This summer sees the launch of a new festival aimed at cycle travellers. Part of the Adventure Awards event, it will offer talks, workshops, and a chance to be inspired by other travellers. The Inaugural European Bicycle Adventure Meeting, also known as BAM, takes place 31st July through to 1st August in Livigno, Italy. We caught up with the organiser Andrea Benesso to find out more.
So tell us what is the Adventure Awards?
Adventure Awards Days is an adventure and exploration festival.
Featuring great adventurers of every kind and explorers often not famous: we offer a "stage" where they can share their stories, experiences and passions. The festival is held every summer in Livigno, an incredible place in the heart of the Alps, 1850 mt. high.
The festival offers 7 days of adventure films from all over the world (this year we received more than 1100 films), photo and storytelling workshops, training camps, concerts, shows, trekking and much more.
This was our dream, and now, at the third edition, it has become an important european outdoor event.
And this year you have set up BAM - tell us more about this and what inspired you to set this up?
BAM! - European Bicycle Adventure Meeting - is the latest news of this edition of the Adventure Awards.
We followed our passion (we are all bikers) and we dreamt to create a meeting for all the people who share the same "bike-philosophy": living by two wheels as a way to find freedom. It doesn't matter if you pedal from China to Europe or just around your town: what is important is that you love the wind in your face, the horizon in front of you. The idea of taking your bike and go where you want: without satellite, without a watch.
BAM! will offer to cycle travellers mechanics workshops, talks by great travellers, yoga for bikers, a lesson dedicated to how to prepare the bike for a journey, a photo workshop, books presentations and a stunning collective ride to Nietzsche's house, in Engadina. We will organize also a "storytelling" contest with a beautiful prize: 2 PEdAL ED
How long have you been travelling by bicycle?
I have always been a biker since I stopped playing basketball 15 years ago. The Bike for me is freedom, but also a way to move: I try to use the bike more than the car and I pedal everyday almost 40 kms, with my laptop and my business bag on the back. When family and work allows me, I pedal away, usually towards Dolomites or some friends house, no matter where: i like to have a goal and sometimes I come back by train.
What is the best cycling adventure have you ever taken?
When I stopped living in Rome, 10 years ago, I came home to Padua biking through Italy. Without an idea; just stopping to see some friends and looking for the best places in Italy. I was without a job and without a girlfriend: I felt completely free, just me and my bike.
Where do you want to take BAM in the future?
We wish to invite people from all over Europe, offering them the chance to share their stories and to find new travel ideas or buddies. We dream that BAM! could become a real meeting for all travellers, and also for people curious to discover a different way to live and journey with a bike. We wish to promote a bike life style based on freedom to go...on two wheels.
How would you inspire more people to travel with their bicycle?
The Great traveller Willy Mulonia is one of our BAM! guests: he says about himself that the only difference between him and other people is that he did what he did, other people didn't.
This is the simple reason why biking is the easiest way to live an adventure: you don't have to be a super athlete, you don't have to be rich, you don't have to be young. Just take your bike and go.
What is the one piece of kit you could not live with out?
When I'm away for a long time I like to have the opportunity to prepare a tea or a coffee. So I try to have with me the necessary kit.
I also like my ultralight PEdAL ED jacket, useful in every season.
Thank you for you time Andrea and good luck with the festival.
If you want to find out more visit BAM's website: http://www.adventureawards.it/portfolio_page/bicyclemeeting/