Jacopo Lahbi

Before finding out a set of wheels can actually make people faster, Jacopo ran pretty fast – so fast that he  could run 800mt in 1 min 46 secs. For reference, it’s 3 seconds away from the Italian national record. He now goes further, but he has to fight a new enemy: gravity. 1 min 46 secs is now the time between one  crash and the other. But Jacopo will someday overcome the 9.8 Newton with his athletic spirit, will power and  determination.

As of now we can enjoy his experiments – on and off the bike. You can easily find him nerding  around the bike, inventing bag prototypes or finding punk ways to survive. Meanwhile we will try to keep him  hydrated just enough, without exceeding. Because leaving the job to him alone could mean risking the alcohol level skyrocketing over hematocrit ones  and the team budget quickly ending: don’t  drink and ride. Or at least not all the time. 

When we say gravity is kind of a problem for Jacopo…

The unconventional enough interview

How long have you been cycling for? What pushed you to do it for the first time?
I’ve been riding for a year now. Before the lock-down I did track and field at a competitive level so I didn’t have any  spare time to spend on anything else. 2020 forced us to postpone the main events so I decided to dedicate  myself to something other than my sport. I started riding – bikes were always a big passion of mine – and I got  carried into it. 

How would you describe your relationship with bikes?
Beautiful. Free. I feel myself outside of every categorization and this allow me to express my personality without constraints. Some people defined me as an utraciclist, some said I’m a racer, other told me I’m not serious enough to improve my performances and be fast. I jump on the bike and is enough for me to be happy, being myself and doing what I love. 

Tell us about your most beautiful ride.
I recall with pleasure many rides and all of them have in common the presence of great people there with me. I am lucky enough to pedal with amazing people who make every ride unique and unforgettable. The one I would put on top of the others is the 10 climbs of Monte Grappa no stop. Some would consider it as a solo ride, however during those 35 hours of effort I was lucky enough to be with the best crew I could have asked for, led by Federico and Nicola of Fulcrum. 

Tell us about that time you felt challenged the most while riding.
For this topic we should have a few hours at disposal so that I could start telling you about it. I had so many difficult times that it’s hard to pick the one to start the tail. Let’s say that two out of three times I go out riding I get home completely KO. Telling you about a one time would be a wrongdoing towards the others. 

What object do you always carry with you on a ride?
A 10L foldable backpack,  because you’ll never know! It is really capable.  You can easily fit two roasted chickens and the right amount  of brews. 

Complete this sentence: if you come on a bike ride with me be aware that…
… we will push when we gotta push, but nobody is chasing us: the time for a picnic will come and I’ll be ready for it 

What is your dream cycling event?
I have never had the chance to be at big events so that’s a new world to discover. The Silk Road Mountain Race seems grueling enough to call it my next big dream. I cannot think about any place more unpredictable and remote than the mountains in Kyrgyzstan and I am sure there is a lot to live and learn from such a high degree of exposure to mother nature and its elements.

What are your plans for this season? Are there any events you look forward to more than others?
From this season I expect to ride a lot and get little sleep. There’s no event I’m particularly looking forward  to, I just can’t wait to take part in something that can push me over my limits and test my performances on  long distance efforts. 

What did you say enough to in the past? What do you think you will never say enough to?
I said enough to my sports career and to the huge sacrifices it required. At this point I think I will never say enough  to new adventures. 

Explain what Enough Cycling is to your grandma.
Dear granny, enough is our salvation! From now on I will never have to hear “these are not things you should  do on your own” and you will sleep like a baby knowing I’m not alone in the woods and up  the mountains.

Your ideal Saturday night? What if it was a weekend?
I like my Saturday to be spent with friends doing the simple stuff. Keeping it simple is keeping it real and I like it that way. About a weekend I would say that it doesn’t really matter where to go and what to do as long as the plan includes a night out, sleeping on the ground and below the stars. I love exposition to nature and I feel regenerated even when I have to deal with adverse conditions. 

You have a gap year, how do you spend it?
I would leave on my own and see where the wind is blowing, looking for new places and new people to meet and connect with. With enough money I  would probably travel on a sailing boat. With the few bucks  I actually have right now I would leave with my bike and then who knows, I could be forced to leave it somewhere but that wouldn’t stop me. 

Tell us a sentence that represents you.
I hate clichés, but I have to use one to answer this question. I would say something on the lines of: strong is  not who never falls, strong is who falls and gets back up on his feet; fall 100 times and get back up 101… you  got the point, something about falling and getting back up. Sadly it sums up most of my bike rides. 

Your favourite cyclist or athlete.
Krystal Rivers. She plays volleyball for a German team and for the USA national team. In her life she had to  go through great difficulties that most people would see as unbearable. She risked her life many times but  never gave up and got back up and going back to being number one in what she does best. I had the chance  to meet her when I went to college in Alabama and she was the best example of sport mentality I’ve ever  received. 

If you are not out on the bike you are…
…I could be anywhere, but I’d rather be among the mountains, in the woods or at home building something  with wood.