Cycling cities – The Reggio Emilia way – Part 3: a ‘real ride’

Inspired as ever by the great Bicycle Dutch blog, and in particular the posts describing ‘real rides’ to various places, like hospitals, I am going to show you a ‘real ride’ in Reggio Emilia, Northern Italy, that I did at the end of May when I was last there, and whose destination also was a hospital. I already described cycling in the Centro Storico and in some parts of the city’s network of cycleways. In those posts you can find info about the city, so I will not repeat them in this one. Here I am showing you some other…

L’e’ po’ na bicicleta! (well, that’s just a bicycle, after all!)

[a short story…qui la versione in italiano] I talked to an old man once, in the streets of my city in Italy. He had just put his bike against a wall, next to several others. I was cycling by very slowly, and I stopped when we both noticed we had exactly the same old bicycle. He said that his dad had bought it many years ago. I said that mine had been bought by my dad as well, or perhaps my granddad, I wasn’t sure. We started chatting about our bikes, a tiny bit, but soon realised there was not…

L’é po’ na bicicleta!

[una piccola storia, here is the English version] Parlai con un signore anziano un giorno, nelle strade del centro della mia città. Stava appoggiando la sua bicicletta a un muro. Io stavo pedalando tranquillo, guardandomi intorno, e mi fermai quando entrambi ci accorgemmo che avevamo esattamente la stessa vecchia bicicletta. Mi disse che suo padre l’aveva comprata molti anni prima. Gli risposi che anche la mia era stata comprata da mio padre, o forse da mio nonno, non ero sicuro. Cominciammo a parlare delle nostre biciclette, un pochino, ma presto capimmo che non aveva molto senso. In fondo erano biciclette…

Vecchi telai, parafanghi bianchi e tasse: una collezione di biciclette

[English version here] Ogni anno a Natale, quando sono di ritorno in Italia, mi ritrovo con i miei vecchi amici delle superiori per una ‘magnassa’ delle specialità della nostra città (tortelli verdi, tortelli di zucca, cappelletti alla panna, cappelletti in brodo, arrosto con patate, Zuppa Inglese e, naturalmente, Parmigiano-Reggiano) gentilmente e magnificamente preparate dalla Signora Luisa (la mamma di uno di noi). E’ sempre una serata molto piacevole, ed ogni anno tutto sembra incredibilmente più buono dell’anno prima…. L’anno scorso, alla fine della nostra serata, il marito della Signora Luisa, il Signor Sergio, ci ha chiesto di seguirlo perché aveva…

Vintage frames, white mudguards and taxes: a bicycle collection

[questo post ha anche una versione in italiano] Every year at Christmas, when back home in Italy, I gather with my old friends from secondary school for a ‘magnassa’ (a big meal) of our city’s specialties (tortelli verdi, tortelli di zucca, cappelletti alla panna, cappelletti in brodo, arrosto con patate, a dessert, often the local, despite its name, Zuppa Inglese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese…), kindly and amazingly prepared by Mrs Luisa (the mum of one of us). It is always a very pleasurable night, and the food quality seems to improve every year, from already extremely high standards. Last year, at the…

Cycling Cities: The Reggio Emilia Way – Part 2a: Le Piste Ciclabili

In my previous post about Reggio Emilia I described what cycling is about in the historical city centre ‘Centro Storico’. Here I turn my attention to the network of cycleways that spread from Centro Storico to the suburbs, as well as enable people to travel by bicycle – separated from traffic – among various locations across the city. A few figures first (for more info about the city please see my previous post): the cycleways network  extends for 235 km, separated from traffic, in one way or another (you’ll see below the different ways) 115 kms is the total length…

Cycling Cities: The Reggio Emilia Way – Part 1: Il Centro Storico

“Bici e resistenza” (Bicycle and Resistence) says the writing on the graffiti above, painted on the old kiosk of Piero, the partisan mechanic who repaired bicycles for many years there (even mine, when I was very little). That image describes well the importance of bicycles in the history (and future) of the city of Reggio Emilia, in Northern Italy. When I was taking the picture, a lady in her seventies stopped by and we had a little chat. She told me: “la bicicletta e’ la mia migliore amica, senza di lei non potrei fare niente – my bicycle is my…