I started cycling in 1978, racing with my friends, who sought something different. I did small rides to Velestino with an Esca Favorite that I had bought second hand. Back then you needed one to two month wages to buy a bicycle, and it was really hard and this is why we had the same bicycle for many years.
Later I came in contact with Gymnastikos Club of Larissa that had a cycling department. I remember my first training I did. It was a 70 km ride and then I stayed in bed for two days from pain and stiffness. But I continued because I got deeply addicted to it. With Paris Spetsiotis as the trainer, who showed me the first steps in the sport and the technique in cycling, I consistently continued training with an old bicycle and before a year passed in the Gymnastikos team I got invited at the Junior National Team and later on in the Men’s National Team where I had many distinctions and success. On 1985, with the initiative of Paris Spetsionis, the cycling department got separated from Gymnastikos Club and became an independent club named Gymnastikos Cycling Club of Larissa.
In 1981 being a junior I had unforgettable experiences. I remember starting alone for Athens, at the age of 16, to enter a race. Back then we got little support from the club. Tired from the trip I went straight to the race, competed and then returned exhausted to Larissa. Or I had to travel alone to Crete for a race, and had to arrange everything myself, find a ship, where to stay, eat, sleep, everything alone. The training and race participation conditions were hard, and you had to be something of a hero in order to be a cyclist. Larissa back in 85 to 87 was a bicycling town, but despite this, it was lagging behind bigger towns and especially in the racing part. You could not find tires, a wheel or for something of quality you had to go to Volos, Athens or Thessaloniki.
Later on, from 1989 to 2002 I participated to Podilatikos Club of Larissa not only as an athlete but also as a trainer, with athletes participating in the National Team, in National, European and World Championships.
From 2002 to 2004 I was also a member of the Financial Committee of the Hellenic Cycling Federation, while until 2007 I was a member of the Board of Directors of the Podilatikos C.C. of Larissa.
On 2008 I envisaged the rebirth of the “Pineios” Cycling Sports Club, which had fallen in disuse, and with the help of good friends, who love cycling, we started from scratch and made it a reality, aiming to extend bicycling racing even more in our town. Today PINEIOS C.S.C. has about 60 athletes, men and women, and participates each year in many races in Local and National level. I belong to the PINEIOS Cycling Sports Club as an athlete and as a trainer. From my recent position (2017) as the president of the Cycling Local Committee of Central Greece he is ready to offer even more in the field of cycling.
Having a cycling shop to do with cycling and the cyclist was one of my dreams. A shop for everyone but mainly for us athletes, for quality products, for the team and the racing department and the specialized service. This became a reality in 2000 in the town of Larissa where I made my favorite sport a business activity with the help of my wife Despoina Tsesmetzidou who is also an active athlete and a trainer of the Pineios C.S.C.- cycling Club. The shop “Dalavikasbikes” is today the grand sponsor and helper of the team.
From 2015 me and my wife dynamically activate in :
- in the area of the outdoors athletic tourism with the organization of one- day or multi- day cycling, trekking or multisport tour.
- in the area of sports with cycling, and running races and multisport events.
- in the area of mass sports through cycling events of recreational or social character or cycling camps.
These activities take place in the greater geographic area of Central Macedonia, Thessaly and Central Greece. Olympus, Kissavos, Meteora, coastline of Larissa, coastline of Pieria, Lake Plastira, and Delphi constitute the main regions of interest.
15 years ago, in our town, people in their thirties or even older did not frequently use bicycles. In the last years there has been a booming of cycling either because of the crisis or just because it became a fashion when people started realizing some things, for example that bicycle is more than a transportation and exercising means, it is a convenience in transportation and stopping in town, a way of life with ecological extensions and ideal for excursions.
Cycling is entertainment, health, freedom, fun, lifestyle, fast, flexible, it is a hobby! It is joy, it rejuvenates you and makes you feel like a child!
For all of us, the romantics, the ecologists and the athletes, the solution is the two wheels!!