Pedal Power in Parma

Rental Bike Posing for a Picture in Front of Stadium Entrance in Parma

Rental Bike Posing for a Picture in Front of Stadium Entrance in Parma

Now I know how the people of Parma stay so petite.  They bike EVERYWHERE.  This is one bike friendly city.   After the rat in the maze experience on Saturday that had us driving round and round in circles, we discovered the code to the city streets on Sunday.    You rent a bike, and follow the bike paths all over the city designed in a circle around the Cathedral.   What a total blast – well for a couple hours at least.   Cooking school officially started Sunday evening so we had the day to explore.

You can rent bkes here for the day or for the year.  And they have about 10 locations where you can pick up and drop off the bikes (that is if you rent them for the year).  We also discovered, that while you rent the bikes for the hour, you have to return them from where they came.   If you want to return them during the lunch break (which lasts 2 to 3 hours depending) – you get the privelege of keeping the bike another three hours.   Being two middle aged woman who were here to cook, five hours on a bike was not why we came to italy.   So being creative, we found a lovely cafe to park ourselves and our bikes – fitting in with the natives.

People bike here like they drive in the US – with kids in car seats, sipping lattes, and talking on their cell phones.  While large buses whiz by at 30 MPH.    I don’t think they have discovered bike helmets over here – or those are just for the “serious” bikers.   And there is a major competition for side of the road space with the vespas that scream in and out of traffic.   Crossing the street is not for the faint of heart either – as stopping at a cross walk for pedestrian is a completely optional event.  It seems like a very large game of “chicken” for all participants.  And folks think Rome is dangerous.


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