About six years ago, we “migrated by bike”, leaving Bologna to get to Avignon where we still live. Since then, we changed (a little bit) our life, a couple of flats and a few jobs. After about two years, we stopped writing on the blog we created for that trip.
Reading back some of the entries today, in spring 2018, we realized that in those pages there were many of the premises, of the mental buzzing (and “of spokes and tires”) that take us straight to this second website, which tells another story: hitting the road again – in a different way, with a different schedule – maybe because we are looking for new perspectives, maybe because we need to get back on our bikes for a longer amount of time, maybe just because we are curious to get to know what lays a little further, maybe to taste a chosen (and privileged, of course) nomadism and maybe because when the situation seems to have become (too) stable it’s probably time to get out of the usual and to build new projects.
All of this and also a few more things – like, for Roberto, the fact to have abandoned writing after being so close to see his first novel in bookshops: between frustration and the desire to desert, words have dried up. Now it’s time to get them moving along to the rhythm of the pedals.
We hit the road again, to spend about one year on the road. The ideal goal we gave ourselves is Mongolia, passing through the Balkans and following the Silk road (with all the possible detours along the way) but the destination is not so important: we can change route or stop beforehand, find on the road a place that asks us to give our bikes and panniers a rest for an amount of time longer than a daily stage or we can get back home sooner than expected.
Without sponsors and self-sustained, we’d like to meet people and discover new places, but without taking ourselves too seriously, in the end we’re just riding bikes (as Mike Hall, founder of the Transcontinental Race, used to say). Hence the name of this website: “Ma va’ là!” (literally “but go there!”, and used to mean something like “come on!”), a sentence that you can hear often in Emilia and Romagna (our homelands). With this sort of invitation to go to an unspecified “there” introduced by the dubitative “but”, the sentence conveys a certain disbelief referred to the sentence that precedes it, playing it down like it was an exaggerated tale or something that’s just not real or not possible (as for example: “We are going to Mongolia by bike.”, “To Mongolia by bike? Ma va’ là!? You must be crazy!”). Well, we’ll try to go “there”. And since we’re doing it by bike, “Pedala!” (“Pedal!”) appeared to be the best subtitle/encouragement line for us (thanks, Giuseppe!).