First of all introduce yourself and teel us why you are on a cycling magazine.
Hi everybody, my name is Alessandro Benedetti and I am a mechanical engineer with a strong interest and passion for woodworking, machinery, design and obviously, bikes.
I was tortured by Daniele with a 49t chainring to answer these questions…so I will try to do my best!
How is born WOOD.BE?
I can say that wood.be is a project born many years ago when I started to get my hands dirty with sawdust, glue and tools. Things became more and more interesting when I built my workshop in the home basement and I started to design and craft my own projects. With by brother Fabio (he is a Visual Designer based in London) we decided to create a small brand, take a lot of care about it on Social Media accounts and build an engaging website.
There is still a lot to do, this is just the beginning for wood.be. We want to work hard on our projects and be a reference point for everyone need custom works.
Why the choice of “wood” instead of any other material?
Wood is definitely my favourite material because it’s alive, it’s sustainable, gives you endless possibilities and can turn your ideas in something real with reasonable efforts. I like to use and experiment even other materials as concrete, acrylic and metals. Now you may think I will build a wooden bike…it’s not in “the to do list” yet!
It’s useless try to hide our Friendship and I feel guilty for introduce you in this “strange” world of fixies. Tell me the truth: do you love me the same?
Our love story is popularly known. The story is pretty funny to be honest. If you remember I wrote you after someone stole my Colnago fixie and help me to found it again. I attended a small Crit in Settimello, organized by Cykeln guys and the I decided to buy a real fixed gear bike to race some criteria. How could I hate you…from that time so many good things happened! Someone says you are my fixed gear mentor!
Be serious this time: your production is “important” you create items of all kind: from little toys to big pieces of furniture as bar counter. Where and how these ideas come alive?
I don’t focus on a single item but I like to design, make and modify many stuff at once. Some ideas are totally mine as the clocks or the wooden cars. I take care of the packaging too that is crucial today to sell high quality handamde products. To get inspired I also spend a lot of time watching videos on YouTube of my favourite makers (one for all is Jimmy DiResta from Manhattan). Even my brother is an incredible source of ideas. If you love crispy designs and stickers you should chek his brand Cocorino!
We have to talk about bike now, you know? So, You ride for a local team in Versilia, but, Who is Wood.be the Cyclist?
Well, I started with cycling since I was 13. At the beginning was just riding with my father to do some sport. Then I started with road cycling and Granfondo, that I still ride with my team, Team Gulliver Bike Viareggio.
In the last 2 years I took part to several Criterium Italia events and Red Hook Milano No.7. I ride my bikes almost every day . Viareggio is flat and so small that bike it’s definitely my favourite way to move around.
What do you think about fixed world, what you like and what you don’t?
Fixed gear world is really unique. There is a lot of competition, riders take it seriously, train really hard but the atmosphere around the events it’s completely different from regular road races.
Before and after the race you spend time with other riders, you have time for a beer or for a talk about gear ratios, frames and wheels. You usually race in nice places as small city centers with a lot of spectators.
What I like the most is that races are not just about watts, power and shape. You can be competitive with good handling skills and experience. Last but not least I appreciate the high respect riders have each other. You know that you are riding brakeless at high speed and mistakes are not allowed.
And now the question that everybody was waiting for… Tell us about your Partnership with Red Hook Crit.
My collaboration with Red Hook Crit is something really special for me. I wrote in 2015 to David August Trimble to introduce my brand wood.be and show my better woodworks, including your Cykeln wooden logo. He was positively impressed and months later they asked me to make the two giant podium hooks for the European stages (you maybe saw their own version in Brooklyn already). I was stoked about this request.
I don’t consider this as a goal, because I would collaborate with Red Hook Crit in the next years more and more. I hope this job will give more visibility to wood.be in the cycling world.
Matching my two biggest passions, woodworking and bikes is something that I llok for from a long time!
Now tell me how wood.be helped you, in your everyday life, and if it changed you someway.
Before wood.be I had many ideas and projects but they were all disorganized. Having a brand, a story to tell, some good references help you a lot when you talk with other people.
Every day I receive positive feedbacks about what I’m doing and this is very good because make me think that people are still interested in high quality products with a lot of research behind.
How do I help wood.be? I invest so much time and effort to grow it that they should only thank me! XD
Would you do another “bolted” C for us next year? Even if I am a real, real, real pain in the a$$?
Cykeln has a special place in my heart because you guys are the first I knew in the fixed gear world. Fiorino Crit 2015 was my first experience and since then we shared many experiences togheter.
If I would make another “bolted” C? Yep! Maybe lighter than the one you already have…you don’t look so strong to hold it! In the meanwhile I made a sort of restyling to the “C” so Piacca can shot better photos to it!
It’s time of greetings… or, if you prefer, time to say F%%K U… Fell free to choose(remember, at most 5 f##k! Don’t exaggerate!):
Ahaha I’m not so bad to have 5 people to send to hell. Maybe I should send to hell that f*** thief that stole my fixie…but thinking about it, my landing in the fixed gear world was due to that event.
So forget about it!
Thank to you Daniele and all Cykeln magazine fans. Was a pleasure for me! See you at the next Crit!