Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Long time, no bike

Being this is a blog about biking and I haven't been biking in close to a month, I have been reluctant to post. You see I am currently in Italy the motherland of all bicycles. Without a bike. This is the country that produces some of the most storied and beautiful bikes ever. Pinarello, Cinelli, Campagnolo, Calnago, Sidi, to name a few. Others are simply names. Fausto Coppi, Mario Cipollini, Marco Pantani, Ivan Basso.

Yet once you travel around Italy for a while you quickly realize something. They also have some of the ugliest bikes in the world. I mean I love bikes and think all things cycle are beautiful, but some of these are downright ugly (if beautifully functional). Peeling paint, bent tubes, oddly compiled folding monstrosities, anything and everything wrong.

Yet there are bikes everywhere. And riders everywhere as well. Mothers on bikes with their kids on seats above the handle bars. Women in heals pedaling bike to the store. A woman pushing her bike over a hill in order to coast down the other side on flat tires. And, rarely, racers in full kit leisurely riding by on the cobbles. This makes me want to return even more, with a bike in hand, to ride the country side and city streets.

So from Itally, enjoy the ride as I will as soon as I am back.