The Britannia Times
The Light of Luciano Twilight RidePublished on 12th. June 2018
Luciano Berruti, a man with endless energy, zest for life and an immense love of the bicycle - that's how we'll remember him. We'll celebrate his incredible spirit, in the best way we know - by dedicating our first ride of Eroica Britannia 2018 to him. Our Great British Adventure begins with an illuminated pilgrimage to the pub, formerly known as The Twilight Ride - from now on will be know as 'The Light of Luciano Twilight Ride'.
Luciano at Eroica Britannia
Generous with his time, he attended all 4 Eroica Britannia's and would bound from one interview to the next and spend time with everyone who approached him. We admired his endeavour and determination on the rides, his every ready smile and handful of tacks that he'd rattle out from his handlebars with a mischievous glint in his eye.
We loved his style - every outfit meticulously authentic and that pure panache in which he carried it off. Not to mention how photogenic he was ... Thousands of photos that captured a specific time and place and helped define the spirit of L'Eroica around the World.
We also loved his love of the younger generation - that time in 2016 when he spent his time encouraging our youngest rider along on the Ride, even pushing her on her bike up hills and that magical time at the Finish Line when he lifted her up above his head and then pinned his race number to her jersey. Language didn't matter - kindness and genuine heartfelt sincerity spoke volumes.
In 2014 - our first year - Luciano came over the Finish Line to rapturous applause, acknowledging the crowd, his eyes searching for one woman. Raising his bike over his head - and with love in his eyes he reached into his jersey and with a flourish, down on one knee presented his wife with a flower and a kiss. The crowds went insane.
In our fourth year, 2017 - Luciano was more involved than ever - he was everywhere you looked - the King of Best in Show taking time to admire, question and inspect bikes and outfits and the undisputed hero of the Main Stage. He seemed even larger than life, brimming full of life, conversation and humour and sheer happiness. He rode the 55 mile this year in heats akin to his native Italy, riding in his trademark dark blue woollen jersey - his excitement and passion, electric.
Eroica Britannia in 2018
We’ll be celebrating our fifth birthday with a heavy heart - lifted by the tremendous legacy Luciano left behind. A man brimming full of luminosity, life, conversation, humour and sheer happiness, firmly the life and soul of Eroica Britannia - for the past 4 years, it only seems fit that our first ride of the weekend should be dedicated to this wonderful man.
“Nothing is impossible. You are with yourself and you know you must do it. I have always thought I could do it.” Luciano Berruti
As the sun sets hazily over Friden Grange for our first evening - Friday evening will be devoted to Luciano - a man of great style and meticulously authentic. Our Great British Adventure begins with an illuminated pilgrimage to the pub, formerly known as The Twilight Ride - from now on will be know as ‘The Light of Luciano Twilight Ride’.
We urge you to dress in your finary paying close attention to detail - with bikes handsomely lit as we set off on our first Great British Adventure of the weekend.
We can't put into words how much we'll miss Mr Luciano Berruti, but we’ll spend our weekend paying tribute to his wonderful spirit - Eroica Britannia style. We’ll also be showing an incredibly special film about Luciano - ‘L'Eroico’ on our return from our Ride in HQ.
Over to Marco Rimondi to tell us more about ‘L'Eroico’
Hello everyone, my name is Marco Rimondi and I am a professional freelance video maker. I come from a small town in the province of Savona called Carcare, situated approximately 3 km from Luciano Berruti’s house, the character on which I decided to shoot my first real documentary. I met Luciano because a mutual friend asked me to make a small promotional video for the Bicycle Museum in Cosseria. That day Luciano and his stories fascinated me. I immediately realised that that little man and his funny moustache had conquered me. During the interview that I should have done for his little promo video I suddenly told him something like: “Excuse me, Luciano, but I’ve just decided to make a documentary about you, let’s put away everything now! I have to think about how to do it!” My decision surprised Luciano, but he was very happy and he gave me all the support and helpfulness that he could. Then, my project began...
Luciano Berruti was born in 1943 in Cosseria from a humble family of workers. He was a restless and a dynamic child. Very soon he developed a passion for cycling and he practiced it up to young category when, because of some accidents, he decided to abandon the sport. The 20-year-old Luciano was definitely a very curious person and eager to do new experiences, so he decided to leave for a trip around Europe on his motorcycle. Curiosity led him towards the Eastern countries in the early '60s and it was during one of these trips that Luciano met a young woman, who then became his wife, with whom he will later form a beautiful family. Anyway, the passion for cycling was still inherent in him and it reappeared several years later, when he was about forty years old and he got back in the saddle. Road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross: countless Italian titles and three coloured T-shirts are indisputable evidence of his sporting qualities. The search for new challenges in 1996 pushed him closer to classic cycling. He joined in "L'Eroica" of Gaiole in Chianti and since that moment, a passionate path began: his passion, his continuous researches on the history of bicycle and the meticulousness with which he devoted himself to the subject quickly made him one of the reference points for cycling in Italy and Europe. Luciano grew up on a bike; he always used it to go to work and to move himself: this made him a great cyclist. That bike, which has always been his passion, made him a collector, pushing him to the collection of memorabilia ranging from the velocipede to the modern bike, precious and rare pieces related to the world of two wheels. His exhibits are the crew jewels of worldly and sporting events in Italy. The Bicycle Museum in Cosseria, inaugurate in 2010, is the result of this magnificent work of research. Here you can admire means of transport ranging from the late nineteenth century as the velocipede, to today’s bikes, team and champions T-shirts, photographs, posters and objects of various kinds which, combined with great passion and experience of Luciano, will ride you back in time.
He is also a husband, a father and a grandfather. I had the pleasure of knowing him and he immediately gave me the impression of having an unusual energy, an amazing experience of life and an exceptional culture, a little man with a blinding light in his eyes and a funny vintage moustache. Luciano has become the image of “L’Eroica” and he travelled the world in order to represent it, riding on his bike.
Unfortunately Luciano has recently passed away, but thanks to this film we hope to make Luciano known to people who have not had the luck to meet him in person.
VISUAL AND NARRATIVE APPROACH
This is a documentary film lasting 26 minutes with the purpose of telling the story of a man and let people know much more about him. The documentary is structured on the story recounted by Luciano and some people who know him very well, including childhood friends and family members. During the filming, we realised that, maybe because of his simplicity, Luciano has a way of narrating which fascinates who listens to him, so we tried to take advantage of this fact leaving much space to his words. Moreover, the suggestive images filmed in action and the activities that Luciano daily conducts in his workshop and in the museum were fundamental.
Recounting Luciano means, among other things, talking about good principles. From his stories and testimonies of people who are closest to him, it is clear how he lives according to these principles and how he observes them. Gian Carlo Brocci, creator of “L’Eroica”, describes him as “an example of rare humanity”; he is a character with an awesome cycling culture. He is thus defined as one of the greatest connoisseurs throughout Europe, both from a technical point of view and a sporting one.
The Light of Luciano Twilight Ride is already at its maximum capacity - be sure to wave our riders off from The Best in Show Ring on Friday 15th at 9.30pm - and of course we extend a warm invite for you to join us in HQ to watch the film.
PS - we love this series of photos from the 2017 start line - Luciano stood for ages while 'everyone' took his photo, admired his bike and answered questions - with a twinkle in his eye! He rode with his dear friends L'Eroica Founder Giancarlo Brocci and L'Eroica global event coordinator Amedeo Polito.