Hi, everybody, my name is Leo Gamboc and I’m from Croatia. I joined forces with Jonas Drechsler from Germany and together we are presenting you the first episode of #worthit – an extreme MTB documentary.
To find out what #worthit is all about and how it all started read the article prior to this one HERE.
The first #worthit episode follows the bike scene in the North-NorthEastern Italy, but before you click play, here is our story from behind the scenes that makes watching the episode a whole lot better!
Let’s go back to April 23rd. That was the day I traveled from Zagreb (capital of Croatia) to Stuttgart, or better, Grossbettlingen that is Jonas’s hometown. Until then I only met Jonas in person twice…haha. I arrived really late at night to Germany, Jonas picked me up with his car and he just got his driving license. The next day he showed me „The Van“. It was going to be our home for the next 5 months. I was really excited and that’s the least I can say. To fast forward 3 days here is a video Jonas named „The start of something big“.
So, now we are back in Zagreb (the date is April 26th, we drove all night from Germany to Croatia) and Jonas won’t see home for the next 5 months. Let me tell you something about this 18-year-old fearless German from a perspective of an excited – „ready to live life to the fullest“ – Croatian. He said goodbye to his mom and friends like he was going for a 2-day trip, for me it was so strange to watch. Ok, I agree they are happy for him, but somehow, something was missing for me or I was expecting a more intense emotional scene in the first place. I guess that’s my first cultural lesson of #worthit.
By the way, I’ll use this hashtag #worthit a lot, so when you share our story hopefully you will remember to use it also.
Ok, as I said. We were back in Zagreb, not my home town, but the place where I lived this April with the goal to find sponsors for the project. We slept one night and then drove towards Umag (my home town) but we stopped in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia for 2 important meetings.
Finally, we arrived in Umag. That day in the afternoon, my grandma and family were overly excited because they didn’t see me for almost a month and I was very happy to hug them again too.
Until May 5th, we stayed in Umag to finish building the interior of the Van. We close all the sponsor’s deals and wrapped up the van with sponsor’s logos and #worthit logo. A special place on the van got all the people that supported the crowdfunding campaign for #worthit from the beginning. The wrapping was made by Hoćunalju-sticker point, a really funny couple leaving on the border of Umag that helped us a lot before the start of the project.
I’m not going to bother you with all the details of our stay in Umag, but on April 30th, Jonas, Ena (my girlfriend) did a small trip through some villages of Istria (my beautiful county) to test the #vanlife.
The first day we visited Brtonigla – a beautiful small village with one of the best vines in the world, that we had the pleasure to try that day. Then we moved to Buje. We filmed some clips in the old part of town and the belfry key keeper.
Then we moved to Buje. We filmed some clips in the old part of town and the belfry key keeper allowed us to visit the bell room. That was not planned, but expect some nice clips from there on Plussizebmx’s Instagram and Facebook soon.
The next stop was Novigrad. Novigrad is a small city by the sea with the best sunsets I know. Gourmet, bike and wellness services of Brtonigla, Buje, Novigrad, and Umag are managed by coloursofistria.com. If you are looking for a vacation check it out.
After Novigrad, we visited Poreč. We were invited to one of the Valamar bike hotels – Pinia, to enjoy their services. As dirt jumpers, we really enjoyed the good food, nice beaches, and some trail riding. Maybe we pushed it a little when we asked to bring the bike to the roof and film the sunset, but they gave us the green light. They offered us to sleep in the hotel but we said: „NO thank you, we are testing the #vanlife“ – and that’s commitment :).
The next morning we drove for an hour and a half and arrived on the other side of Istria in a place called Rabac. Just by the bike hotel San Fior, Valamar is building the first bike park in Croatia and they wanted us to try it out. We met with Andrej Žigon, Alliance’s builder that was in charge there. He knew we wanted to film some riding on the trails that back then were work in progress, so he offered us to destroy their work and film us jump on their dredge and more – we took the offer and said HELL YEAAAH :).
So filming in Rabac was way more fun than expected and I can’t wait to ride these trails when they are finished, but at the same time we were late for lunch back home in Umag and my grandma wasn’t so happy.
Lunch, lunch, work, work, say good by to friends and family and finally, the morning of the 6th of May arrived and with it the official start of #worthit. Excited? Me? Fuck yeah.
I must say that the weather forecast for Italy for the next week was not looking great and we’re focused on filming dirt jumping and trails. Quickly we changed our plans and our first stop was Pinewood bike park in Bologna. The bike park is part of a big sports center called OZ. OZ was celebrating that weekend and it was crowded. We had no idea about the event, but it turned out great. The riding you’ll see in the episode, but here is a photo of the after party.
We spent 2 days at Pinewood and Sunday was a bit quieter as festivities go, and more riding was done. I can’t thank enough The DOK and Telle for helping us with whatever we needed, they were great hosts.
The weather was looking good or at least O.K. so we were keen to give it a try and film some dirt jumps. We hit up Diego Caverzzasi and the next day we drove from Bologna to Viggiu, his hometown.
Diego, eeeehhhh Diego, Ziiiiioooo (as he calls everybody) it’s definitely an interesting person and especially when you meet him at his home and around his family. He talks a lot, but rubbish talk, mostly swearing and yelling in Italian, but that’s typical. He is so fast at everything he does (driving a car for example), he will also help you right away and get things done quickly. He is a perfectionist that you can see from the look of his jumps. He looks like he is always angry and late, but I don’t think he feels like it.
His family took care of us for 4 days, so we forgot about the #vanlife, haha. This way I want to thank them one more time. Btw, Diego is in search of sponsors, but he wants to focus on riding and competing and winning. If you are reading this and you are, or you know a marketing manager of a bike company or an M.M. of an energy drink or an M.M. at a bike components company – it’s time to jump in. This is Italy and sponsors are not just waiting for the new kid to pop up and make him famous, but Diego deserves it and your help is welcomed.
On Thursday afternoon we left Diego’s home and drove to Pavia. Pavia is a small city in the south of Milan. We thought we were looking for a few days of rain so Diego told us to go visit this indoor skatepark – Il Butta BMX park. After Diego’s trails, this skatepark felt so small and there is not so much air time. Thursday night at the skatepark was chilled, we met the locals and the owner Luigi and tried the ramps. Friday was also a slow day, the park opened at 2 p.m. and until then we took care of our van. In the afternoon we decided to go to the center of Pavia to ride around and explore the city. The old part of town is beautiful but we while riding around we mostly saw just old people…hahaha. Next time we’ll definitely ask a local to show us around :).When we were back in the skatepark it was almost dark. At 9 p.m. the local BMX rippers showed up so we decided to make a short edit. We filmed for 2 hours tops and cut the clips in 15 min and uploaded it right away. Everybody was stoked on the result of this group power hour video. In case you missed it, you can watch it HERE.
Saturday morning we left for Monza, only an hour drive from Luigi’s skatepark. In Monza, we arrive early and got the chance to see the official opening of the Monza Pizza Bike Park with Monza’s mayor. The most interesting part for us was, of course, the part where they cut the tape and the bike park was officially open.
Before we could start riding and filming we became members of the bike association called ASD emissioni zero Monza with Torquato Testa in charge. The riding that day didn’t start until 3 p.m. when the locals made a small show for the impatient viewers.
During the event, it was hard to film for the documentary because all the riders were busy managing the guests and explaining the rules of the bike park to the beginners.
That day we met a lot of new friends. Luca Locati was one of them and he invited us to his home for a shower and dinner. Thanks, Luca, we really appreciate it.
The next day we knew we had to make up for all the filming we missed on Saturday. Let’s not forget that we are dirt jumpers as and such we love to chill at the trails (bike park in this case), talk about the pro riders and their contest stories and enjoy a beer and a BBQ, so we did. After these sweet few hours, we rolled our sleeves and made the most of the day. Bangers, new tricks, and the general bike park atmosphere were captured on film and when the sun went down we said good by to all the riders and went to Luca’s place to have dinner.
Monday morning we left Monza. We heard that Sam Pilgrim was in Milan and maybe he will come to ride the bike park later that day, but unfortunately, we had other plans. We started our motorhome and drove to Piovene Rocchette (close to Vicenza) where the Petinna’ brothers were waiting for us.
I never visited their trails – The Woods. When we were arranging our meeting I didn’t understand that the trails are so deep in the woods. They are well hidden from the inconvenient visitors but also hidden from the sun. In that moment I understood we’re not going to have the chance to ride them at all. Still, we filmed a few shots of the trails and went back up in their cozy mountain home to chill and eat some pasta, for the 10th time this week…Italy, right?
Thank you for reading all this, now Jonas and I are proud to present you the 1st episode of #worthit. Click play and enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment below, on Youtube, Facebook or Instagram.
Thanks to all the people that supported us from the start.
Maita Golzem, Malik Haase, Simone Unger, Martina i Bojan, Mislav Mironović, Massimiliano Burattini, Petra Mrvić, Juraj Bačić, Jani Fučka, Nikola Radović, James Ross Spencer, Kamil Kulik, Karlo Fic, Luka, BK TNT Pazin, Nikola Marin, Nina Stopar, Daniel Herrmann, Jurica Barač, Alessandro Cantelli, Nik Rijavec, Ivan Boban, Peter Kaiser, Paulo Valenta, Marko Božić, Ivan Grgur, Boris Božić, Alen Radetić, Sergio di Ukraino, Athina Trakas, Claudia Drechsler, Maja Dujlović, Mislav Boban, Dinko Šindija, Marjana Široka, Stopar Marjan, Primož Tanko, Sanja, Hrvoje Jergović, Andrea Kert, Tomislav Perko, Teo Žikic, Erik Matkovich, Dorian Šestan, Ivan Popov, Marek Konkoly, Marko Mišković, Andrej Dekleva, Ivan Gavran, Live the Dream Tour, Fran Marko Vlahinic, Daniele Ferri, Vedrana Koceić, Ena Mehulić, Vlado Gamboc, Iris Dragolin, Norma Gamboc.
Next stop: Austria!