“What if we ate all the land and drank all the sea?”
“I would need a lot of insulin,” answered Chiara.
And it was love. And so an engineer and a photographer decided to pedal from Cesena, Italy to Singapore.
A slice of cake is an obvious pleasure for many, but an achievement for others: Chiara suffers from type I diabetes, and carbohydrates are an enemy to be defeated through insulin shots and by pushing on pedals. As a matter of fact, exercise is fundamental for people suffering from type I diabetes, since it significantly reduces daily insulin requirement. Chiara’s pancreas stopped working correctly in 2001, when she was 11: type I diabetes.
She has covered many kilometres since then: from university studies in Portugal to Australia, until she got her degree in building engineering in 2015. To celebrate the degree she got in Bologna, she pedalled with Riccardo for 1,600km, from Trieste, Italy, to Patras, Greece.
Biking has never been a sport for Chiara and Riccardo, but rather a means of transport, a key to a slow and profound dimension where it’s granted the time you need to measure yourself. The wheels unrolling on the asphalt leave a trace on the road and they will tell you about this trace through images and words.
After 17,553km, 385 days and 21 countries crossed by bicycle, we can tell you that with type I diabetes you can do it. But we have also learned that the world is a better place than they tell us, people help each other and help you, building walls makes you stay alone, not safer, the motor engine is overvalued, time is the biggest luxury of the 21st century, and you can’t eat anywhere like in Italy.
To those who made us feel at home for one night, among friends for a dinner, welcome with a tea by the roadside and to those who just greeted us, thank you. It has been an incredible year.
Words and photographs by Riccardo Rocchi