Bullfrog Ambassador Davide Terrenghi
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There are few experiences outside of a mosh pit as dangerous as The Wall of Death. And even then, few rely solely on friction and centrifugal force for safety. Still, for over 100 years this carnival attraction has enticed daredevils to push their bodies (and stomachs) to the limit, driving motorcycles and cars around barrel-shaped walls while performing funabolic stunts.
The old show originated in the United States at the start of the 20th century, where it can be traced back to the Coney Island motordrome of 1911. In the following years, portable tracks started to pop up in travelling fairs. Then, in 1915, the first vertical-walled silodrome appeared at the Panama Pacific International Exposition, earning it the name we know today.
Decades on, Bullfrog ambassador Davide Terrenghi – AKA 'daredevil David', unsurprisingly – left his job to dedicate himself to this extreme and unusual passion. He purchased his own Wall of Death, jumped on his bike and undertook an adventure that changed his life. This is his story.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE WALL OF DEATH?
I discovered the Wall of Death as a kid, when I went to the amusement park. It's a memory that's always stuck with me, along with the beauty of a circus show. My love for motorbikes took care of the rest.
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO DEDICATE YOURSELF TO IT FULL-TIME?
Thanks to a Dutch friend who taught me the art of acrobatic driving on the Wall of Death, I tracked down an original Dutch Wall of Death from 1937, unused and abandoned for far too long. With great sacrifice, I managed to breathe life back into it and bring it back into the fairs and amusement parks across Italy.
DO YOU EVER REGRET GIVING UP EVERYTHING TO CHASE A DREAM?
No, I have never regretted it. I'm incredibly happy and almost can't believe that I've followed and realised a dream that has thrown me into a new lifestyle where I'm constantly moving around and meeting new people every day.
EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE, DO YOU HAVE PLACES YOU LIKE TO GO BACK TO?
The kind of work I do has turned me into a 'professional nomad', so my only touchstone is my family. Sure, there are places I like to go back to: for example, despite the fact that there are plenty of barbershops in Milan, the one I'm really attached to and that I visit regularly is the Bullfrog shop on via Thaon di Revel.Back