As we wandered through Florence in the morning peak, a family of 4 stepped out of their apartment and hopped onto 3 bikes; Dad led the way, followed by a young boy on his own bike – then Mum gracefully stepped into her bike in a tight suit dress and high-heels with number 2 son perched on the tiny chair at the back.
It’s been interesting to notice the changing styles of bikes used as we’ve changed country’s. The town bikes look terribly unloved in Florence. So many classic old bikes rotting away and derelict in bike parking lots – it’s hard to tell if they are abandoned or deliberately disguised as junk to prevent theft! Even young italian men ride around on old ladies step-throughs. No sign of the cabon fibre Bianchi/ Colnago / pinarello bunch we were expecting to see in Italy.
In Germany the bikes were all very utilitarian, new, functional (and incredibly dull!) Switzerland was a bit more diverse with a few nice old restored classic bikes and the odd custom/fixie.
The Dolomites were awash with super technical mountain bikes with suspension on just about every bit of tubing. In Austria we saw lots of heavily loaded touring bikes that mostly looked like mountain bikes under all the baggage.
So where are all the classic italian road bikes hiding? We were hoping to come home with some excess baggage!