This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the documentary “Marinoni” and chatting with it’s writer and director Tony Girardin. Cycles Marinoni supplies us with Campy and other Italian bits for our customer builds but I also have a tiny personal connection to Giuseppe Marinoni. Growing up in Canada, Marinoni frames were a mainstay of the racing community. I always coveted a Marinoni and when I moved to Montreal in the early nineties, I made the short trek up from my home in NDG in Montreal to his shop in Terrebonne to get sized up for a custom road and a custom track bike. It was a cold, fall weekday and it was quiet at his shop. I was greeted by his wife Simone who brought me back to Giuseppe who was busy brazing up 20 rear triangles for a production run. We waited for him to finish up before he came over and shook my hand. He was in good spirits as he took my measurements and my order details. He laughed as he did a double take on some of my measurements – apparently I have arms of a gorilla and given my thick sprinter’s build he insisted on a stouter downtube and chainstays. We chatted in mixed English and French about the activities of some of the Canadian racers, I put down my deposit and off I went home. A few months later the bikes showed up. They both rode beautifully as only classic steel frames can. I raced a couple of years on the track bike somewhat competitively before hanging up my cleats. The track bike is still active after all these year and is now a street fixie ridden by my son.
Tony is taking the film on a west coast tour complete with a directors Q&A this month (September) then overseas to Japan, France and Spain so if you get a chance I highly recommend you catch it if it is screening at theatre near you. I don’t want to spoil the movie so I will spare the details but it is delightfully quirky and charming with some unexpected twists that captivated the audience whether their interest’s in all things on two wheels was non-existent and or bordered on the obsessive.