feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Archive for October, 2010

Roman Bike Share

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I am sad to report that we never even tried the Roman bike share system. I got the best photos I could but most of the racks we saw were completely empty of bikes and we only saw one other couple riding them, once. I fear it’s a bike share that failed.

It’s all really too bad, because we discovered that in the city itself one bank of the Tiber is devoted to a bike lane, providing a high-speed safe beeline right through town. A cyclist could easily beat a taxi or subway rider on any cross-town adventure. Next time we’re going to bring Bromptons.

Mystery Revealed?

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Early one morning I saw this bicycle parked casually, Italian-style, and wondered who would have such a large basket on their bike.

Hours later, and in another part of town, I saw this elegant woman. Only in reviewing my photos later did I start to wonder – I think that’s the owner of the interesting bike!

What do you think?

Colnago Townie

Friday, October 15th, 2010

It’s not everywhere you can see a Colnago townie city bike left casually on the street.

This bell on the Colnago was our first indication that Bianchi is based in Florence:

Italian Couples on Bikes

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The bicycle date is alive and well in Italy – and very romantic.

For much of our trip this had been the only other sporty couple we saw.

On the last day, just before going to the airport we saw this couple rolling in to town. They were entering through the northern gate to Rome (Via Cassia), so we imagined they’d ridden here from the Netherlands, or something like that.

At any rate, it looks like they’ve come a long way!

Dogs on Bikes in Rome

Friday, October 15th, 2010

These weren’t the only canines on two wheels we saw, it seemed much more common there. But these were the only instances I managed to photograph.

Doesn’t this second dog look like he’s contemplating jumping down?

Red Bikes of Italy

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I could not possibly have photographed all of them if I tried, so instead I’ll just tell you that there was a definite preference for red bicycles all over Italy. It was a lot of fun to play “spot the red bicycle”.

In appreciation of that, and all the beautiful things that are made in Italy, when it came time to choose a souvenir, I got the most delicious, delicate, racy and wonderful new pair of cycling gloves. Watch me signal my turns now Boston!!!

Italian Ladies on Bikes

Friday, October 15th, 2010

 Girlfriends riding into Florence early in the morning.

 This ladies’ scarf fluttered in a most beguiling way.

 Love this lady’s sleek look.

 This lady was slowed in her turn by mobs of tourists, but she and her lovely legs still made it across the square in style.

 This lady’s genie-style trousers worked well for cycling.

 My impression was that the age range of Italian female cyclists was more compressed to the younger end than in France, but there was some variation.

 LOVED her cute yellow bike!

 These ladies were cycling through the chicest neighborhood in Florence, and prompted me to reflect on the timeless good looks of black bicycles.

 Though I would encourage this woman to raise her saddle (if I spoke better Italian), I still thought she looked beautiful riding through the afternoon sun near the tomb of Augustus.

Italian light, Italienne sparkle, and all in white linen – perfect!

Italian Gents on Bikes

Friday, October 15th, 2010

 I didn’t quite catch the photo, but these two were just kissing (really kissing!) seconds before this was taken. I think that speaks well for what women think of men on bikes.

 This gentleman dismounted to walk his bike over the Ponte Vecchio.

 This gentleman was waiting outside a bar. What do you think he was waiting for?

 This guy made me think of all the cool kids I ever knew, with his vest and hip sneakers.

 It was mid-morning and this gentleman was riding fast. I wondered if he’d forgotten something he needed at the office, or was racing to a business meeting? I loved the sporty riding on the sporty bike in his business suit.

 By contrast, these two gentleman were not riding fast at all, and their style is perfect for a slow trip by bike.

We didn’t see much ‘casual’ among the Roman men, but this guy was casual in dress and speed.

Overwhelming Numbers of Bikes in Italy

Friday, October 8th, 2010

After hearing about our recent vacation a friend sent me the link to today’s New York Times article on the Eroica, a vintage, “tweed-ride” style jaunt through Tuscany. I can tell you from experience that the Eroica roads we took on our vacation were among the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. Someday we’ll make it to the main event!

All this made me feel slightly guilty though, because I’ve been promising you Italian bicycle photos. I confess that the sheer number of photos have overwhelmed me, I’ve been paralyzed with the prospect of organizing and presenting them all. Just now I’ve decided to skip the former and just go with the latter.

In no particular order here’s a whole lot of Italian bikes!

These bikes were cool because they were free loaners from a hotel.

Don’t they look elegant there on the cobblestones?

This art bike was newly-made, there was gold paint on the street a few feet away.

This mixte was more remarkable in person than in the photos, but the blue ano rims match the decals, and even the brake pads match the frame.

This one is for you Cycler!

You might have to enlarge this photo to see the bicycle lurking in the alley.

Florentine bike racks were inevitably full.

I think this is the largest wicker front basket I’ve ever seen, easily as large as those super-huge Wald baskets.

I love how this lady popped into the store leaving her bike, and umbrella, unguarded.

This must have been some sort of delivery bike in its past, look at all those tubes and oversize platforms for carrying lots of bulky, heavy things.

Headtube indicates that Atala bikes were made in Milan.

I was clearly very taken with this utility bike.

Every single rack outside of the train station in Florence was filled to capacity. While we waited for our train home to Rome we watched cyclist circling for a parking space like mall-shoppers at Christmas time.

This pair of unmarked bicycles lived across the street from our apartment. They never moved, and I was just glad I didn’t have to watch it rain on those beautiful new Brooks accessories.

The smaller bike (hers?) even left the Brooks saddlebag unattended for days!

What a simple urban vehicle!

Adore the shaping of the fenders on this bike, and the rod brakes.

Love these loops – a style I’ve only seen in Italy where the top tube swirls back up to join the seat tube.



Definitely the strangest frame we saw, though there were quite a few like this in Florence. We think Bianchi went through an experimental stage, they appeared to all be from the same era (based on paint color schemes). I’m glad they’ve moved on, we’re generally fans of the seat stay.

Green with Ivy, patient city bike ready to go.

Electric blue bicycle looks ready to go!

Finally the Sunday before we left the Brooks couple took the bikes away for a while, when they returned his was on the outside. I’m glad they got out for a ride!