tea » he laughed.
So Stefano, are you working a lot lately on the Dolomites?
Yes we are, with PDB Accademy we work a lot, both with MTB and with fat bikes in winter.
We’ve got all type of clients, also with E-MTB recently: there’s the false myth that with these kind of bikes you don’t have to struggle a lot, but that’s not true. You still have to cycle. I’ve tried them a lot and they’re very performing. Also in terms of driveability: they result less efficient on slow technical tracks whereas they’re stabler on faster tracks thanks to the weight. Also you don’t have to get out of anaerobic threshold immediately in uphill: it’s the ideal bike to get everyone aware of the beauties of the cycling world.
How did you discover your passion? Have you started with MTB?
« Since I was a child my parents brought me on the mountains on weekends. My brother and I, with some friends, had only one option: go riding. So, we spent all days on the saddle and we really loved it. Then it came the time for some elite contests, a very important experience for me. I’ve reached good achievements with enduro in the Triveneto area and I also won the Enduro circuit, always in the Triveneto zone, in 2013 and I’ve got to second position a year later.
Since that moment I started working as a guide and it ended being my job: we have created the ICF school on the Dolomites and my life is now divided between excursions and track’s projects and designs.
What’s your ideal track?
« I love to stay on high-mountain routes, they’re my natural places. I prefer very technical and steep alpine single tracks. As long as I can ride, I cycle, if the slope does not consent it anymore, I put my bike on the shoulder and I approach the uphill with joy. In my opinion it’s part of the game, this is my conception of MTB… I’m not a purist of the saddle, I live my adventure trying to reach every place and enjoy the view.
With all those technical tracks you do, punctures at the tyres must be quite a problem for you: how do you solve it?
« Well, my specialty is riding downhill, and I have by all means to avoid punctures. Preventing it, given that I use tubeless covers with Effetto Mariposa’s Caffèlatex plus Tyreinvader, it rarely happens. Among Effetto Mariposa’s products, Tyreinvaders are my favourite: having them I always manage to get home. I always use them because I like the practicality. I don’t have so many sets of covers and I don’t pay to much attention to the weight, even if they’re very light. I also use them because they protect the rim from the hardest hits. They’re an additional safety.
Ok, but you must have dealt, sometime, with a scabby puncture you couldn’t fix…
« You see, as a MTB guide I’m always in high altitude and I’ve got responsibilities, I cannot risk gaffes and not to be able to repair my bike! Also others, who come with me and have punctures, wait for me to solve their problem. So I’ve always tools to fix bikes and tyres. I’m also a good mechanic.
I see, you cannot afford errors when you’re riding in high-mountain and the person responsible for other cyclists. Can you give us some advice on how to get by when we have punctures?
« If it’s to big, I use the Tappabuco of Effetto Mariposa: It brilliantly seals great holes in seconds. There are a lot of similar products on market but Tappabuco works really good and you can place it in the handlebar, a lovely cosiness. If I wholy slah the tyre and I must change it, I’ve always got with me in my backpack a plastic bag to avoid soiling with latex. Sometimes, in extreme cases, it occured to fix cuts on the tyre’s shoulder with dental floss…
How? With dental floss?
« That’s it, I use needle and dental floss, I bring them always with me on the tracks. They saved me different times: I put a patch on the inside then I start to sew the shoulder of the tyre with dental floss, like a scar. Finally, put the latex back and I get home safe and sound.
This a good example of #nevergameover!
That’s right, my kit with dental floss gave me lot of satisfactions.
We heard the wind from the phone, it means he’s speeding up, we leave you to your Dutch cycle tours. Thanks for the availability Stefano, see you next time and good ride!
Thanks to you too and don’t forget, no stop riding bike!