First Bike Ride
This is in front of our apartment. The bike shop in MD had completely taken the bikes apart. I had never put an entire bike together and was stumped until I went out on the street to examine how another bike looked.
The first bike we saw on the street was missing the seat and the handle bar.
The Bike Box
We had gone to a bike store near our house to have the bikes taken apart and put in a box. The fellow at the bike store was careful to attach all the individual parts to the bike itself with plastic ties. He said that they will often open up the bike boxes because they are too big to fit through the new x-ray machines. He also said to wrap it with cord as well as tape so that you can put it back together if they do open it up. When we arrived at the airport the desk clerk told us they will not fit on the conveyor belt and they would have to be carried down separately. We had been told by the bike guy that they would do this so the bikes would not be harmed going down the chute to the baggage floor. We stayed and waited to see them remove the bikes. The first porter came - took one look at the bikes and walked away. The second one came and he just picked them up and put them on the conveyor belt. Before I could react they were gone down the chute!!!
When the boxes arrived at the luggage carousel in Rome we examined the boxes. Only one had been opened. Instead of just opening it at the top of the box, they had laid the box down on its side and cut the box open the long way, that is, they made three long cuts and opened the box. They then put one small piece of tape around the whole cut. The rope was gone. I was surprised the whole thing did not just come apart.
On the Ride
We are in the Villa Borghese at a part that overlooks Rome. The dome behind Hynda is St. Peter's Basilica. Behind and below Hynda is the Piazza Popolo.
Getting Out Of Our Apartment (June 20, 2004)
When we had talked to the agent who handled the rental of the apartment he told us that the building had one of the largest lifts (he is English) in Rome and we would have no trouble getting the bikes up and down. For awhile we even thought that we would be able to store them somewhere on the zero floor (in Italy they start counting at zero for the floors) but that turned out not to be possible.
We keep the bikes in the apartment and use the elevator when we take the bikes down. This may in fact be one of the largest lifts in Rome but as the pictures show we can barely fit one of us in with our bicycle standing on its end. It took us awhile to figure out the best way to do this but we are now pros at it. The fact that you enter from one end and exit from the other on the lift actually makes it easier. The picture shows me getting in the elevator and Hynda exiting.
Bike Path - North
We have found a number of bike paths here in Rome. The picture below is Hynda on the bike path that runs 14 KM and follows the Tiber River north of Rome. It is actually in very good condition and is very busy on Sundays. We have been on it twice during the week in the evening and no one is on it but us.
Bike Path South (June 20, 2004)
Today we ventured out on the bike path going south from the city. For the first 2 miles this path hugs the side of the river and is quite pretty. You travel under several of the bridges that span the Tiber (Tevere). It is not well maintained for this portion but manageable with our hybrid tires. I would not want to bike on it with thin road bike tires. After about two miles it is quite well maintained and is very wide - similar to the one to the north.
Here are some pictures:
The first obstacle we encountered was a herd of 'capre'. This was about three miles into the trip. This is something you do not see on the Crescent Trail at home.
These are pictures of Hynda and I on parts of the trail along the river.
We went beyond the normal exit of the bike path coming home and had to go up stairs. There was no ramp at this location:
Kleinchik Visits the Coliseum by Bicycle