The Red Colnago, a goal realised.

I once knew a guy who always dreamed of owning a red Colnago. For non cyclists with more of an interest in cars just replace Colnago with Ferrari and you will get the idea. His dream took a long while to come true but eventually he managed to make it a reality. Along the way a number of things happened, some of which provide a few clues as to how he made his dream a reality.

Giuessepe Sarroni : As a life long Kelly fan this guy travelled with his parents to Goodwood to watch the World Championships back in 1982. Kelly finished third behind Giueseppe Sarroni. The bike Sarroni rode to victory on that day and many others was a Red Colnago. A spark of desire was ignited, and a goal was set. One day he would own a red Colnago.

Winning Magazine : Before Pro Cycling or Cycle Sport the best magazine available to any cycling fan was Winning Magazine. A full page advert featuring a red Colnago was cut carefully from the Magazine and blue-tacked to a bedroom wall. Each morning when he awoke the first thing to come into view was a red Colnago and the last thing he saw before turning out the lights at night was a red Colnago. Each day, time was spent thinking about his goal.

Racing : The season came around and amazingly every race he ventured to he would come across someone riding a Colnago. He would always mooch over for a look. Lift the bikes, feel the weight and take in every last detail of design, especially the clover leafed lugs.

There were many other brands of bikes there each Sunday, but all he would see were the Colnagos. His brain was filtering out everything else that was not directing him towards his goal. Everyone has hundreds of thousands of bits of information coming at them every day. Filtering happens automatically or we would become overwhelmed. Having a set goal helps to direct that filtering towards what we are aiming for.

The Job : One Saturday morning, whilst out training with his local club, an older rider asked what his plans were for the summer. The reply given was a plan to train hard and win enough races to save enough for a new bike, a red Colnago. The older rider remarked that his brother owned the local supermarket and was usually looking for summertime staff. He would put in a word and see if there were any vacancies. Sure enough there was an opening and an entire summer was spent working every hour possible in the Supermarket. He was always the first to volunteer for overtime or to come in early on a Saturday morning. By the end of the summer enough money had been saved to buy a Red Colnago. By sharing his dream with his training partner he was helped along the way. People like to help others. By working harder than everyone else, when given the opportunity, he made it a reality.

Not having met for a number of years I recently bumped into this guy and over a coffee we reminisced about the Red Colnago. We laughed, but then he looked at me seriously and said ‘ remember I had that picture from Winning Magazine over my bed for 2 years before I got the bike, well see my car over there ( I looked across the street at a 2014 German automobile that would leave little change out of €150k ) I’ve had a picture of that on my bathroom mirror for the past 4 years !


He never forgot the lesson learned from the Red Colnago.

He still sets goals. (He told me that he now carries them around with him, broken down into 1 year, 3 year and 10 year goals)

Every goal he sets is for something that he really wants, so he has a strong desire to achieve every one of them.

Because he has achieved past goals, he has a strong sense of self belief that he can achieve any goal he sets for himself.

He works incredibly hard at everything he does.

He enjoys everything he does. He says that he would still do his job for free if he won the lotto.

An interesting thing that he mentioned was from some University study over thirty years.

90% of students set no goals and got along grand but didn’t stand out in any way.

10% set goals and earned on average 9 times more than the other 90%

1% wrote their goals down and earned 12 times more than the other 9% who had goals.


This holds true for cyclists too, just look at Greg LeMond who when he was 16 did an exercise in school where the whole class wrote down their goals. His were :

1. Place well for experience in the 1978 junior world championships.
2. Win the 1979 junior world championship. – He Won
3. Win the 1980 Olympic road race in Moscow. – He was selected for the USA National team at just 18, but they boycotted the games
4. Win the world professional championships by the age of twenty-two or twenty-three. – He Won aged 22
5. Win a first Tour de France by the age of twenty-four or twenty-five. – He won aged 24







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