Tuesday, September 6

riding stairs in naples

I have just gone round southern Italy by bike and now I have a place in Rome. Yes, Rome is a dynamic environment for riding. I really love it but the wide roman boulevards and the generally polite drivers cannot compete with Naples for sheer death-wish heart-stopping nighttime riding. I have never before been is such wonderful chaos. After I took off the panniers I went out for a pizza and beer in the spanish quarter. Riding in there is like being caught in a flash flood. the streets are rough with trolly tracks and broken glass. the cars and scooters are held together with tape and some do not even have lights. They come and go oin the narrow alleyways at will--always fast. From a sidestreet may shoot a stroller or a truck but nobody stops or even slows. hey, a vespa with a 13 year old smoking and honking after his girl. Chase him if you can its like playing with wasps. in the center of a rotunda it is a no-mans land. No other biker is fast enough to to enter or exit. in fact, there are few othe cyclists. Maybe they have been afraid, or killed off. And for dessert, try riding the tricky stairs that go all the way from the fortress on the hill to the sea. You will be very happy if you survive.

by David Sanford

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