How about that for a title on an article - a bit more racy than say “the 16th MotoMessa at San Pelligrino” don’t you think ? Once again the faithful were gathered on high … 1500 metres above sea level to be precise at San Pellegrino in Alpe for the annual Motomessa – the Motorbike Mass.
Now in its 16th season and getting more popular each year.
At the first event it was possible to photograph all the participants standing outside the church in one group, their numbers less than 40.
This year the Motomessa drew in thousands of riders from all over Tuscany and beyond making it the largest motorcycle event in this area.
All were waiting for the final moment after the mass held in the church when the priest exits and mounts the back of a bike and roars through San Pellegrino blessing with holy water the rows of bikes and riders lined up on each side of the road. The riders adding to the noise and confusion by revving their bikes in encouragement.
Each year it is a different bike used to carry the priest through the village and competition is tough for the privilege of providing the transport. This year the choice fell not to the many Ducati or Harley-Davidson present but the reliable Moto Guzzi.
By 1.30 this afternoon the mountain air was rent once again with the sound of thousands of those motorbikes roaring off back down the mountainside leaving the place once more at peace until next year.
The tiny mountain village is normally used in the winter as a ski resort or in the summer as a place to enjoy peace and quiet, nature and the mountain air.
Actually most observers this year commented on the fact that the 16th MotoMessa 2012 was all in all a fairly subdued affair and probably this had something to do with the fact that many people were remembering last years event when Fabrizio Graziani, a rider from Castelnuovo lost his life in a collision between two bikes just outside San Pelligrino.
Friends and colleagues of Fabrizio had in fact recently erected a 2 m tall steel cross on the spot where the accident happened, featuring two large lorry pistons ( Fabrizio was a lorry driver) and a laser cut metal plate with the words “keep on riding”
It remains to be seen if the cross will be allowed to stay as planning permission in Italy can be somewhat complicated and as far as is known, the authorities were not informed either before or during erection of the monument.
Centauro travolto e ucciso alla Moto Messa di San Pellegrino in Alpe – Avrebbe dovuto essere una festa da celebrare, tutti insieme, al santuario di San Pellegrino in Alpe, come accade ogni anno in questa stagione. Invece, è stata una tragedia. La Moto Messa partita da Castelnuovo Garfagnana e diretta a San Pellegrino in Alpe, riservata ai motociclisti di tutta la regione e non solo, è stata funestata da un incidente mortale avvenuto poco dopo le 11,30 sulla strada provinciale n. 72 del Passo delle Radici, all’incirca al chilometro 83. Un centauro di 58 anni, Fabrizio Graziani, abitante a Castelnuovo e in sella alla sua Suzuki, mentre stava dirigendosi al santuario, ha perso, per cause non ancora appurate, il controllo della moto finendo per essere sbalzato di sella e andando a invadere la corsia opposta. In quel momento, purtroppo, stava sopraggiungendo, in direzione Castelnuovo e, quindi, in discesa, un altro motoveicolo il cui conducente non ha potuto evitare l’impatto travolgendo e uccidendo lo sfortunato centuaro. – source
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