I recently spent a week and a half in the Tuscany region of central Italy. My visit began with a stay in the oldest part of Florence, the section of town most amenable to tourists on foot and residents on bicycles. I saw Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery, what travel writer Rick Steves called, accurately, a roomful of Botticellis in the Uffizi Gallery, and rowers beneath the Ponte Vecchio on the Arno River.
I also saw more than a few bicycles.
Some bikes were in better shape than others, but all seemed well-suited to the task of navigating the flat roads of the city. Locking was largely city casual, capturing the frame and whatever post, or grate, was nearby.
I took a lot of pictures. And now that I’m going through them, I realize that I should have also taken some notes. Looking at the wall and post behind this bicycle, I imagine the machine was parked on a decline. But as it came out of the camera, the bike seems so casually braced against the force of gravity that I have decided not to adjust the angle of the shot.
I’m sure this will continue to bother me. But there it is.
This may have been the first picture I took in Florence. I like the twin racks, the kickup in the top tube as it ascends to an adjacent understanding with the head tube, and the wrapped chain that gives the bike a little reassuring hug in the absence of any fixed object to secure it to.
Points too, for the pedal used as kickstand. By rights, it ought to be a precarious way to park, but I never saw a bicycle that might have been parked this way sprawled across sidewalk or street.
Let me know when you get sick of the pictures; I’m only putting a few in each post.