Text and Indicated Pictures: José Manuel Serrano Esparza
José Luis Pinedo Vega, born in Arganda del Rey (Madrid) 48 years ago, states to be a one-legged cyclist but a cyclist.
On January 26th 1978, because of a motorcycle accident, his right leg had to be amputated.
Since then, his sporting activity focused on swimming, taking part in the Spain Autonomic Championships, etc, leaving it in 1986 and bearing a sedentary and rather dissipated life until 1992, when he decided to come back to sports practice in swimming, and availing himself of certain breakthroughs in the production of prostheses for amputees, began to devote himself to cycling.
He started very slow in the advance and above all with a lot of accidents, and only in 1995 he began to have a steady continuity, and since 1996 he developed a normal training routine.
Throughout those years, he went on simultaneously carrying out this activity with swimming competitions, and from here, he also fulfilled his first adventures: trip through the Channel of Castile (350 km) in 1998, trip through the Santiago Way (860 km) in ten days in 1999, and climbing to all the ports of the Vuelta Ciclista a España in 2000, something which was very hard, including the peaks of Covadonga Lakes.
In 2001, he made once again the Santiago Way in 8 days, at an average of 110 km/h a day, something which was covered by some local and autonomic written press (Diario 16), radio broadcasting stations (Cadena Ser, Onda Cero, etc) and autonomic televisions (Tele Corredor and Telemadrid), along with the sponsorship of the Town Hall of Arganda del Rey.
In 2000, he aimed at new goals and managed to cover on a bycicle the distance of 1,400 km between Arganda del Rey (his native city and residence place) and the famous mountain port of Alpe d´Huez, on the French Alps, famous because it is one of the toughest stages of the Tour de France, spending ten days to complete this new feat.
It was also very covered by local and autonomic press, and even such important newspapers as El País, El Mundo and radio broadcasting stations like Cadena Ser space El Larguero and TV companies like TVE, Tele 5 or Tele Madrid.
José Luis Pinedo finished year 2000 attaining a dream yearned for a long time: to be cycling during 24 consecutive hours, an exploit achieved between October 5th and 6th 2000 in the Arganda del Rey Municipal Skatedrome at the Sports City Príncipe Felipe, in which as well as the sporting side, there was a solidary part, with the recollection of funds for the project of a school in Nicaragua, likewise having a great newspaper coverage, at local, autonomic and national level, in such significant media as the aforementioned, as well as national coverage sports journals As and Marca, with the sponsorship of the firm Tentebien and the Town Council of Arganda.
In the year 2003, through 22 days, he ran a distance of 2,320 km between Arganda del Rey and the Girona province village of Llança (round trip), which he had already known during his travel to Alpe D´Huez, now with a sypporting car and making use of both a road bycicle and a mountain one, making the trans-Pyrenean route in a second stage which proved to be tremendously hard and where he had to climb 32 km length ports and 15% slopes, under all kind of climatology, with temperatures between 8º C and 36º C, it all greatly made up for by the unmatched beauty of the known landscapes, places, villages and people, it all having its epilogue with the stretch from Hondarribia to Arganda, with a wide coverage in written press and radio alike, together with Telemadrid.
On October 4th and 5th 2003, he made his perhaps most famous feat, which took place in the Skatedrome of the Príncipe Felipe Sports City of Arganda del Rey: Ignacio Pinedo was rolling for 25 consecutive hours with a conventional road bycicle, in a competition which had a further charitable nature, because in order to help the Athletics Municipal Club sportsman Adrián Blázquez to pay the treatment for his serious illness in Houston (Texas), each lap was sold at a price of 3 euros. This way, 14,000 euros were obtained, proving the great fraternity of sport in Arganda.
It began on October 4th at 11:00 o´clock in the morning and ended on October 5th at 12:00 midday, being particularly hard because of the night intense cold, which made him suffer from a gastroenteritis at 4:00 in the morning that had him without eating anything up to the end of the competition, besides having hit his shinbone with one of the pedals, which brought about a muscular tear with which he had to roll for 12 hours.
José Luis Pinedo was able to finish the competition thanks to his exhaustive preparation during the previous months and the invaluable collaboration of more than 100 people who rolled with him and gave him their support at every moment, also being outstanding the great labour implemented by the Arganda Athletics Club and the Cycling Club of Arganda, along with Marcos, Antonio and Roberto, monitors of spinning belonging to the Sports City, and practically every club and sports association of Arganda and a lot of citizens of the village, without forgetting the Madrid Cycling Federation, which acted as a notary and attested to what happened.
It must also be underlined the escorting of great figures of cycling like Juan Martínez Oliver, Roberto Alcaíde, Eduardo Chozas, Pablo Moreno, or the President of Madrid Cycling Federation Mr Enrique Martínez Heredia, together with a wide range of press, radio and TV, it all being sponsored by the O.I.D (Organization Fostering the Handicapped People) and Arganda Town Hall.
In 2004, José Luis Pinedo travelled to Cuba, covering on a bycicle the stretch between La Habana and Santiago de Cuba in seven days, departing on March 28th from the Cuban capital and arriving at Santiago de Cuba on April 3rd, after having made 1050 km with a weight of 33 kg between bycicle and saddlebag, above all on having to ascend the hard slopes across the Cuban geography in places like El Escambrai or Sierra Maestra. Another of the great difficulties was having a slowing down strong wind of more than 30 km/h and a temperature of 30º almost for the whole way, with a dampness exceeding the 90º, something which was made up for the kindliness of its people and the beauty of its landscapes. To have been able to know Cuba from the perspective of its inhabitants enriched him significantly and there were plenty of anecdotes and special situations. And once more, there was a remarkable coverage by written press, radio and TV, both at autonomic and national level, it all being sponsored by FIAT through its Autonomy Program for Mobility.
In 2005, he made the greatest feat of his lifetime, covering the Arganda-Dakar on a bycicle, with the sponsorship of Martinsa Grupo Inmobiliario, Alcalá Asesores Inmobiliarios, Altamarca, Lorenzo Manteca and the support of the Town Hall of Arganda del Rey, together with the priceless collaboration of the Foundation for the Local Progress, the Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, Skating, Basketball Bodybell and Peña de La Poveda Clubs, thanks to which he was able to fulfill this adventure which took him a two years preparation, between the searching for sponsors and the physical training, not without difficulties up to the last moment. For instance, the backing car was finally ready at 12:00 o´clock in the previous night before departing.
José Luis Pinedo rolled through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, making around 5,000 km, across such different areas as the Atlas mountain range, going up to altitudes exceeding 2,300 m, with temperatures oscillating between 0º C and 40º C or the Sahara Desert, where he had to endure over 50º C temperatures, sand storms, etc.
In this adventure he had the assistance of Diego Carreño in the supporting car and Luis Felipe García Romero on a bicycle.
The repercussion of this event regarding press was highly significant, along with local and regional media like East of Madrid, radio broadcasting stations like Onda Madrid or City Radio, TV channels like Telemadrid, Localia Television, etc, and from a national viewpoint it was covered by Diario As, Marca, Cadena Ser, Diario El Mundo, TVE, even having some international echo through Cadena Ser.
In 2006, José Luis Pinedo made the Arganda-Belsen, a Norwegian town located in the middle of the Norwegian Fiords. During this trip he crossed Spain north area, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Denmark and a great percentage of Norway, summing up 4,200 km, being escorted by his loyal attendant Diego Carreño in the backing car and his friends Valentín Vinagre and Miguel Martínez on bycicles.
This time, José Luis Pinedo had the support of the Arganda del Rey Town Hall, Martinsa Grupo Inmobiliario, Alcalá Asesores Inmobiliarios, Altamarca Gestión Deportiva, Organización 2000 and Arje.
The 4,200 km which made up the travel were covered in a relatively short time, since he departed from Arganda on June 1st 2006 and on 26th of the same month they were already in Bergen, after running the last 50 km above all through tunnels, very frequent in Norway, and often with lengths oscillating between 2 and 3 km, albeit on arriving upon Bergen, they had to cross a 7 km long one.
It all had likewise an outstanding echo in different media.
Photo: José Manuel Serrano Esparza. Arganda, 2009