Federico Damiani

Wannabe choir boy as a kid and rock star as a teenager, Federico left behind churches and guitars to end up  in our two-wheeled world a little overweight but with lots of determination and cravings for new experiences.  We should point out that rather than a discovery, cycling was for him more of a way back to his roots.

Despite some still say Fede doesn’t really belong to the scene, we are firm on disagreeing. Pineapples as well are not shaped to be your ideal bikepacking snacks, yet lately we have seen more of these fruits in the middle of the mountains, hung to a bike frame, rather than in a basket at the fruit stand. You got the point. Sometimes it’s best to throw yourself into the game rather than waiting to be ready for it or – even worse – staying in your comfort zone thinking you are unfitted to give it a try.  Fede surely never risked ending up that way, being the initiative master he is.

Give him a pen, a camera or  nothing at all. If things go wrong, he’ll be back with a brilliant idea; if things go right – just as they always do – you’ll have in your hands the tail of a trip that will make your eyes sparkle. Sure enough he’ll never find anything that can stop him, so buckle up and wait for Pino’s news coming from every rideable angle of the Planet. 

Not many categories of people are slower than Federico. When he finds them, he puts up a competition immediately…

The unconventional enough interview

How long have you been cycled for? What pushed you to do it for the first time?
I’ve been breathing bikes my whole life. Right outside the hospital, 4 days after my birth, I was brought to a pro training camp before making it home. I got on the bike when I was three and I removed the training wheels  during a thunderstorm. However it’s been just 4 years since I started riding “seriously”, because I was finally tired of seeing myself larger than taller.

How would you describe your relationship with bikes?
I think I can consider myself a whole rounder: I’m slow at everything. Jokes aside, the bike is the best way  to magnify a person’s exploration potential. It could be an inner search, exploration of the surrendering, connection with people – the bike makes all these easier to me and gives me the chance of growing as a person. 

Tell us about your most beautiful ride.
I hope it is yet to come. 

Tell us about that time you felt challenged the most while riding.
Alone, on holiday. Full loaded bike for a ten days trip. On a 2 km hill at 20% I had a crazy big and angry dog chasing me.  I mean really angry, and really big. Rather than difficult I’d say it was one of the few times changing bibs was strictly necessary. 

What object do you always carry with you on a ride?
A pineapple – named Pino. I started taking it around hung to the bike, without any specific reason and now it is part of the family. The real answer, however, is a set of lights: you never know what will pop in your mind while out there, so better be ready to get home after sunset. 

Complete this sentence: if you come on a bike ride with me be aware that…
…that I am very competitive when I’m racing so you’ll get on my nerves if you waste precious time. If we’re on a leisure trip, just know I am a traveller who hates being rushed and I’m likely to stop every 5km to take pictures or  meet new people. However when we ride, we ride. 

What is your dream cycling event?
I’d say something that’s yet to be invented. If nobody comes up with it, there are good chances that I’ll do it myself in a few years.

What are your plans for this season? Are there any events you look forward to more than others?
I don’t have much time to spare so I can participate in one big event per year. In 2021 I’m preparing for North  Cape 4000 in July, my biggest goal for this year. Aside from that, I’ll see what comes ahead. 

What did you say enough to in the past? What do you think you will never say enough to?
I’ve said enough to a sedentary life, to the city and to not being in touch with nature. I’m trying to say enough to  the idea that your job defines who you are. I will never say enough to my craving of knowledge and improvement that I get from being so stubbornly curious. Maybe someday I’ll say enough to the bike – unlikely though  – but at that point I’d have to direct my energy in some other thing. 

Explain what Enough Cycling is to your grandma.
So granny, basically we’re a group of eight people that seem to have absolutely nothing in common, but we  ride our bikes together and they all do those things that are so crazy to your eyes. They’re all good people,  don’t worry, one day I could bring them home so you can cook pizzoccheri for everyone. 

Your ideal Saturday night? What if it was a weekend?
Beer at the Texas Town pub in Legnano with those friends I never get to see or around a bonfire in the woods.  Talking weekends, of course on the bike or visiting some city, maybe on the bike. 

You have a gap year, how do you spend it?
I would slice it in 4 periods. I would spend the first three months wandering around, touching new  places and looking for inspiration. Then I would spend the next three rationalizing what I did and trying to find  ideas for the future. At the end of this second stage I would repeat the process all over. 

Tell us a sentence that represents you.
“Why should I not?” I always use this  kind of answer when people tell me I’m crazy for the things I do and they ask me why I did so 

Your favourite cyclist or athlete.
There’s too many of them. Bartali, Pantani, Museew. Still if I really gotta choose, Jan Ullrich. I’ve always  been able to empathize with his fight against the scale and his struggle to stay fit. We’ve always understood each other, me and him. 

If you are not out on the bike you are …
…I’m most likely working in my office. Or bbqing if things are turning better. Also I might be writing something. It could be a piece for me, for enough or for some magazines.