When I’m riding more for cardio than for sightseeing, I like the Lungotevere path. This smooth path that follows the Tiber River is usually well-populated with walkers, runners, and cyclists. It’s close and it stretches for miles (or kilometers, whatever). It’s a safe and easy ride, just don’t get too caught up in your daydreams, you might wipe out like me. It was only once (here), no worries, I’m alive.
When looking for scenery, I like going near the Borghese Gardens, the Appian Way, or EUR. Near the Appian Way is the Park of the Aqueducts, which Jake wrote about in a previous article. Both the Appian Way and the Park of the Aqueducts are beautifully peaceful. I will warn, however, that the Appian Way is a tough path to bike. I crashed and tumbled just last week. The old Roman cobblestone is uneven, cracked, and jagged. But it’s totally worth it.
EUR is a business district built to serve Mussolini’s vision of a “third Rome”. Being quiet, clean, and modern, it is a sharp contrast to the rest of Rome. A few weeks ago, Jake and I biked through the town, and it was lovely. There is a lake surrounded by gorgeous parks and waterfalls. In the lake on that particular day, there was a tournament of a sport that I can best describe as a water polo and kayaking hybrid. It was intense. Four days later, I made an unexpected return to EUR when my bike tire popped while on a path headed towards the south G.R.A. I was about a kilometer away from the town center, so I walked my bike there without much of an idea of what to do. I did a quick search for bike repair shops, found one, but it was closed for the afternoon. I went for a little walk around the lake to do some brainstorming and noticed a metro station, which was the answer I needed. So, I bought a ticket, hopped on, hopped off, and walked by bike up the Aventine back home to Sant’Anselmo. The tire repair was a problem for another day.
Just yesterday, the day I started writing this article, I had another biking mishap. My chain snapped while shifting gears up a hill. I once again had to use my problem-solving skills to find a solution. This time it was to walk the bike to Manzo Cicli, a local bike shop, and ask for a new chain to be installed. Thankfully, the man who helped me was kind, available, and skilled; I was out of there in fifteen minutes or so. It was a positive experience; I had an authentic interaction speaking Italian and the bike rides much smoother now with the new chain.
Despite some troubles and unplanned adventures, biking around Rome has certainly been a major highlight of my experience here so far. People are surprised when I say that I almost never use the bus or metro to get around Rome, but why sit on a bus when you have a bike?