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tairaku 12-14-06 07:32 AM

Ferrara Italia
I've been in Ferrara, Italy for the last two weeks and it is a paradise for bikers. The city center is closed to most traffic, so bikes rule here. If you are on a bike, basically you have right of way. EVERYBODY gets around on a bike, including 90 year old ladies, I am not joking. Sometimes it looks like they can't possibly hold the bike steady, but I haven't seen anyone topple. The bikes suck. It seems they have a competition going on based on reverse snobbery to have the bike crappier than your friend or neighbor. I've seen exactly 2 good bikes (out of maybe 20,000). Most are beat up Dutch style cruisers. Nevertheless I've never been anywhere where biking is so accomodated or integrated into the daily lifestyle of the average person. People are riding around smoking and/or talking on their mobiles. When they lock their bikes they just have a flimsy lock and chain that serves more to say "Hey, don't steal my bike!" than to actually secure it. Ferrara should provide a model for the future regarding public bike mentality.

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