Ernesto met me the other day, over lunch. Ernesto ordered Spaghetti alla Carbonara, and a carbonated Campari, for both of us. Then, unable to contain himself any longer, Mr. Colnago erupted into one of his famous two-and-a-half-hour monologues on the virtues of carbon-fibre. According to Ernesto, his C-30 and C-40 framesets set the stage for the current peloton fashion towards carbon-fibre forks and rear triangles. I was feeling one of my “Thirty-minutes-of-Ernesto-eyeball-glazing” coming over me, when Ernesto took off his faux carbon-fibre sunglasses, and ripped open his shirt. This act of exhibitionism revealed a chest completely tattooed with autographs. “Signorello Colnago!” I exclaimed, “What ever possessed you to do such a crazy thing?” Ernesto grinned, and produced one of his new, carbon-fibre fountain pens. “This was part of the ‘CF1’ deal I just inked with Ferrari.” For those Eagle readers still in the dark, Ernesto’s latest creation, a monocoque, carbon-fibre frame, is a joint venture between Colnago and Ferrari, called the CF1. “I told the people at Ferrari,” said Ernesto, “that I would do anything to align the brand, Colnago, with the name of Ferrari.” Ernesto then explained how he presented to Scuderia Ferrari’s VP, one of his new carbon-fibre fountain pens, to which Piero Ferrari responded by creating a living deed, signed on Ernesto’s back! One thing lead to another... 387 Ferrari employees, and 12 Fiat Board of Directors later, this human contract was finished.” “Can’t you wash it off?” I blurted. “Oh no, the ink was indelible, with a high carbon content to guarantee opacity,” said Ernesto proudly.

Not possessing as many free, radical carbon atoms in my DNA composition as Ernesto, I decided to change the subject. “So, Ernesto, have you seen any good films lately?” “Well, yes, now that you mention it, I saw this really great documentary on the excavation of Pompeii. The archeologists were using this carbon 12 dating process on a piece of fabric that was woven from charred boar bristle, which was extracted from carbon deposits found on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvious, impregnated with a type of shellac, derived from the Carbonella beetle, and used to fabricate composite racing chariots... Freddie, Freddie, you’ve fallen into your tiramisu!”

Boy, if all of my bike crashes could be in mascarpone... Euro Freddie.

<INDEX                                             DECEMBER - 2001                                                 NEXT>


Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie