I found this bike lying sideways on a bike rack by the metro stop on via Cavour. I spent awhile shooting it from different angles and these were my two favorite. Rome is not necessarily a bike town, but is becoming more and more so. In the north (at least in the Veneto where I lived) there are bike paths all over the place and most people have a bike. In Rome there are very few bike paths, especially in the city center. If you want to bike in the center you need to weave in and out of the traffic with all the motorini. My friend K does this while actually talking on her cell phone! Recently, spurred by the success of the Velib in Paris and other cities with bike sharing programs, Rome instated a similar program called Roma ‘n’ Bike. Of course, like many things here, it was launched only half way. The kiosks are only in the historic center, none near the residential areas where more Roman live (and you need to be a resident to use it, so it needs to be accessible to them) and none even at Termini. The idea was to do a soft launch to see if the program has legs, but not doing it properly could stunt the whole thing. This program was in the works before Alemanno took office, so lets see if he shows any love for it. I’m doubtful.
That’s not to say there is not a movement for biking in Rome. There is a group that organizes critical mass events in Rome, as well as a local association which auctions bikes and provides instruction and tools for you to fix your own bike if necessary. Just beware of getting attached to a bike that’s too nice. All of my friends who have bikes here have either had the entire thing or parts—breaks and even just one pedal!—stolen.
PS. The funny part about this blog, I don’t even know how to ride a bike!