Since I only had two days in Rome, I didn't know my way around, and many people warned me about the crazy driving, I had decided to book a guided bike tour instead of fumbling around on my own. I connected with Glenn, owner of The Red Bicycle, and he helped me choose the evening tour and the all-day Rome tour. Since I was rushed getting to the Colosseum metro bike rack (where the tour groups meet), I was happy that I hadn't overbooked myself, even though I had wanted to do all the trips they offered. Andrew and Hannah happened to be in Rome the day I arrived and decided to join me for the evening trip. After meeting Glenn at the bike rack, I was disappointed to learn he wasn't going to be guiding us. i had wanted to pick his brain about starting a bike touring business but since he's been swamped with work and has a wee little one at home, I understood that he needed to delegate as much as he could. We got our bikes ready and rode off with Victor around Rome.
Despite a few Dynamo light issues, the trip was fantastic! I would have been too nervous riding around on my own but Victor led the way safely, stopping regularly to explain the history and artifacts as we went along. The trip was about two hours long and we managed to see more in that amount of time then the whole five hours I had spent wandering around on my own. The city was beautiful at night and we were able to check out the view at a few different vistas. We also got a chance to ride part of the bike path along the riverbank. It was just the perfect way to end my otherwise hectic day.
First, we rode along the Appian Way, even on a few sections of the original stone pathways! We headed out to the countryside, through some quiet parks, and over to the ancient aqueducts, learning about it all as we rode. We got a chance to tour the first Catacombs and ate a picnic lunch Glenn had packed, full of local and seasonal foods. Glenn knew about the best spots to checkout, away from the hoards of tourists, like the natural mineral springs were we filled up our bottles and picked up some local wine for the picnic.
The second half of the tour was the city sights. I had been worried that this would overlap the evening tour's spots, but that wasn't the case. Between the historical stops, we also had some time for local goodies. I would have missed all this new knowledge and the yummy deliciousness had I not been kindly led there by The Red Bicycle. It was the perfect balance for the short amount of time I had.
In recent news, California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed our three-foot passing law, SB 1464. A shocking move that has no plausible explanation. Instead of helping drivers become more responsible for their actions and role in cyclists' safety, this once again proves that we are second-class citizens on the road. I have just sent my message to Gov. Brown stating my disappointment in his choosing the liability of drivers over the safety of cyclists. It is not enough that we have to deal with the contempt of drivers who don't like to share "their" space, we also have to deal with politicians who make it legal to put us at greater risk.