September 30, 2022

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Filippo Scalco, from Italy to Canada: “I live in a dream!”

A few weeks ago, in the editorial office, we received an email from an Italian boy who had decided to move to Canada, with a strong interest in mountain biking and an independent lifestyle and connection with nature.
He chose to do it in the midst of an epidemic!
His words showed a real excitement, and we thought his experience would inspire another to make their dream come true.
Here is his story and … Never resign yourself to “impossible dreams”!

V.M.

If they tell me one day I will proudly say “I live my dream!” I will not trust!

My name is Filippo Scalco, I am 25 years old and I have been living in Vancouver since May last year. Canada.

I’m always dreaming and passionate about MTB: I’ve spent my time planning my next adventures and watching all the new videos of pro-riders filmed on the most beautiful tracks in the world.

I thought: “How nice it would be to ride a bike at the most famous bike park in the world at Whistler.
But you can still go down in the middle of that magical Canadian jungle … back in the pick-up, then down again with the open air! “
“Maybe one day I’ll go there …” I said to myself.

Then, one day the spark flew, and in a frenzy I decided it was time to do it: “I’m going to Canada!”

Giving up everything to pursue your dreams is by no means easy, especially if you do it in the midst of a global epidemic… But after more than a year and a half of preparation, that flight has finally departed for Canada!

So I arrived in Vancouver, a beautiful city nestled between sea, forest and mountains.

The joy was even greater when I finally touched the floor of that Canadian forest with the handles of my MTP! When I entered the middle of nature, I was impressed by the colors and richness of those trees, which are wonderful to say the least. I felt like I was daydreaming because I had already seen those places hundreds and hundreds of times, but only in videos.

You need to know how to ride my first bike British Columbia?
A real disaster!
We went to Seymour on the legendary north coast of Vancouver where the MTB movement was born.
The first ride with the new bike (the first time with 29 ‘), the highly technical and super slippery path made my life difficult.
But I did not worry, he was so excited and happy, almost tears came to my eyes.

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In the meantime, I was looking for a job as a mechanic at a historic Vancouver bike shop, Dunbar Bicycles, and I met several guys who started exploring the area.

Finally, another long-awaited day came: it was time to go and shoot Whistler Bike Park!
Flying in the biggest jumps of the world’s most popular track A-line was magical!
On the first lap I was speechless and I could not believe the size of those tabs and the speed at which they should close properly!
Get full speed at this paradise with a few laps and two wheels to gain confidence!

Another great area I went to shoot this summer SquamishThe most popular place for mountain biking, just an hour from Vancouver!
Almost at a bike park level, I have never seen lanes and jumps are well maintained.
It is impossible to count the number of different paths that cross the entire surface of the mountain!

We went to try the most popular ones Rock layers, The unique landscape is found only here. They are nothing more than long cliffs with dizzying slopes that make you duck at first sight!
But then my Canadian friends assured me: “Do not worry Filippo, these rocks will surprise you because they are so much in the grip!”

I can tell you that my first summer in Canada was extraordinary!

A typical day for a Canadian rider (especially in summer)?
Work, bike, shuttle with friends, beer and burger post riding! And many times you will be called “the third time” on the beach.
The mood and community of the bikers here is beautiful: you feel like part of a larger family that shares the same desires and desire to spend time riding your bike.

Bike shop guys and I often travel to our home mountain Seymour. The choice of trails is endless and in the 8 months I have lived here I have not yet tried all the trails in that area (maybe I will never succeed).

The types of trails are very diverse: from the enviable runs and jumps of bike parks to lines, from the technical level to the steep and unclassified gaps, to the more technical and subdued! I learned that Canadians are truly limitless and that some things are truly meaningless.

Something really unique North Shore Lean Path (Almost sacred place, the birthplace of modern MTB): In short they are pieces of tree trunks and elevated paths made of wooded sidewalks.
There are no limits to the creativity of builders here, and the structures created over the course of so many years are impressive!

In my opinion the earth is so soft, the new tracks created in the undergrowth that seem to float, the lomar trails are all very beautiful trails. The feeling of the bike is crazy, the fantastic grip and almost no rocks make the descent exciting.
But don’t always roll your eyes, you can see a big jump when you look forward to it!

At the end of the track, the six-pack beer is ready to share, and all riders can now wait to tell each other the emotions of that new passage they tried or why you should buy it. A new bike …

And how you live Vancouver?

Many things will definitely change compared to Italy, the first of all is the food.
From quality to high price (alas high price for everything here alas) we are forced to give up many things that we normally take home.
But this is also an excuse to try something new; In the city center you have the opportunity to taste a lot of food and cuisine from around the world.
Canada is a crossroads of completely different and equally unique cultures, traditions and peoples. A special environment where no one feels out of place.

This is my favorite thing in this new world Life Canadians: They live in contact with nature, practice outdoor and outdoor sports, many go to work on bikes or run through city parks and the sea.
The most popular activities on free days are MTB, hiking in the nearby mountains, kayaking on beautiful lakes or adventures in tents with friends, not forgetting all the winter sports like skiing and skiing.

Good opportunity to go with Public transport Around Vancouver. Here you can even take your bike by bus. In fact, a bike rack is installed at the front, which allows two bicycles to be loaded.
The bus here has become my best friend, in fact without it I would not be able to go hiking on the trails in North Vancouver!

Another thing I like about this city is that the mountains, skyscrapers and lush city parks or beaches are all within a few kilometers. It allows you to keep everything at your fingertips and in one day you can go from sea to mountains without any problem!

The biggest challenge for me since I came here to Canada has been learning how to communicate with clients and my co-workers and work in the bike shop. English language.
Like everyone else, I studied English at school, took refresher courses, and practiced speaking before leaving, but my level was still basic. In short, I knew how to survive, but could not speak on a large scale.

When I was offered the opportunity to work in a shop, I was well aware that this would require more English than mine.
In fact, being a mechanic is equally important not only for repairing bikes, but also communicating with the customer, answering phone calls, booking appointments and giving advice on bike components and models.
All this scared me. But it was the job I dreamed of the most, the environment I absolutely wanted to surround myself with.
Eventually I pushed myself into this big challenge.

I remember very well my first phone call to a client: a handshake, a written speech in a post and a lot of anxiety in explaining what I said on the phone.
At some point with “tough” clients, I could not understand anything about the requests made to me, I really wanted to bury myself, I disappeared into the thin air due to the embarrassment of the situation.
But I’m a very stubborn guy, I was able to do it after 6 months of work.

I think all of this is great!
I can not wait to know what will happen in my next adventures in Canada!

If you want to follow Filippo Scalco, Here Find his Instagram profile.
However, you can read other stories of adventures on Mtb here.