On our very first trip to Italy our children were 14 and 16 years old. We were not yet bold enough to rent our own place (as we have subsequently done over the years) and so we stayed in various small hotels. Our hotel in Firenze happened to be across the street from a bicycle shop. Each day our son would beg to have a break from what he felt was the never ending trekking around museums looking at pictures and to have a physical activity. We finally succumbed and agreed to rent bicycles and pedal our way from Firenze to Fiesole. WHAT WAS I THINKING.…..In those early days I carried around a tatered copy of Rick Steves Europe through the Back Door. Rick had said it was a 20 minute drive to Fiesole and I naively thought, ‘how hard could a bicycle ride be?’. We took our lives in our hands weaving our way through all the buses, vespas and pedestrians. It was a miracle that we were not killed or did not kill someone else. Once we made it outside the city the roads widened out, but the subsequent ride was uphill all the way.
A lovely lunch atop the small town of Fiesole and a peek into their A amphitheatre revived and steadied us for the return. Fortunata the ride home was ‘all down hill’, but that did not alter our need to dodge pedestrians, buses and cars along the way.
Another, kindler, gentler cycling event will take place in Coral Gables on Sunday, March 18th when The Coral Gables Museum and Bike/Walk Coral Gables present a fun, educational bicycle tour through the city. Riders will receive a tour of the Museum exhibit Bringing Beauty Into Our Lives: Art and Architecture in Coral Gables During the New Deal and wll embark on a 7.5 mile bike tour of the city at 11 a.m.
Hav you ever taken a bike tour at home or abroad? What was yours like?