Enrico Mastini: Piazza for Cyclists


by Lori Shannon

Two young men move about the repair stations of the Mastini bike shop in New Cagli, Italy, angling to see what owner Enrico Mastini is doing to the bike fastened into the rack. Enrico is replacing the brakes on a bike belonging to the wife of the town’s best - and only - triathlete.  The husband checks out Enrico’s work, deems it acceptable, and pedals home.Enrico Mastini

It is near closing time, yet Enrico’s bike shop is filled with customers. Enrico takes care of the needs of each cyclist and locks up well after the closing time posted on the front door. The store’s main door won’t stay locked for long. 

A first generation Cagliesi, Enrico says he began working at his father’s bike and tire shop in 1985. As a boy, Enrico’s love of cycling for fun paralled his love of repairing bikes. He began racing professionally when he was 18 and endured the sport until he was 30. He will say he wasn’t good. His shoulders slump, and his head drops when he talks about his racing career. It didn’t help that he was on the same team as another Cagliesi, Valter Basili, who was far more successful on the racing circuit.

But Enrico would out perform Basili in the bicycle business. Basili also owned a bike shop in Cagli but sold it 10 years ago. Soon after purchasing the store from Basili, the new owner closed it, leaving Enrico’s shop the lone bike store in the area.

When the store is open, cyclists drop in during a ride just to say “Ciao” and see who else is spending an afternoon pedaling a bike around the hilly roads of Cagli. Enrico’s shop is more than a place to buy bikes and accessories and have repairs made - it’s the cycling community’s version of the piazza. There’s even a coffee maker in the corner of the showroom floor.

On occasion, Enrico also rescues stranded cyclists. After receiving a call, he jumps in his car and heads about 20 kilometers down the winding highway to pick up a rider with a flat tire. Enrico says the price for fetching the rider is “two beers.” He says he doesn’t mind helping out his friends. It’s obvious that every person in Cagli who rides a bike is Enrico’s friend.  

Enrico’s love for his community is clear. His shop is busy, yet he says he doesn’t make much money. When Basili shuttered the doors to his bike shop leaving Mastini without any competition, Enrico could easily have raised his prices. Customers say Enrico is fair, despite being the only bike shop in town. Some feel he often charges less than he should. The ability to share his passion for cycling appears to be enough of a reward for Enrico.

The son of one of Enrico’s employees bounces in and out of the bike shop. The grease smudges on the boy’s left cheek show he’s been helping his father make repairs, much like Enrico did as a young boy with his own father. At closing time, a high school boy says goodbye to Enrico and checks in about the work schedule for the following week.  The teenager is one of two students working in Enrico’s shop in exchange for school credits.  The themes of tradition and community play key roles in Enrico’s family and business.

Cagli is a paradise for bikingWhile Enrico gladly took over the business from his father, he says he will have to sell the store when he retires. His daughter, 26-year-old Laura, is a schoolteacher.  Lorenzo, his 18-year-old son, has Down’s Syndrome. The Italian tradition of passing down a family business will end with Enrico.

Enrico plans to spend his retirement days riding his bikes around Cagli. If given the chance to ride anywhere in the world, he says he’d stay put and ride the local roads and trails. “Cagli is a paradise for biking,” he says. 

For now, Enrico can only dream about retirement. Even though it’s well past closing time and the door has been locked for a while, a loud knock gets Enrico up from his desk to let in a customer. He doesn’t think of this as a chance to make a sale. He simply thinks of it as taking care of another friend in his ever-growing cycling family.




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Phone:+1 509 - 313 - 3569
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