I ‘heart’ bike

4 May

When I think about my childhood I don’t remember being an unruly child, running away from home, breaking things or doing anything adventurous. I was more of a quiet, shy girl who used to spend her time reading. I didn’t even have a bike or feel the need of riding one and when I saw one of the other kids riding around I remember thinking of biking as something slightly dangerous and thought better to steer clear.

I discovered the pleasure that comes with biking only at 22 when I won a scholarship and went (or, better, came) to live in Italy for a year, a year that never ended :). I live in Padua, which is the Italian city with the highest number of bike paths since last year when it overrun Ferrara. It might not be much, I mean we are still pretty far away from what Holland for instance has to offer,  but it’s still a big thing. And it’s lovely to see people, students mostly but adults too, riding around everywhere (and I mean EVERYWHERE, we are still in Italy – mind you – so few rules are followed 😉 ) on their bikes.

So I started, let’s say, out of necessity, (I couldn’t just run along my friends like a dog!) and, after the first few weeks of terror, I really enjoyed it. At the beginning, since I felt really unsure and still needing to feel earth under my feet, I used to ride a Graziella, a really tiny type of bike, till my knees started to ache.

I came a long way from those days and I had a lot of bikes that I destroyed or got stolen (which unfortunately happened pretty often), and for years my bike used to be my only means of transport, taking me back and forth to uni and work afterwards on hot summer days, rainy autumn days and cold winter days (not that cold actually, you are never cold when you are on a bike!).

And then I discovered travelling by bike (the touring bike I mean, or trekking bike, city bike and not other types) and an entire world opened its gates for me! I just adore it! Nowadays when, in a blink of an eye, you can be at the other side of the world, travelling by bike somehow gives you the feeling that you are still a conqueror, that you still have to make some effort to reach the place you want and makes the arriving part much more satisfactory. And I love the slow pace, the fact that you offer yourself this luxury called time, the time to really enjoy and appreciate what you see along the way, to really sink in the atmosphere and mood of the places you find yourself in. 

I can’t call myself an expert biker, I’m not even close, but I’ve done a few bike trips, mot of them just day trips, and I’ve eventually done entire holidays perched on my bike. I hope this trend continues!

And I conclude this first post about my bike trips with some theme websites and blogs I like taking a look at and having a read from time to time, hoping you’ll also get some goods ideas:

www.girolibero.it , a very nice Italian website that offers independent tours pretty much all over Europe and beyond, it provides you with a bike and takes care of your luggage

http://www.fiab-onlus.it/ the official Italian cyclotourism page

http://www.pedalandotrentino.com/ the bike suggestions of the gorgeous region of Trentino

http://cycle-r.it/index.htm bike routes in Emilia Romagna, Italy

http://anellofluvialeinbici.blogspot.com/ a blog dedicated to the bike route along one of the water channels around Padua, Italy

http://www.realbeccaccino.it/ a very beautiful site with a lot of bike routes in Italy and abroad

http://www.greenwaysitalia.it/ a site that presents old railways  transformed on greenways, routes that one can follow by bike or on foot

 – http://www.funactive.it/ another association that deals with cyclotourism

http://bicycletouringpro.com/blog a very well-organised blog about bike touring and its logistics , world bike adventures and life on the road


2 Responses to “I ‘heart’ bike”

  1. ancutza May 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Wonderful article in a fresh personal style but with a lot of useful info! Keep it this way!:)

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