Riding Bikes in Rovigo
One of the first things I noticed about Rovigo, Italy, was the number of people riding bikes to get around town.
They expertly weave in and out of traffic and around roundabouts. Bikes are complete with cute baskets and riders of all ages. Sometimes you see dogs in the baskets, wind blowing their ears and tongues hanging out.
Sometimes loaves of bread.
Italians park their bikes anywhere. I mean that. I see them … just in front the store, not bothering to use a bike rack most of the time. Precious. And convenient.
I get warm fuzzies when I see the bikes out front, reaffirming this slower paced life, complete with no reliance on cars.
I especially love it when I see senior citizens effortlessly cruising around on their bikes. Makes me wish I saw that more often in America — it would solve so many problems. It’s clearly another feather in Italy’s longevity cap.
La Dolce Vita
I can’t help but notice how the Italians ride at such a leisurely rate. It’s conducive to that desired slower pace of life here in Italy. There is simply no rush. Families ride three to a bike sometimes (a baby sitting in front and an older sibling riding on the back — the bikes are outfitted for this). Interestingly, I don’t see people wear helmets.
I even once saw a dad riding his bike, balancing his toddler… on his hip with one arm (not in a designated seat!)… while steering the bike with the other hand. I was so nervous watching this precarious scene that I wanted to tear my eyes away in fear of an ugly crash, but I couldn’t. As far as I know, they survived.
Then, there was the time I saw a middle-aged Italian man riding his bike down the street, without holding onto the handle bars, because one hand was holding his cigarette, while the other was holding his cell phone while he chatted.
Fuck – I love Italians!
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