I haven’t owned a bike since I was about ten. I have borrowed many, for entire semesters even, but have not had one of my own for quite some time. That all changed two weeks ago, when I purchased “Run and Bike” from a used bike shop in Parma. Most bikes in Europe are lovely, in that old-fashioned, Dutch style, rust-is-cute kind of way. They are the types of bikes that stylish women in heels ride around with flower-filled wicker baskets in the front. I, of course, had to go and find myself a practical, wannabe-sporty bike that would fit right into Canada but is out of place in Italy. It can’t be outfitted for a front basket, so instead I have two bungee cords to strap down my pack over the back wheel. This is effective, but not for flowers. Unless you want squishy flowers. Glamour will never be my middle name and I’m just going to have to accept that. Sigh.
R&B has so far gotten me everywhere I need to go, but she’s rather talkative in transit. I haven’t yet figured out what the symphony of clickety- clacks mean, and they’re a touch concerning, but I do appreciate the fact that she’s at least chosen jazz-like rhythms in her deterioration (which are also appropriate considering her name). I bought this particular bike because, in my terribly broken Italian, I managed to communicate to the men at the bike shop that I needed something that would get me to and from Colorno each day for school. Out came R&B and her solid sporty frame, and for the first time last week, get me to Colorno and back she did. My friend Emily and I took one route there, and another one back. This was so we could:
a) See which one was quicker.
b) Make sure our bikes could make it.
c) Make sure we could make it.
I’m happy to report that the second route proved itself direct and safe and all bikes/riders survived, though going up the stairs to my apartment that evening was how I’ve always imagined climbing Everest would feel. I am confident that in a week or two our stamina will be better, the gams will be looking great, and any money I have saved by not be taking the bus will have gone straight into my growing appetite. I took R&B out again today, and I think we are going to be good friends. I’ll forgive the noise if she’ll forgive me for calling her……..not Sophia Loren. Ah well, that makes two of us.
Here are a few photos of R&B, and some others from Easter break. The weather has been great so we've been picnic-ing, day-tripping, and attended Vinitaly in Verona, Italy's largest wine show.
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