The Human-Powered, Giant Theme Park Playground: Ai Pioppi


TOM: Ready? PAUL: Yeah. TOM: Pedal. [CREAKING] PAUL: Back. TOM: Yep. I am in the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains, about an hour north of Venice, in Italy. And this is a place called Ai Pioppi, The
Poplars. 40 years ago, a man called Bruno opened a
restaurant and then, he learned to weld, and he thought, okay, I’ll make some small
bits of playground equipment for the kids who come to my restaurant. Well, it’s now 40 years later, and Bruno’s
welding looks like this. This is the terrifying Wheel of Death? Bicycle
of Death? — I’m not sure how to translate it — at
Ai Pioppi. Like all the rides at this bizarre, kinetic,
playground, theme pa–aahh!–rk — it is entirely human-powered. Everything here has no more energy that what
people put into it, in this case by pedalling. There are all sorts of bizarre contraptions,
and — Augh! Go on! [BOTH YELL] Here we go! Pedal! Pedal! [LOUD YELLING] Go on! Go on! Yes! [MORE YELLING] It is astonishing. It exists only in — come
on! Keep pedalling! That is… oh boy, that’s my phone! That’s my phone. That’s my phone. All right, let’s — oh, here we go again. Break there? PAUL: I’m done. TOM: So, um, I might have broken my phone. Good news! I didn’t break my phone. Bad news: I did break my face. About five minutes after filming that. Entirely my fault, not theirs. I ran on a bit of metal that I shouldn’t have
done. Tripped, fell face first, next thing I know
a lovely Italian doctor is putting seven stitches into my cheek. Obviously there’s an acceptable level of risk
when you go and do something like this. If you’re not willing to take that risk, then
don’t go, but — I do recommend you do. It is wonderful, everyone there was wonderful, they provided
first aid as well. But if you go: please, don’t get reckless.
Don’t do what I did. Don’t think you’re invincible just ‘cos you’ve
done a couple of somersaults on a bike. Follow the safety warnings, be really careful,
and I’ll see you around. And if there’s no video next week, it is because I’m having seven stitches removed
from my face! [Translating this video? Add your name here if you’d like credit!]

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