Sunday, July 29, 2012

Back on my "bomba" bike

It’s a hot day in Torino as we walk the few blocks to the bike shop. My friend Stella quickly whirls his arms out in front of him. “what do you call this one?” “The butterfly” I said confident I had correctly guessed the stroke he was imitating.

Our conversation had turned into an impromptu game of Olympic charades. “We call it the Dolphin in Italian.” “The Dolphin” I repeat with a slight smirk. “Yeah, you have a problem with that.” He snapped back in his best tough-guy tone. “I would love to see you do the dolphin.” I said laughing. “I can swim like flipper buddy.” We both laughed.

It was a busy day at the tiny bike shop. I stood waiting outside while the owner assisted an old man with his bike. This is one of the things I love most about Italy. The man has to be pushing 80 years old and he is taking his bike to repair a flat tire. I am inspired by how much Italians embody the mentality that age is nothing more than a number.

“bomba” the young bike mechanic said looking over Lyudmila. I agree, she is the bomb. She has a soft spoken sophistication about her, nothing flashy just a well built piece of engineering from the early 90s. After telling the mechanic I found her in a dusty garage in Provence France a few years ago his only reply was  “che culo!” (translation “How lucky for you!”).

I always knew she was special. After bonding over the French Alps we will take on Tuscany in the coming weeks. Lyudmila waited patiently for me to quit my job so I could reunite with her in Torino. Now, after a set of new tires and a quick fix of a few minor ailments we are ready to join my friend Guido on this Tour de Tuscany.

If walking is the best way to discover the culture of a country than surely biking is a close second.


Alexandra said...

Im sure Lyudmila (also known as Gemella in other circles) will be a fit and comforting companion on the ride down South. Continue having an amazing trip and sharing your awesome photos/insights! We love it.


Brad said...

No no Alex, Gemella is her twin sister made of Bamboo. Now its just a matter of seeing how well Lyudmila moves after a few bottles of Chianti.

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